reserve clause

noun Sports.
the clause in the contract of a professional player in some sports that binds the player to a team for a season beyond the expiration of the contract in the event a new contract has not been made meanwhile or the player has not been sent to another team.

1940–45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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reserve clause

a clause that used to be part of the contract with a professional athlete extending the contract for a year beyond its expiration; "the reserve clause was used to bind players to a particular ball club" 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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Example sentences
Kuhn--citing baseball's reserve clause, which kept a player bound to his
  original team--refused.
And they introduced the reserve clause to keep player salaries down.
He didn't want to go and eventually sued baseball, challenging its reserve
  clause, which gave owners absolute rights over players.
They couldn't even come together to enforce a reserve clause to keep players
  from team-jumping.
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