Barry Bonds gave the San Francisco Giants the right to terminate his $15.8 million, one-year contract if he is indicted.
The unusual provision could set off a legal test between the rights in an individual player’s contract and rights under the union’s collective bargaining agreement. The language, included in the deal that was completed Monday night, is designed by the team to protect itself in case Bonds is charged in the federal government’s steroids investigation.
Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, is in a California federal prison because he has refused to testify whether Bonds committed perjury when he told a 2003 grand jury he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.
Complicating matters, the version of Bonds’ contract that was sent to the commissioner’s office by the Giants was not approved, Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, said late Tuesday. Borris said the team was redrafting the agreement to address the provisions in question and sending him a revised version by express mail for Bonds to review and sign. Borris wouldn’t specify what was at issue.
As part of the agreement, if Bonds is indicted the Giants have the right to terminate it under two sections of the Uniform Player Contract, a baseball executive said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce that detail.
Under 7(b)(1), a team may terminate a contract if the player shall “fail, refuse or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey the club’s training rules.”
Section 7(b)(3) gives the team the right to end the deal if a player shall “fail, refuse or neglect to render his services hereunder or in any manner materially breach this contract.”
In addition, the Giants have the less drastic option of converting Bonds’ deal to nonguaranteed, the baseball executive said. Players with nonguaranteed contracts can be released before opening day for 30 or 45 days’ termination pay, depending on the timing.
With HR no. 756 firmly in his sights, I can’t imagine what would compell the Sultan Of Surly to fail, refuse or neglect to render his services.
On the other hand, it’s hard to hit while wearing handcuffs.