The “Ramirez Provision” is no more.
The Dodgers -- and all other major league teams -- cannot mandate that a player donate to club charities as part of his contract, the commissioner’s office and players’ union have agreed.
Michael Weiner, the executive director of the players’ union, said the agreement does not restrict players from making donations but ensures the choice is theirs.
“The goal here never has been to interfere with players making charitable contributions, which guys have a long history of doing,” Weiner said Wednesday.
As part of the $45-million contract he signed in March, Manny Ramirez agreed to donate $1 million to the Dodgers’ charitable foundation.
Owner Frank McCourt said he would implement the “Ramirez Provision,” asking players to make a donation in an amount of their choosing as part of all future Dodgers contracts.
The union filed a grievance soon thereafter, alleging the Dodgers, Angels and 20 other teams had improperly mandated donations to club charities in the contracts of at least 109 players.
Under the settlement agreement, which resolves the grievance, clubs can demand such donations from players signing as free agents or signing long-term contracts that buy out one or more years of free agency, according to a management official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been officially announced.
Those players have the option to sign elsewhere. Players not yet eligible for free agency cannot be compelled to donate, the management official said.
“We respect the agreement that was made and will, of course, abide by it,” Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said in a statement. “With that being said, one of our organization’s three core goals is to be a model franchise in giving back to the community and therefore, we will continue to encourage our players to voluntarily do so, both with their time and financial resources.”
-- Bill Shaikin