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At that time, Major League Baseball and the Players Association took the unusual step of interceding with a compromise: a letter of agreement stating that, if Harper qualified for salary arbitration before he reached the end of the contract, a grievance hearing would determine whether he could opt of his contract. [...]
Harper is one of only about 50 players ever to have been given a major league contract straight out of the draft. (In fact, the sport’s most recent collective bargaining agreement, negotiated in November 2011, prohibited giving major league contracts to draft picks going forward.) In these rare cases, the contracts supercede the normal progression toward arbitration eligibility.
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