Anonymous asked in SportsBaseball · 9 years ago

Are there "character clauses" in MLB players contracts?

What I mean by that is, if a player doesn't not show that he is a person of good moral character and does not live up to those standards, can the franchise actually void the contract?

8 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There's such terms in the Uniform Player's Contract.

    I'll go dig something up...


    Here's two bits of language from the UPC.

    Paragragh 3(a), Loyalty:

    "The Player agrees to perform his services hereunder diligently and faithfully, to keep himself in first-class physical condition and to obey the Club’s training rules, and pledges himself to the American public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship."

    And paragraph 7(b), Termination -- By Club:

    "The Club may terminate this contract upon written notice to the Player (but only after requesting and obtaining waivers of this contract from all other Major League Clubs) if the Player shall at any time:

    (1) 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; or

    (2) fail, in the opinion of the Club’s management, to exhibit sufficient skill or competitive ability to qualify or continue as a member of the Club’s team; or

    (3) fail, refuse or neglect to render his services hereunder or in any other manner materially breach this contract."

    The only instance I can recall of a team trying to use the "morals clause" in 7(b)(1) was when the Rockies wanted Denny Neagle (and his solicitation and other issues) gone, and they still ended up cashing out a lot of his contract. A team has to REALLY want a player out the door to follow this procedure, and the player probably has trade protection or is otherwise simply untradable.

  • 9 years ago

    Yes, there can be. Of course if a player breaks the law or uses an illegal substance he's in big trouble by the law enforcement, the league (MLB), and his own team. A player has to follow certain rules that are presented to him. No matter how good he is and no matter what he does for the team, action will be taken. If he's the best player you've ever seen but if he doesn't show up for practice or gets real cocky or disrespectful, a player can be traded, sent to the minors, or in some cases void the rest of his contract.

  • Teuna
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Ben Grieve and Jeremy Brown. Both former A's prospects. Grieve was A.L. Rookie of the Year in 1998 then had 2 other decent seasons before falling apart. Brown a first round pick retired with 3 hits in 10 career at bats in the majors. Anyone who says Zito he was good early on in Oakland then started to fall apart which is why A's fans weren't too heartbroken when he left. The signs of what he is now were there in Oakland just nobody paid attention Giants fault for giving him that much money when he is at best a 4th or 5th starter not an ace.

  • 9 years ago

    Some do...yes.

    They are generally hard to get into a contract due to protests from the Players Union, but some players known to have off-field problems do have them.

    I believe Josh Hamilton does....Years ago there was a well-known pitcher named Steve Howe who had repeated issues with cocaine...The Yankees put one in his contract. There was a player named Wil Cordero who had a couple domestic violence arrests. When he attempted a come-back, I recall he had a "zero-tolerance" clause as well.

    In general, however, The Commissioner's office retains a good bit of authority with his "best interests of baseball" power...That's the power by which Pete Rose's lifetime ban is justified...Because it is so rarely used, it is one disciplinary power that has not faced a serious challenge from the Players Union.

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  • 9 years ago

    Good job Chip. I've researched that before and really cannot add to it. I'm guessing that the question was asked as a direct result of the Braum situation. Difficult to say the least.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago


  • 9 years ago

    I guess they can have one. But obviously someone like Carlos Zambrano doesn't.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I think there's a standard clause pertaining to conduct detrimental to the game, but it's rarely enforced.

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