In baseball, teams spend a great deal of money on starting pitching. Many teams can’t afford to risk another multi-million dollar contract on someone who may not perform. However, teams need to often have a 6th, 7th, or 8th starter in their minor leagues who is ready to come up in the event of an injury.
With the Yankees, Kevin Millwood was one of the players at AAA who the Yankees signed to a minor league deal with the option to be released from his commitment in the event he was not called up by May 1st. With this setup, both the Yankees and Millwood had options on May 1st. If Millwood performed well, he would be brought up to the Yankees, and if he didn’t perform well, he could be let go and the Yankees free of commitment (unless he decided to stay after May 1st).
Millwood did not perform well, and decided to take his release and try to find work elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if another team gives him a chance, given that the Yankees were willing to let him continue to work with their minor league team.
Use this strategy similarly in your workplace; don’t overcommit to someone too early, as it may prevent you from a commitment to someone who is a wrong fit. From the employee perspective, it is smart to try to find opportunities to prove yourself, as you are willing to take a risk that you aren’t a right fit. However, by giving a company a chance to see what you are about through an unpaid internship, part-time work, or other non full-time options, you demonstrate whether or not you can handle or deserve a full-time opportunity. Make the most of it!