MLB players now must give eight months notice if they plan to switch their uniform number or they will be forced to buy all of the unsold leftover jerseys from manufacturers, according to the league’s new CBA.
The New York Times uncovered this small bit of trivia, which will help protect MLB’s merchandising partners. Players will be forced to buy back any unsold inventory with their old name and number on it if they try to switch things up mid-season.
Players who are traded midseason are exempt from the rule, because they will be wearing a new uniform.
“Like our other initiatives, this is done for the fan,” MLB’s senior vice president of licensing Howard Smith explained to the Times. “When a fan invests his hard-earned money to show his allegiance to a team and a player, we don’t want to make that purchase immediately obsolete.”
Unfortunately, the new CBA did not include any advice on what to do with any old Albert Pujols Cardinals jerseys.