Standard Minor League Contract
This is the standard contract that most minor
leagers sign when entering into the minor leagues.
The contract has to be approved by Major League
and has specific language for the signing bonus
amount, Incentive Bonus Plan and College
Scholarship Plan, that can not be changed or it
will not be approved by Major League Baseball.
The standard minor league contract can be
exercised or renewed at the original signing teams
discretion for a period of six years. Players who
have not been placed on the teams 40 man roster
after 6 years can file for free agency and can then
sign with any teams they chose. Players can ask for
a release at any time, but the MLB team doesn't
not have to grant it.
The drafting team under Rule 4 (E) of the Professional
Baseball Agreement must make a formal standard minor league
contract offer to every draft pick within 15 days
of selection in the amateur baseball draft. In 1996,
6 players were granted free agency after their
drafting club did not submitting a written
contract within 15 days time and were free to sign
with any team
The minor league contract provides
roundtrip coach airfare at the beginning
and end of the season for every minor league
Teams are allowed to terminate the
minor league contract and cancel all financial
arrangements within the first 30 days of the contract
should the player have had a previously undisclosed injury when
signing the contract. In 1996, the Texas Rangers
voided 1st round draft pick R.A. Dickey's signing
bonus of $810,000 after a physical discovered
Dickey was missing an ulnal collateral ligament
in his elbow. Dickey later signed for a $80,000
Many teams will wave this clause by a pre-signing
physical by the MLB team's physican.
The signing bonus must be
paid in full by December 31 of the calendar year
following the signing of the minor league contract.
The contract must be submitted to Major league
Baseball Office of Commissioner for approval.
Payment of signing bonus can not be made until it
gets MLB Office of Commissioner's approval. Most teams
signing bonus payments after September 1.
Players who has a written college scholarship
in another sport like
football or basketball can have his payments
of his signing bonus
spread out over a five-year period as part of a
contractual guarantee than he limit or exclude
his participation in that other sport. 1998 1st
round draft pick Corey Patterson was able to
spead his bonus payments over a five year period
because a football scholarship offer to
University of Georgia.
The first year salary for a minor league player
is $1,100 a month.
Agents often negotiate "side letters" to the
standard minor league contract such as automatic
dates to the major leagues, waviers to the 30 day
medical clause, transportation for the player's
and invites to instructional league and
major league spring training.
Some MLB teams will
provide minor league players with
a pair of shoes and glove
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