Last March when Manny Ramirez signed a two-year $45 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, there was a provision placed in the deal that required Ramirez to donate $1 million of his salary to Dodgers team charities. Team owner Frank McCourt then said that he was going to implement this "Ramirez Provision" into all future Dodgers' contracts that would require players to make a donation of their choice to the charity.
Under the agreement between the commissioner's office and the players union, this "Ramirez Provision" can still be included contracts that meet the following guidelines:
• The player signing the contract is a free agent, because after all, a free agent isn't required to sign with anybody so he's agreeing to the provision.
• The player is signing a contract extension that buys out at least one year of that player's free agency. An example of this would be the extension Justin Verlander just signed with the Detroit Tigers.
The provision is allowed as long as the deal covers at least one free agent year. I can't think of a single Rays extension that didn't include at least an option for one free agent year. Even Kelly Shoppach's deal. Frankly this is much ado about nothing, considering Ramirez' deal came while he was a free agent, which is completely fine given the new rule.