MLB and MLBPA agree: Clubs can’t force players to donate to team charities
You’ll recall there was a bit of a hubub last spring when it was revealed that Manny Ramirez’s contract with the Dodgers required him to donate $1 million to Dodgers’ charitable foundation. At the time Frank McCourt said that, going forward, all Dodgers contracts would contain similar provisions. It was later revealed that over 100 contracts involving multiple clubs had such provisions already. The union filed a grievance, but the matter was settled yesterday:
Under the settlement agreement, which resolves the grievance, clubs can demand such donations from players signing as free agents or signing long-term contracts that buy out one or more years of free agency, according to a management official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been officially announced.
Those players have the option to sign elsewhere. Players not yet eligible for free agency cannot be compelled to donate, the management official said.
That said, this seems like a sensible compromise here inasmuch as any free agent can decide if being required to give to the Team X Foundation is worth signing there or not, and as long as there’s an element of choice, mazel tov.