DUNEDIN — Without giving away his strategy to get Jose Bautista under contract, Alex Anthopoulos revealed a couple of wrinkles that won’t be in the contract, or any contract he negotiates, if he can help it.
One is the so-called performance bonus. The other is the vesting option.
“I’m very reluctant to put performance bonuses into deals strictly because I’ve seen examples where there seems to be manipulation,” he said. “The manager is given the players and it’s his job to set the lineup, to set the playing time. He’s the one running that clubhouse. The player should not feel for one second or have any doubts that there’s orders from above.
“I always tell an agent if we are talking about performance bonuses that I would rather go higher on the base salary and take out the incentives so the player doesn’t have to worry about those things. He can worry about winning.
“We’ll avoid it whenever we can, not because we’re not willing to pay the player but we’d rather pay a little more money up front to take away any possible controversy or feeling of ill-will that might affect the manager’s ability to run the team.”
Vesting options are clauses that are validated by the player reaching certain playing milestones, such as plate appearances or innings pitched.
“I don’t believe in those,” Anthopoulos said. “I don’t want to give anybody a reason to think a player is not playing for any other reason than it’s the manager’s decision. I don’t want even a 1% chance for them to believe it’s because of another impact. Whether it’s the front office, whether it’s money. It’s happened. I’ve seen it across the game for years and I’ve seen it impact clubhouses. I’ve seen it impact a player’s view of the organization. It’s not part of our brand.”
- Ken Fidlin