|M's All-Star Lopez says odd contract clauses for fitness "no big deal"|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 01 May 2007 15:43|
The 23-year-old has rare provisions beyond the usual award bonuses in a deal that could net him almost $13.7 million over five seasons. He could earn $125,000 annually by passing four, in-season tests: body-fat percentage, a 60-yard sprint, a 20-yard shuttle run and a vertical jump.
``When you are working every day, you can pass,'' Lopez said, smiling before he started on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox.
Each time he does pass one of those tests administered by a team trainer, he would receive $25,000. If he passes all four in the same season, he gets another $25,000. That's a $625,000 incentive to stay fit over five years for Lopez, listed at 6 feet and 200 pounds.
Lopez said currently he is a ``comfortable'' 205, and that he will be getting two weeks notice from the Mariners before each test.
Clauses providing bonuses to stay in shape are rare in major league contracts but not unprecedented. Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi declined to comment on Lopez's deal.
``It's not a big deal, especially when you are playing every day,'' said Lopez, who said he doesn't know his current percentage of body fat or what percentage the team wants him to stay under.
He said he reported to spring training this season overweight because of weeks of inactivity after he sprained his ankle in January during winter ball in his native Venezuela. He was limited for more than two months by that injury.
Lopez's agreement includes a $4.5 million club option for 2011 with a $250,000 buyout and has escalators that will raise his salaries if he is arbitration-eligible after this year, which is likely if he stays in the major leagues the entire season.