NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Baseball players no longer would receive bonuses for winning the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young or rookie awards bestowed by the Baseball Writers' Association of America under a rule passed Wednesday.
Starting in 2013, players with such bonus clauses in their contracts will be banned from receiving votes for any BBWAA awards. Hall of Fame voting is not affected, nor are manager of the year or non-BBWAA awards such as the World Series MVP or Gold Glove.
``When we first started giving out these awards it was just to honor somebody. You got a trophy, there was no monetary reward that went with it,'' BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O'Connell said. ``I honestly don't think people vote with that in mind. But the attachment of a bonus to these awards creates a perception that we're trying to make these guys rich.''
The vote was 41-21 on the rule, which was brought up by The Associated Press several years ago. The BBWAA appointed a committee to discuss the rule with the commissioner's office and the players' association.
``We've been on record for the past 20 years as being opposed to bonus clauses related these awards,'' O'Connell said. ``The idea behind this was to toughen our stance against these clauses.''
Many veterans have award clauses in their contracts, some for honors bestowed by The Sporting News and Baseball America, others for postseason awards given by Major League Baseball, such as World Series MVP. Some are small - at least relative to the multi-million salaries - but others are worth millions.
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez earned a $1.5 million bonus for winning the AL MVP in 2007, and Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has a clause in his agreement for next year that would pay him $1 million if he receives even a single third-place vote for the Cy Young Award.
``The Schilling thing is disturbing because he doesn't even have to win,'' said O'Connell, noting that Schilling joked about a kickback to the voter if he collected the bonus. ``That's something that none of us finds very funny.''
Only a handful of players have contracts that cover 2013, when the rule would take effect. The lag time was designed to give agents and teams an opportunity to adapt to the ban.
David Schwartz, whose clients include Rudy Seanez and Josh Paul, said the rule would benefit the owners and hurt mid- or low-level players who perform better than expected.
``It seems like ownership put the writers up to this,'' Schwartz said. ``It seems like the real beneficiaries here are owners who don't have to pay bonuses to players who've had good years. Players who have award-winning seasons ought to be rewarded for it.''

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Kershaw tries to keep visitors' run going The Cubs seized a 3-2 edge in the NLCS by winning Games 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to save the Dodgers’...
Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
Thumbnail Arrieta tries to lift visitors at Chavez Ravine After getting punched in the mouth in Game 1 of the NLCS, the Dodgers struck back on Sunday night. Can they keep running with the Cubs as the action...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages