Melvin and single-paying
I talked to someone in baseball and it turns out I’m wrong. There’s a thing attached to staff contracts as standard procedure called the Major League Offset Policy, and it says that if you’re fired from your job and get another job within baseball, the team that fired you only has to pay the difference, if any, between the salaries. If you take a lower job, like a coaching gig, same deal.
Further, there’s a mechanism to prevent abuse — if you’re the Yankees GM and you’re fired, the M’s can’t hire you for $1 because the Yankees are paying you $500,000/year. Staff contracts get approved by the Commish and a team could complain about a contract even then.
If you want to sit at home and play Halo 2, you get paid. If you take a job as a cook, like Jason, the team still pays you the full amount. Take a job within baseball, though — ding!
I hope this clears that up. Now, we don’t know for sure whether or not that was in Melvin’s deal, but knowing that this is pretty much standard for every staff contract, I have to believe it was.
It turns out that Bavasi may indeed have had an ulterior motive in pushing Melvin to Arizona, though I really don’t believe he made the recommendation he did because he thought he’d save some money. Baseball’s a small sport, and it’s not worth poisoning the wells, so to speak. Not that some GMs don’t try.