Wonder what happened Chad Gaudin? Xavier Nady? Wonder no more.
Beginning with last year’s class, any Article XX(B) major league free agent who accepts a minor league deal is entitled to three automatic contract clauses: 1) he must be told five days prior to Opening Day—that’s March 26 this year—whether or not he will make the 25-man active roster, 2) if he does not ask for his release and consents to open the season in Triple-A, then he will receive a $100,000 “retention bonus,” and 3) if he’s still in Triple-A on June 1, then he can opt out of his minor league contract so that he can sign with another organization.
Article XX(B) free agents may sign within 10 days of Opening Day—March 21 this year—and still receive guaranteed opt-out dates and retention bonuses in their minor league contracts
According to a press release issued by the MLB Players Association, 161 players qualified as Article XX(B) free agents following the 2012 season. To date, 93 of them have signed major league contracts (Kyle Lohse ought to bring that total to 94 any day now), 26 remain unsigned (including decorated vets like Scott Rolen, Jim Thome and Roy Oswalt), eight either retired or indicated as much (including Omar Vizquel, Kevin Millwood and Nick Johnson) and three will play in Japan in 2013 (Andruw Jones, Jose Lopez and Vicente Padilla).