A Look At Dodger Contract Incentives

Now that Hong-Chih Kuo and James Loney have finalized their contracts for 2011, the Dodgers have 20 players signed to contracts this season for a total of $92.05 million. Ten of the 20 Dodgers under contract have performance bonuses in their contract that could raise that total even higher.

Last season, the Dodgers had 19 players on the major league roster who had performance bonuses built in to their contracts:

Dodgers 2010 Contract Incentives
Player Potential Achieved
Ramon Ortiz $1,050,000 $0
Russ Ortiz $1,050,000 $0
Rafael Furcal $1,000,000 ???
Vicente Padilla $1,000,000 $0
Jamey Carroll $525,000 $200,000
Casey Blake $500,000 $250,000
Jonthan Broxton $500,000 $0
Matt Kemp $300,000 $150,000
Reed Johnson $250,000 $125,000
Andre Ethier $250,000 $0
Ronnie Belliard $250,000 $0
Garret Anderson $200,000 $25,000
Hong-Chih Kuo $150,000 $25,000
George Sherrill $150,000 $75,000
Jason Repko $137,500 $0
Brad Ausmus $100,000 $0
Russell Martin $100,000 $0
Jeff Weaver $100,000 $0
Nick Green $100,000 $0
Totals $7,712,500 $850,000*

The one very vague incentive is for Rafael Furcal, who receives $1 million annually for "maintaining a core strengthening program to keep his back healthy." That's not nearly as easy to track as, say, plate appearances or games pitched, so it's hard to say with confidence how much of that bonus Furcal actually earned in 2010. He did spend 28 days on the disabled list last year with a low back strain, so it's very likely Furcal didn't receive all of that $1 million bonus.

But for the incentives we can track, players on the 2010 Dodgers earned $850,000 of a possible $6,712,500 in performance bonuses, or 12.7%. Most of those bonuses were paid in 2010, but Matt Kemp's $150,000 for reaching 650 plate appearances in 2010 was added to his base salary in 2011, increasing it from $6.95 million to $7.1 million this season. In fact, at 668 plate appearances, Kemp finished seven plate appearances shy of another $150,000 bonus.

Here's a summary of contract incentives for the 2011 Dodgers:

Dodgers 2011 Contract Incentives
Player 2011 2012
Vicente Padilla $9,000,000
Jon Garland
$2,525,000 $1,000,000
Rafael Furcal $1,000,000 $1,300,000
Marcus Thames
$800,000
Hong-Chih Kuo $700,000
Jamey Carroll $525,000
Casey Blake $500,000
Hiroki Kuroda
$500,000
Jay Gibbons
$150,000
Andre Ethier $125,000
Totals $6,825,000 $11,300,000

That is a boatload of potential contract bonuses in 2011, most of which are in Vicente Padilla's low-base, heavily incentive-laden contract. Padilla has a base salary of $2 million, and can earn up to $6.8 million in relief bonuses, based on both games pitched in relief and games finished. He can also earn up to $9 million in bonuses based on starts and innings. Payment for all of Padilla's incentives are deferred.

Jon Garland, in addition to having up to $3.525 million in bonuses based on innings pitched, has an even bigger incentive. If he pitches 190 innings in 2011, not only will he receive his $3.525 million in incentive bonuses, but will also have an option for 2012 vest at $8 million (assuming Garland is not on the disabled list this September for an arm injury). The option currently carries a buyout of $500,000 should Garland fail to pitch those innings and the Dodgers decline his services for next year, so that's an extra $7.5 million that Garland can earn.

For more details on the Dodgers performance bonuses and various other contract information, you can click on our payroll worksheet.

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