Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have finally come to a deal for 2020 centering on key contract issues such as vesting options and roster bonuses, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets.
As MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently explored, this agreement will impact several notable veterans, including pitchers Jon Lester, J.A. Happ, Andrew Miller, Charlie Morton, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, catcher Stephen Vogt and infielder/outfielder Dee Gordon. All of those players have vesting options based on certain 162-game milestones baked into their contracts (for instance, Happ’s $17MM option for 2021 would have become guaranteed had he thrown 165 innings).
It had been unclear how the league was going to handle those options, but we now have the answer. According to Rosenthal, all 2021 vesting options will be worth their full amounts. The counting numbers that would’ve triggered those options in a 162-game season will now be prorated. As Rosenthal points out, that means Miller – who would have needed 37 appearances for his $12MM option to vest – will only need 14 this year.
Roster bonuses, meanwhile, will be prorated, whereas playoff bonuses will be paid out in full. Rosenthal uses the example of a $200K bonus for 200 innings over a 162-game regular schedule, noting it’ll now require 74 1/3 innings and will earn a player just under $75K in 60 games. In the event a player spends time on the COVID-19 injured list, those days will still count as roster days for bonus purposes.