Shortstop Troy Tulowitski was recently "DFA"ed (Designated For Assignment) by the Toronto Blue Jays. He signed with the New York Yankees for the league minimum, $555,000 and the Blue Jays still have to pay the difference between this figure and his contract salary of $20 million, or $19.445 million.
Suppose he had received, and rejected an offer from another team for $1 million. Would the Blue Jays still have to pay the whole difference of $19.445 million, or only $19 million ($20 million minus the $1 million higher offer)?
If the former, are there any other disincentives against someone rejecting a higher offer in favor of playing for a preferred team? (In a normal contract situation, a player needs to weigh the two considerations against each other, because no third party is "topping up" his salary.)