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Teams may now retain salary in trades. A new expander button in the trade menu enables salary retention for a player, which results in the team trading him retaining a certain percentage of a players' salary for the remainder of their current contract, saving his new team from having to pay that portion of his salary, which is instead paid by his old team.
Any player with an MLB salary is eligible to be dealt with salary retention.
On the team salary report page, players who have a retained salary will appear with extra characters listed on their name, on both teams involved (or all teams if he has been dealt multiple times with salary retained each time.) The total retained salary will also show up on your "future salaries" widget on the team finances page.
The salary retention percentage may be as high as 100%, effectively making a player "free" for the new team, subject to the limitations listed below.
Options, Extensions, and Bonuses
A team option, or any contract after that, will not be included in the retained salary. So, if January 1, you trade a player with two years left on his contract at a salary of $10M per year with a team option after the first year and a $1M buyout, and you retain 25% of the player's salary, then you will have $2.5M applied to your finances for this year, and the other team will now evaluate the option. If they execute the option, then they will have to pay the full $10M the following season - the original team does not have to pay 25% of the option year.
However, player options, opt-outs, and vesting options do not have the same logic. In these cases, you are on the hook for the entire portion of the salary. However, if the option is declined, or the vesting option does not vest, then you will not be on the hook for any future salary.
Existing, but not yet active, contract extensions are entirely the responsibility of the new team - the retained amount does not apply to them. So if you have signed a player to an extension, and before it comes in, you trade him and retain salary, then you do not have any salary retention for the contract extension - only for the remaining year of his old contract.
Bonuses apply entirely to the player's new team - they are not covered by salary retention at all.