Didn't the NHL see something like this when they first instituted the hard cap? A couple players getting 15+ year deals aimed primarily at reducing the cap hit the team took? Not that I expect other sports to see things like that and be proactive, but given it hasn't happened yet and we're well over a decade into the CBT era, I have to think there's a reason it hasn't happened in MLB. Either they guarded against it in the CBA or it really isn't fiscally reasonable for teams (or players) to engage in such contracts.I think the above seems reasonable, and a pretty good argument for Mookie to request a 10 year, $350M contract. I expect he will do just that!
Those more knowledgable of MLB contracts may know of a reason why the following would be disallowed, but say Mookie and the Red Sox wanted to enter into a career-long contract, which would be pretty close to $350M/10 years. Could they instead agree to a $400M/20 year deal, front loaded in such a way that Mookie would not be sacrificing NPV?
The idea would be to release or buy him out when no longer productive, with this structure having the effect of reducing his luxury tax hit from $35M/year to $20M/year. The cap hit would impact the team long after Mookie stopped playing, but one would assume that the cap will be much higher 15 years from now, such that $20M would not represent a major competitive disadvantage. Other than MLB not approving of an obvious attempt to side-step the luxury tax, is there another reason why the Red Sox or Betts not want to do this?