Contracts for Baseball Players and Coaches

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Generally speaking, a baseball contract is the agreement where one agrees to provide services in the world of baseball. A baseball player contract is a player's agreement to play baseball for a particular club, university or other entity that owns/controls a baseball team while a baseball coach contract is an agreement where an individual agrees to coach a baseball team.  Baseball television contracts are agreements for broadcast rights to televise a baseball game.

Some Common Terms and Provisions

A baseball player contract, like those for coaches and television, are largely determined by the parties involved.  If a major television network, successful player or skilled coach are involved, the contracts involved will reflect this with the inclusion of more money or other perks.   A new player or coach will get a standardized contract.

Nonetheless, any of these contracts will include common terms and provisions, including:

  • Type of Services to be Provided: broadcasting, coaching or playing
  • Duration of the Contract including how long a season lasts
  • Compensation: structure & amount
  • Termination Provisions: the process for terminating the agreement

What Should I Look For?

What to look for depends on the type of contract you have. 

A player should watch for these terms:

  • Other activities: players for a club are usually not allowed to play for others due to the level of talent and uniqueness of that player
  • Endorsements: particularly, a player should know if there are any restrictions to taking endorsement deals from outsiders
  • Physical Condition: a player is expected to be healthy enough to play and not take action that will take him/her out of playing form

Baseball coach contracts will also consider:

  • Rules: coaches have to agree to comply with league rules since failure to do so could put the team's eligibility in jeopardy
  • Rollover clauses: this determines whether a coach will get to continue if the team does well in the season (for instance, qualifying for the World Series)
  • Compensation for other things such as television broadcasts of games where the team is playing

Baseball television contracts will likely examine:

  • Exclusivity: Are the broadcast rights exclusive to that network or will other broadcasters be showing the games?
  • Specific games covered since this can make a huge difference in the contract's profit potential

Breach

In case of a breach, there are some options.  There may be back pay for unpaid salary, free agent status for a player or a negative injunction against playing for a club that signed a formerly contracted player.  Coaches may also sue for back pay or get out of any sort of exclusive coaching status.  A television broadcaster will likely get money damages.

In short, the recovery for breach will most likely depend on what the contract says.

Getting Legal Help

The general points of this article are no substitute for the advice and guidance of a licensed attorney.  Contracts are usually very complex and individual factors are more likely to be considered in a negotiation if brought through a licensed, qualified sports law attorney specializing in baseball matters.

 

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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