Fiscal cliff nears for baseball players, too

Outfielder B.J. Upton #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays catches a fly ball against the Baltimore Orioles during the game at Tropicana Field on Oct. 2, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Upton is an outfielder who just signed a pretty lucrative deal that included a bonus to be paid before Dec. 31, 2012 -- the fiscal cliff deadline.

Does the fiscal cliff debate seem too insider baseball for you?  A conversation about the mechanics of politics? Well guess what...now it's seeping into the fun parts of life. Like, baseball.  Even athletes are keeping an eye on that steep slope. Players like BJ Upton, points out Tim Fernholz, a reporter for Quartz.

Upton is an outfielder who just signed a pretty lucrative deal with the Atlanta Braves -- he'll make $75.25 million over the next five years. One unsuual provision of the deal? It comes with a $3 million bonus to be paid before Dec. 31, 2012. Fernholz says that would save Upton about $140,000 in taxes. 

And Fernholz says Upton's not alone. Baseball player Evan Longoria, for example, just signed a deal with similar provisions. Even CEOs are trying move bonuses into this year, "but they're having a hard time doing it. There's a lot more skepticism of CEOs than baseball players when it comes to making a lot of money."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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