Originally Posted by DanH
But there's no way to do a regular extension. Either A) he gets a regular extension after opting out, and the first year salary has to be AT LEAST 19 M, and the following years have to follow the maximum raise rules or B) he gets a player option extension, and he gets 19 M next year for opting in and whatever we negotiate the years after, or C) he opts out and we sign him as a free agent. The risk with the free agency route is that there could be other bids. Plus he probably gets a 5 year deal, rather than effectively a 3 year one.
I was actually thinking about option C, just didn't phrase it properly.
I was under the impression that what you originally were referring to is an option to get him to opt out and than we'd give him an extension starting at a lower value, but higher than what he would be worth, to compensate for the lost salary in his declined year (kind of like a stretched provision
). If that was legal (looks like it's not), it would have been worse for us long term than just signing him as a FA (option C). The advantage in such a scenario would be that we pay a little more in his last 3 years, but much less in his first. Since this doesn't appear to be possible, it's moot.
Based on the options you outlined, obviously A is not worth discussing, and I'd probably still go for C over B, presumably we'd only be interested in signing him if the team goes well, in which case he would probably be willing to stay here. If a crazy team throws a higher than market salary, we could counteract with a 5th year, so as long as he wants to be here, the risk would be manageable. We would have to trust in masai doing his magic to get a reasonable salary in the last years of his contract.