Latest in a series of posts that shed some light into the nuances and comedic genius of MLB contracts, incentives and bonuses.
Today's contractual goodies come from the new Braves starter, Kenshin Kawakami:
- Signing bonus - $2,000,000, payable between February 2009 and May 2009.
- Plus: $100,000 for Cy Young; $100,000 for Rookie of the Year ($50,000-2nd; $25,000-3rd); $50,000 for Rolaids; $50,000 for All Star; $50,000 for WS/MVP; $50,000 for Gold Glove; $25,000 for LCS/MVP.
- Plus: Interpreter
- Housing during Spring Training
- SUV during Spring Training
- $25,000 moving expense
- 8 round trip First/Business Class tickets between Tokyo and Atlanta
- Access to massage therapist
- If new contract not agreed upon by 10/15/11 or oneday after last game of World Series, Player may elect free agency under Article XX
Access to a massage therapist? Shoot, I have that; it's called a phone. I call and make an appointment. Isn't that access? What, he can't afford the $100 for the hour of deep tissue massage?
Don't get me started on the plane tickets since I think that's as big a farce as there is in these contracts. Just estimate the cost of 8 tickets and add that to the total so not to alienate his teammates. Dumb. A quick Expedia search found me a one-stop flight from Atlanta, first class ticket for $6,500 on Continental. That's $52k. It would bump his salary from $7.7m to, um, $7.7m. A lousy rounding error.
Lastly, what's with the Rolaids bonus? He's not their closer, is he? Where is the Silver Slugger award bonus? The agent must have been snoozing.