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As I continue to take some time off, with the start of baseball season, I thought I’d share this 2019 post about baseball contracts. Play ball and Go Yankees!

Employment law contracts typically are not that complex. Oh sure, they may LOOK complex but most of the time, you build them with the same building blocks.

As it turns out, even baseball contacts have their own formula.

And it’s not that hard to find — if you know where to look.

The uniform baseball contract can actually be found at the end of the collective bargaining agreement between the players association and the 30 baseball clubs which you can download here.

It’s on page 350 of the CBA so you might not have stumbled upon it, but it makes for a fascinating read because the building blocks there look different than other contracts.

So what are some interesting terms?

  • Players are paid on a semi-monthly basis but only during the “championship season”.
  • A Player must “keep himself in first-class physical condition and to obey the Club’s training rules, and pledges himself to the American public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship.”
  • Players cannot engage in “professional boxing or wrestling; and that, except with the written consent of the Club, he will not engage in skiing, auto racing, motorcycle racing, sky diving, or in any game or exhibition of football, soccer, professional league basketball, ice hockey or other sport involving a substantial risk of personal injury.” (So play all the golf you want.)
  • Clubs can terminate the contract for a few reasons including if the player:
    • fails, refuses or neglects to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey the Club’s training rules; or
    • fails, in the opinion of the Club’s management, to exhibit sufficient skill or competitive ability to qualify or continue as a member of the Club’s team; or
    • fails, refuses or neglects to render his services hereunder or in any other manner materially breach this contract.
  • But never fear, if the player is terminated, he is entitled “to receive an amount equal to the reasonable traveling expenses of the Player, including first-class jet air fare and meals en route.”

    In the end, the contract is not like most employment agreements. But even within baseball contracts, there are exceptions too.
  • A post I did “a few years ago” about Yankee great Derek Jeter’s baseball contract. Then I realized it was over 10 years ago. And I figured I should stop this post while I’m not reminiscing about the past.

Here’s hoping to another great Yankee season!