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MLB, Players association close loophole exposed by Pujols deal

From the day late and a dollar short department...

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have agreed to put an end to contracts with milestone clauses and personal services clauses, according to ESPN.

The reason why? Because such deals violate the collective bargaining agreement between the two. Milestone clauses are basically performance-based incentives which are strictly forbidden. I don't understand how anyone ever thought it was out of bounds to pay a bonus for hitting 50 homers a season... But it's okay to pay a player for hitting the 500th homer of his career?

And personal services contracts don't make sense as far as players contracts go because, by defintion, once you are eligible to receive them you are no longer a player.

Technically, Albert Pujols' Anaheim contract is in violation of terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

The Angels borrowed liberally from these rule bending playbooks to offer a contract to Pujols that looked, on first blush, like it blew the Cardinals' offer out of the water. But, once you got through the fluff, Pujols was only guaranteed $240 million of the $254 million he as reported to get. That's only 9 percent more than the best St. Louis offer when he abruptly broke off negotiations.

Albert's Anaheim deal includes $10 million for milestone bonuses including $7 million for hitting 763 career home runs and $3 million for reaching 3,000 career hits. He can also make an additional $875,000 a year in incentives for winning Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, All-Star selections and MVP awards. It includes a 10-year, $10-million personal services contract.

Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees has similar terms in his contract which should not have been allowed including incentives for climbing the career home run ladder.

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