Opt-Out Clauses in MLB 2017-2018: What You Need To Know

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch against the Houston Astros during the American League Wild Card Game. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

After a thrilling seven-game World Series, the Astros have been crowned MLB's 2017 champions. No more major league baseball will be played until next year, but there are plenty of things to keep an eye on. The first important offseason deadline comes today (Saturday, November 4th). It's the last day for a handful of players to announce whether or not they will exercise the opt-out clauses in their current contracts.

An opt-out clause is a simple mechanism in a contract given to offer players flexibility with free agency, allowing them to opt out of the remaining years and dollars on their contract after a given year of the deal. For example, during the 2015-2016 offseason, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes signed a three-year, $75MM contract with the Mets. However, since he was confident he could earn more money the following offseason. His agent was able to negotiate an opt-out clause after the 2016 season, during which he would earn $27.5MM. After an excellent performance in 2016, Cespedes chose to opt out of the remaining 2 years and $47.5MM on his deal. The slugger ultimately signed a new contract with the Mets worth $110MM over 4 years.


PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 04: Greg Holland delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the National League Wild Card Game. (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

A player option is also treated essentially the same as an opt-out clause. Such an option gives a player an guaranteed extra year at a certain price. That player then has the freedom accept or decline the option.

The contracts of eight major league players include either an opt-out clause or player option that must be decided on by the end of the day today (Saturday). Here's a quick update on those situations:

2017-2018 Opt-Out Clauses and Player Options

Justin Upton of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reworked his contract with the team. The outfielder could have opted out of the remaining 4 years and $88.5MM on his deal. Instead, he negotiated an additional year and $17.5MM to remain in LA.

Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees decided not to exercise his opt-out clause. The right-handed starting pitcher will make $67MM over the next three years in New York.

Greg Holland decided to decline his $15MM player option. The former closer for Colorado will test the free agent market.

Ian Kennedy hasn't made a formal announcement on his decision. However, during the season he expressed that he would not opt out of the remaining 3 years and $49MM on his contract. Kennedy pitches for the Kansas City Royals.

Welington Castillo (Orioles) and Matt Wieters (Nationals) have yet to make formal announcements on the player options they hold. Johnny Cueto (Giants) and Wei-Yin Chen (Marlins) still need to announce decisions on their opt-out clauses.

Marquee pitches Clayton Kershaw and David Price headline a group that holds opt-out clauses for next offseason. These types of clauses are becoming more and more popular in MLB. Keep an eye out for any new opt-out clauses given to players in free agent contracts this winter.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The United States, unlike North Korea and other nations President Donald Trump admires, does not have an official state media channel where the federal government can push propaganda.

But since his 2016 campaign, Trump has spoken as though he does have an official state media in Fox News.

Keep reading...
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Retired General John Kelly served as President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff until late 2018, and now he's siding against Trump on a crucial point.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton's allegations in his upcoming memoir have rocked the impeachment trial in the Senate. Bolton claims Trump sought to withhold aid from Ukraine until it acquiesced to performing politically beneficial investigations for Trump's reelection bid.

Keep reading...

As calls continue to grow for former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify before the Senate in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is feeling left out.

Demands for Bolton's testimony skyrocketed among the public after allegations in his upcoming memoir that Trump sought to withhold Ukrainian aid as late as September to secure foreign investigations into Trump's political rivals.

Keep reading...
Fox News

Explosive allegations from an upcoming memoir by former National Security Advisor John Bolton are strengthening the case for additional witnesses at the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

According to Bolton's manuscript, the President sought as recently as September to withhold $391 million in congressionally approved aid to Ukraine until its President announced investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Keep reading...
Scott Olson/Getty Images // Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The defense team in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial spent its second day of arguments defending Rudy Giuliani, bashing House Democrats, and ignoring bombshell developments regarding former National Security Advisor John Bolton that broke in the days before.

The team went after a familiar target in a performance that was likely for an audience of one: Donald Trump.

Keep reading...
C-SPAN

Ken Starr, a conservative pundit and frequent Fox News guest, is best known for his dogged attacks to find impeachable offenses by President Bill Clinton during a multi-year investigation into every aspect of the Clinton family's lives.

In the end, Starr found an extramarital affair which was used to impeach Clinton and that Clinton lied under oath about his personal life.

Keep reading...