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Benchwarmer Baseball Rules

16.0 Multiyear Contracts

Owners have the option to lock players onto their teams for additional years at current salary rates.  This is highly beneficial for younger players whose salaries will most likely increase after a great year early in their careers or for one of those journeymen veterans who have a career year.  There are, however, a few risks involved.


Do not use the "contract" as a way to keep players for the following season.  You get to keep up to 28 players and you make those decisions in November.  This is a salary cap move.


Players may be signed for the following year by Week 17 (2015 Change - this used to be the final transaction submission in July).  The team must have the funds available for the entire salary, as it will be deducted immediately.  The salary does not get deducted again in the following year. 


4/13/08 Strike the following statement that appeared next:  "However, the player's contract will be counted toward the salary cap for remaining years (at the contracted salary, not the published salary for that season)."  This statement is incorrect.  You are not actually bound by a "cap" in any years, but by the amount of cash you have to spend.  Paying cheaply for a contract right now potentially saves you more cash in future years.


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Players may be signed for another year at their current salary rate.  They may be signed for a second or more years given the following formula: each successive year is at a 33% increase or at a minimum indicated below, whichever is higher.  The minimum contract salary was increased in 2023.

A player may be signed for 2022 and beyond. The salary for each year beyond 2022 will be calculated with a 33% raise, given the following minimums:

Player signed for:


Minimum Salary (season)

Minimum Contract Total (contract lifetime)


2023 Salary




2024 + 33%




2025 + 33%




2026 + 33%




2027 + 33%




New in 2015: A contract "maximum" - The first year of any contract extension (for the following season) will still be the current season's salary or defined minimum.  But in years 2-5, the maximum salary charged for an extension will be 9 million Benchwarmer Bucks.


Players on multiyear contracts that are traded keep their contracts and the receiving team enjoys the benefit of the contract (teams should take that into consideration when trading).  The receiving team does not have to pay for the remaining years on the contract. The team trading the player will not receive any rebate of future salary, but will still receive a rebate for the prorated portion of the current season's salary if he originally paid for the current season (that is, the multiyear contract was just created this season).  If a player on a multiyear contract is released, there is no salary rebate.  These are, in effect, guaranteed contracts.  However, at that point the contract is void, and any team wishing to claim the player will do so using normal procedures and the player's published salary for the season.


Rule Clarification (5/31/08): A player on a multiyear contract that ends during the current season was paid for in a previous year.  That player will not earn a salary rebate if he is cut or traded away and a team that picks him up during a trade will not have to pay anything for him.  However, if a player's contract ends in a future season, his salary for the current season may or may have not been paid this year.  If the contract extension was signed in a previous season, then again there is no salary rebate or salary assumption during a trade.  But, if the current season's salary was paid in the current season (during roster carryover or any time after that), then the cutting team will receive a rebate for the prorated portion of the current season's salary AND, a team picking up the player in a trade must assume the pro-rated portion of this season's salary.  The trade detail screens correctly compute the salary rebate that a team will get (and consequently the amount the receiving team must pay).


Any other stipulation based upon salary, such as whether or not the player may be put on the minor league roster, are dependent upon his published salary for that particular season, not the salary he was signed for.


One final provision is that no player on a multiyear contract may ever be left unprotected in any expansion, redistribution, or other off-season draft.  This applies even if his current team was not the one to originally sign him to the multiyear deal.


Thus, the risks you take on by signing a long-term contract include:

  • You receive no rebate for any unused time on the contract if you cut or trade the player.  To repeat: You are paying this money up front and you will never get any of it back, whether the player is sent to the minors, retires, plays in Japan, or in some unfortunate circumstances, dies.
  • A player that misses significant time due to injury will almost always see a real-life salary reduction and you’re signing the contract based on the assumption that the salary will increase.
  • You must carry over a player under contract during the Redistribution Draft.

Note: Should a season be interrupted or cancelled due to players' strike or a lockout by the owners or other work stoppage, there will be no adjustment to contracts.  

< Previous : 15.0 Player Salaries and Salary Cap

Top : BWB Rules Contents

Next: 17.0 Master Player List and Positions >

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