“Rolen” Out of Town

“Rolen” Out of Town

Scott Rolen

Thanks to some scouring of the fine print of the Rolen/Glaus trade by the intrepid reporters at STLtoday, there is a possibility that Rolen’s stay in Toronto may be more brief than expected.

Major League Baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement with the players erases a previous agreement that gave veteran players an out, a trigger in the fine print. But players with multi-year deals signed before Oct. 2006 were grandfathered into this CBA and still have the right to escape a deal at the end of the season.

A player with 5 years of service who has been traded in the middle of a multi-year contract may, during the off-season, require his new team to either trade him or let him become a free agent.

So both Rolen and Glaus, as at least five-year vets, have this right. Next winter, Rolen, for example, could tire of the artificial turf, the American League or any other number of reasons and tell Toronto he wants another trade. He has that right. The procedure, as detailed in the CBA:

– Within 15 days after the end of the World Series, said veteran player alerts his current team that he wishes to use his “right to require assignment”.

– The player can offer a list of six or more teams that he will WILL NOT accept assignment to.

– His team must attempt to deal him to a team not on the list or make him a free agent.

Exercising this right of forced trade/forced free agency does not come without penalty to the player.

Naturally, the player won’t be permitted to pull the same trick with his next team. He also, regardless of the length of his existing contract, surrenders three years of free agency. That means the team he is being dealt to will have arbitration rights and renewal rights for the years after the contract that does not reach three years after the deal. The player is bound by CBA to accept arbitration with that team. (Again, using Rolen as an example: His deal lasts until 2010, a forced trade would be 2009 and 2010 and his new team would be able to trigger.)

Oh, and the player won’t be a free agent until March 15.

Becoming a free agent in the middle of spring training could make for an interesting market, to be sure. Or, the player could on that day just say psyche, retract his trade demand and head back out for bunt drills.

More motivation to head out and get your flex packs for this year’s Jays season to catch the Jays’ first all blond infield.

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One reply on ““Rolen” Out of Town”
  1. says: Kman

    I can’t see a player forgoing three years of free agency to jump into arbitration. Perhaps the question of how long Rolen wants to play will come into the equation (33 in 2008). That’s about the only time I could see him request a trade. (or if Gibby wants to throw down again)

    That is an interesting find though.

    Here’s a Q. With the Big Hurt in the DH spot, where do you see the Jays playing Rolen when he’s overplayed/sore? 1st to spell Overbay against lefties, in the OF or pushing Thomas?

    Not a great photo of Rolen. He better get his ass in the gym to trim off a few pounds and a chin…

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