There ought to be some sort of financial consideration given to no-trade clauses in Major League Baseball contracts.
I'm not sure how you put a dollar sign on it. But it seems to me that there ought to be some value to the commitment that a team makes when it inks a player to a many million-dollar deal that prevents them from trading that player to get out from underneath the financial burden should things go sour later.
Maybe if there was some sort of agreement between the players association and owners that said a full no-trade clause is worth $2 million a season and a partial no-trade clause is pro-rated based on the number of clubs that can be blocked.
Isn't it ironic that the players, who fought for years to be able to free themselves from one particular club now fight so hard to tie themselves to one permanently? The only obvious difference is who gets to decide how much that player in question will be paid.
I'm sure Cardinals free agent slugger Albert Pujols, who is apparently very choosy about where he wants to spend the rest of his career, will demand a no-trade clause.
It would go a long way towards reducing payroll and related expenses to factor in the no-trade clause. For example, if the Cardinals gave Pujols a $25 million a year contract with a full no-trade clause for eight seasons. If the no-trade was factored in at $2 million a year, it might make a big difference in getting the big guy signed. It's the difference between $200 million and $216 million on paper -- and would also potentially make Pujols the highest paid player on an annual average in baseball history.
The Cardinals unwisely gave Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook full no-trade clauses in their current contracts. Lohse, who has been unable to perform for half of his four-year contract and Westbrook, who terribly underperformed in the first season of his two-year deal will combine for 21 million un-tradable dollars. I'd like to have about $4 million of that back.
Let the players carry some of the financial burden of their special perks. Either that or baseball ought to ban no-trade clauses entirely.