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Ben Sheets needs one more year for his pension

Aug 5, 2010, 9:37 AM EDT

Stuff you don’t think about much: ballplayers need ten years of service time in order to get a major league pension.  As Susan Slusser noted yesterday, however, Ben Sheets only has nine years, service time, which could provide the incentive to undergo another arduous rehab process and pitch again.

Or maybe Sheets will find a way to scrape by on the $52,218,000 he’s made in salary over those nine years.  Could go either way, really.

  1. Professor Longnose - Aug 5, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    How much is the pension?

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 5, 2010 at 9:59 AM

    I was thinking the same thing…what is the “Full major-league pension”?

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    It’s not a ton, relatively speaking. As of a couple of years ago, the average 10-year retiree earned less than $200K a year on it. It goes up with more service time.
    I may have been a bit too dry for my own good here. I really wasn’t being serious that Sheets would be thinking about this. Just found it odd that Slusser mentioned it wrt a player who has earned $50 million in his career.

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    Probably worth noting, of course, that Canseco made more than that, and based on all of his problems, I’m sure he needs that pension to make ends meet.

  5. BC - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    Hey, why shouldn’t he give it a shot. Not like he’s 43 or anything. Look back at all the health issues Cris Carpenter had. Now the guy’s a stud. Maybe the guy just wants to play baseball?

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    If it is only (only??) $200K a year, then it is kinda odd that Slusser would even mention it.

  7. APBA Guy - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    My brother’s kids have been coached by ex-major leaguers in Florida since they could walk. Those guys all say the same thing: play until everyone says you can’t. I think we’ll see Ben attempt a comeback in 2012.

  8. G2 - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    http://business.illinois.edu/d-sinow/fin434/docs/MLB%20Pension%20Plan%20-%20Final.ppt
    a cute power point presentation on the MLB pension plan. they get some level of pension the minute they play, and at ten years, they get $185k a year. Also a great health plan that covers for life after four years of service

  9. JimmyY - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    The point is, that at lifetime earnings over $52 million, even with the tax impact, that these guys would know enough to stash away a good amount so they don’t have to rely on being coaches, camps, etc., and just live the life like anyone of us would do. $200K pension is just gravy.

  10. Detroit Michael - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    Be aware that at least some aspects of that PowerPoint presentation are wrong.

  11. scottp - Aug 5, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Actually, 10 years is what he needs to max his pension out. He qualified for a pension at some level years ago.

  12. John_Michael - Aug 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    What makes you think that these guys would know enough to stash away a good amount…? Many pro athletes don’t have a college education. And (remember I said many, not all) if they have a degree, it’s something craptastic that allowed them to focus on playing ball. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with that. College is a time to prep yourself in order to maximize your future income. However, look at the average American with massive piles of credit card debt. What makes you think someone who had a lot of money can automatically handle it better?

  13. willmose - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    scottp, thanks for posting the facts. 10 years maxes the pension, 5 years is the magic number to get the pension. Craig, why is $200K per year such a small amount? $16K+ per month buys a lot of suds even at ballpark prices.

  14. Alex - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    $200K isn’t huge, but if he collects it for 50 years, that’s $10M (and maybe it will go up). Worth a shot.

  15. JBerardi - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    It’s kinda silly that the pension goes up after so much service time. If you’re in the league for ten years, that means you’ve made it to free agency, which should mean that you’re set for life. The guys who only manage to hang around the league briefly and never make more than the minimum would seem to be the ones in need of a pension.

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