As players continue to bounce around the league with greater frequency for a variety of reasons — teams leaning increasingly toward shorter-term deals, financial incentive to reach free agency, etc. — the number of players gaining 10-and-5 rights have diminished in recent years. For those unfamiliar or those who need a reminder, 10-and-5 rights are granted to a player who has accrued 10 years of MLB service time, including five consecutive years with his current team. These players are given veto power over any potential trade involving them.
It’s rare that a player invokes his 10-and-5 rights, although we’ve seen them come into play in the past. Adam Jones utilized his 10-and-5 provision to block a deal to the Phillies two summer ago, and Brandon Phillips quashed a pair of trades that would’ve sent him out of Cincinnati before he finally acquiesced on a deal sending him to Atlanta.
In other cases, such as Coco Crisp’s trade from Oakland back to Cleveland in 2016, players are willing to waive that veto power for the right deal and/or some additional financial incentive. Those rights were a major factor in the Rays’ decision to trade Evan Longoria when they did; had he opened the 2018 season with Tampa Bay, he’d have gained full no-trade power just two days into the year.
As a reminder, players will receive a year of service time even if no games are played in 2020. And if a season is played, the service time will be prorated to match the truncated nature of the season. In other words, current big leaguers are going to get their year of service unless they’re optioned to the minors or released.
With all that said, some 10-and-5 rights looming on the horizon (I’ve omitted players such as Buster Posey, whose contracts already included full no-trade protection)…
- Kenley Jansen: Jansen’s five-year, $80MM contract with the Dodgers didn’t include a no-trade clause, although it does pay him a $1MM assignment bonus in the event of a trade. Jansen has nine years, 73 days (9.073) of MLB service time, so he’ll clear 10 years of service in 2020 with or without a season. As such, he’ll have full no-trade power next winter, when he’d have one year and $20MM remaining on his contract.
- Jason Heyward: Heyward is getting to the elusive 10-and-5 status in a bit of a different manner. He’s already reached 10 years of service, and once this year elapses, he’ll have spent five years in a Cubs uniform. His contract allows him to block deals to a dozen teams of his choosing in 2020, but he’ll gain full no-trade power next winter. His contract would be cumbersome to move in the first place, given the four years and $86MM remaining on his deal at the moment.
- Johnny Cueto: Like Heyward, Cueto already has the requisite decade of MLB service, but he’s only spent four years with his current team. Next offseason, Cueto will have spent five seasons as a Giant, giving him veto power if the club wants to trade the sixth season of that deal and the subsequent club option. He’s owed $21MM in 2021 and a $5MM buyout on his 2022 club option.
- Freddie Freeman: There’s no real reason to think the Braves would be entertaining the notion of trading a player who has long been considered the face of the franchise (even if Ronald Acuna Jr. is now taking over that title), but Freeman’s eight-year, $135MM contract didn’t contain any no-trade protection and he currently has 9.033 years of service. He’s owed $22MM in 2021, the final season of his current contract, but an extension seems likelier than a trade.