Out clauses are important because they prevent you from potentially being trapped in a team’s minor-league system.This is where the written word outweighs the verbal promise of a GM. The advantage of the minor-league out clause not only helps prevent a player from getting stuck in a minor-league system, it can also be used as leverage to get to the big leagues.
I have been in this position several times in my career.
In fact, from 2002-2006, for five straight seasons, I signed minor-league contracts with an invitation to major-league spring training. Seeing the news of these players signing brought back some emotion as well as the memories of both some good and bad decisions I have made over the years.
There is not one that sees you valuable enough to let you take up a spot on its 40-man roster. Once a player comes to the realization that there is no major contract out there for him, his next step is to work with his agent to identify teams that are a good match. A lot of phone calls are made, and if your player doesn’t make a team, there is no financial reward.
They see you as guy worth taking a low risk chance on. Players don’t pay commission on minor-league salary, only big-league salary, and agents don’t charge on anything earned below the major-league minimum.
But the bulk of what has been coming across my timeline lately has been the news of players agreeing to minor-league contracts, most of those coming with an invitation to major-league spring training.