Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers of 12-years and $325 million gave him the richest deal for a pitcher in baseball history, and it included more added benefits.
The three-time Pacific League MVP and three-time Eiji Sawamura Award winner also received a $50 million signing bonus from the Dodgers, and the posting fee being paid to the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) was also a record.
For the Dodgers’ benefit, the deal includes a few opt-outs if Yamamoto misses time with a right elbow injury or undergoes Tommy John surgery.
Yamamoto’s historic agreement works on a backloaded base salary scale, with his average annual value (AAV) coming in around $27 million per year and his highest base salary at $29 million.
Yamamoto also received a number of luxury perks and has an ability to dictate his spot on the Major League roster, per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press:
His contract includes a full-time interpreter, personal trainer and physical therapist. Yamamoto gets a hotel suite on road trips and five roundtrip airline tickets each year.
He cannot be assigned to the minor leagues without his consent.
Many contracts do have additional benefits for players, whether they are financial incentives, suites, or anything else, but not many have the ability to prevent a Minor League assignment.
The main exception to that is for players with more than five years of experience may decline a Minor League assignment if they have been previously been designated for assignment and not claimed by any other team.
The Dodgers are betting on Yamamoto not needing that stint in the Minors anyhow, which the talent level backs up as well. In his most recent three seasons with the Buffaloes in NPB, Yamamoto went 49-16 with a 1.44 ERA and 580 strikeouts.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto opt-out clause
An exclusion in Yamamoto’s contract is the presence of a no-trade clause, which was included with Shohei Ohtani’s deal. Ohtani receiving that no-trade clause is the only time one has been handed out by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman in his tenure with the team.
However, if Yamamoto is traded at any point in his current contract, he has the right to opt out at the end of that season.
Although the Dodgers are not trading him anytime soon, the deal provides some insurance down the line for Yamamoto.
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