I really wasn’t sure where to post this, but I believe this question can be answered factually. Mods, do what you will.
I’ve been in love with my MLB 07: The Show game for the last several weeks. In particular, the mode I spend most of my time playing is called Road To The Show. You are asked to create a player and set certain attributes for him, and then attempt to work your way through the minor leagues and hopefully have a successful career in the majors at some point.
So I created my player. He decided to try out for the Dodgers, had a good spring, and was offered a small contract. He spent most of the year in AAA and had an impressive year (I play in an easy mode that makes the game-play much more arcade-like), but the Dodgers did not re-sign. The following year, I tried out for the Marlins, received another one year contract, and was once again very impressive. I was called up to the majors early on and remained there for the duration of the season. I went to the All-Star game and ultimately won Rookie of the Year. (We lost Game 7 of the World Series to the Angels, if you’re interested).
As a result, the Marlins offered me a four-year deal worth $1.1 million over the life of the contract, which I accepted. 2009 was another productive year (a return to the All-Star game and lead the league in a couple of offensive categories), and then 2010 was my true breakout year. In this season, I:
- won the Triple Crown
- also lead the league in steals, OBP, slugging %, runs scored, hits and triples
- broke the single-season records for home runs and hits
- broke the all-time record for consecutive games hitting streak
- received the NL MVP and World Series MVP awards (we beat the Yankees 4 games to 1)
Now, despite this unfathomable performance, when I began the next season, my contract remained the same. I’m entering year 3 of 4, and I’m scheduled to receive a little more than $300k in salary this season. And herein lies my question (finally).
I know I’m just playing a video game, but I’m wondering what would happen if this took place in real life. Say you’ve got a relatively young guy who has signed a multi-year contract, and in that time, has gone from showing clear talent to producing very well to being, far and away, the best player in the majors. Under such a circumstance, would the team be under any obligation to renegotiate his contract? Can he just walk away from it and sign with another team?
I have to imagine that in the real world, the team would voluntarily resign him at pretty much any dollar figure he asked for rather than risk angering him (and his agent) and having him go play for someone else once the contract expires. But would they have to? What options does the player have? Come to think of it, what do “options” mean in the sense of a baseball contract – I’ve never made an effort to understand that.
Many thanks in advance.