Monday, February 16, 2009

Geek Confusion: Delmon Young's 'Split' Contract

Someone help a poor time-deprived blogger out here.....

Why the hell does it matter that the Twins offered Delmon Young a 'Split' contract?

A 'split' contract, for those who are wondering, is a contract that specifies the amount of money that a player makes in the majors and a different amount of money that they make in the minors. Publicizing the split aspect of this contract is in line with other rumors that the Twins have floated this offseason that seem intended to motivate Young, like him being traded, or him sitting on the bench.

But the real question, which I'm shocked that nobody is asking, is "Can they send Young to the minors?" Because previously, the answer seemed to be "Not unless they are incredibly stupid."

And usually, the Twins aren't. So what's going on?

Young, I thought, signed a major league contract back in 2003, which meant he was on the major league roster. So his three "options" were used by Tampa Bay in 2004, 2005, and 2006. To try to send him down would require him to clear waivers, which would NEVER happen.

If they can send him to Rochester, then we have a legitmately gripping story for spring training. Both he and Carlos Gomez seemingly could use some Triple-A seasoning, at least given the Twins philosophical leanings. If Young is protected by his lack of options, than Gomez is the leading candidate to miss out on a starting spot this spring. But if Young is also eligible to be demoted, then HE becomes the leading candidate.

Has anyone figured this situation out and can let a poor Twins Geek in on the secret?


thrylos98 said...

Young has no options left. He would have to pass waivers to be sent down.

The split contract is just a dinosaur as far as this season goes. The Rays signed him to a split contract to cover their sorry rear ends. Potentially he could have spent all the years of that contract in the minors and get the minor league split. Since he is out of options the split part of the contract it moot, but the pay cut was very lame by the Twins' FO and I hope they do not regret it come real contract negotiation time (Heck, Gardy got a raise even though he sucked the last 2 years)

Unknown said...

There is a rule that lets some players get a 4th option, but I can never understand the details of it. here is one explanation:

John said...

Thanks for the link, but that fourth option year doesn't apply to Young, I don't think. I think it would have last year, but he now has five years of pro experience (as it's defined for this rule), and it states it is only for those players with less than five seasons pro (minor or major) experience.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering about the money. This contract was described as a pay cut but only, I believe, because a prorated fraction of the signing bonus was included in that calculation. If that's right, then this contract gives DY more actual paycheck dollars in 2008, not less. If that's right it's not really a cut at all, but a pay raise.

Of course I could be completely wrong about this. Does someone have the straight word?

Anonymous said...

Good post. I'm a bit befuddled as to the Twins' handling of the Delmon Young rumor mill this winter also. Gardy really appears to loathe the creature.

Can't say I've exhausted my hope that he will still become the hoser we all hoped he would be last winter. Reports on his fitness definitely seem to be good, and he's probably got a chip on his shoulder the size of Azerbaijan wanting to prove he deserves to be treated like a star.

Anonymous said...

I think the split contract is pretty much standard practice and irrelevant. I also think it was some sports writer, not the Twins, who made something of it.