If you found out your employer had accidentally given you an extra $500,000, and that it was well within your rights to keep the money, would you give it back? Well that’s exactly what San Francisco Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt did.
Affeldt was set to earn $4 million in 2010 under an existing contract with the Giants when they negotiated a two-year, $10 million extension. When the 2010 amount was rewritten into the new contract, someone made a clerical error and typed $4.5 million instead. The Giants and Affeldt signed it without recognizing the mistake.
Affeldt got three opinions saying the contract was ironclad and he could keep the extra $500,000, from the Players Association, agent Michael Moye and even Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans….
“I talked to Bobby the next day and said, ‘I can’t take that money,’ ” Affeldt said. ” ‘I won’t sleep well at night knowing I took that money because every time I open my paycheck I’ll know it’s not right.’”
Affeldt thinks his honesty helped make negotiations smoother last winter when he and the team agreed to a 3-year, $18 million contract.