The contract between right-hander Michael Waka (32) and the San Diego Padres has been made official. The contract structure is a bit unusual.
The Padres announced on the 17th (Korean time) that they had agreed to a contract with Waka in the name of general manager AJ Preller.
According to the club announcement, the contract is a one-year contract and includes player options for the 2024, 2025, and 2026 seasons, or team options for the
2024 and 2025 seasons.
According to local media such as ‘The Athletic’, this contract has a unique structure. To begin with, the guaranteed amount is 4 years and 26 million dollars (33.579 billion won).
First, he receives an annual salary of $4 million for the 2023 season and a contract fee of $3.5 million.
After one season is over, the time to choose comes. First, if the Padres exercise their team option, a two-year, $32 million contract is added. He will receive a salary of $16 million each for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
If the team declines the option, then the player option applies. In this case, a three-year, $18.5 million contract applies. He gets $6.5 million in 2024 and $6 million in 2025 and 2026.
Incentives will be applied in the 2023 season and when the player option is executed. It is a condition to receive $500,000 for 20 and 25 starts and $1 million for 30 starts.
If the player declines the player option, he may return to the free agency market after a year.
It is a contract that benefits both the club and the player. San Diego benefited from the wealth tax calculation by lowering the average annual amount through such an agreement.
The player has everything from the possibility of challenging the FA market again one year later to the possibility of receiving a guaranteed amount for several years. The possibility of receiving a higher amount is also open if you show good performance in the 2023 season.
Waka, who was the 2013 Championship Series MVP, went 74-50 with a 4.05 ERA over the past 10 years. Last season, he only threw 127 1/3 innings in 23 games due to a shoulder injury, but he showed good looks when he was healthy with 11 wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 3.32, including one shutout.