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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Under fire, baseball union may add legal firepower | NBC Sports Boston

This. The MLBPA has sold out younger players (including amateur, minor leaguers, and 1-3 year players) and made them even cheaper and more valuable. The middle class is now paying the price for their greedy, short-sighted, and simplistic thinking.

So the union surrendered the extra year. And then . . .

“Starting in the 1986 offseason, I started getting calls from all of these mid-level free agents,” said Orza. “[Guys] who aren’t getting offers, who aren’t getting jobs. Who eventually left the game. And they couldn’t understand why.

“And I had to explain to them: That what we had done in ’85 is, we made people who had two to three years of service much more valuable to the clubs. Because they could get the same [type of] player, but much cheaper now, ‘cause the [two- to three-year guys] didn’t have any [arbitration] rights.

“The number of players from zero years of service to three years of service in 1987 was 28.4 percent higher than the numbers of players in that same category in 1985. Where did those additional players come from? The guys whose jobs they were taking were the very guys who didn’t see how [the] fate of the salary-arbitration eligibles [affected] them.”

Orza sees a similarity today.

“What’s happening now is the Players Association has made young players, very young players, extremely attractive to clubs.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:54 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agency, mlbpa

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Baseball’s Economics Aren’t As Skewed As They Seem - The Ringer

Don’t have time to read right now but it looks interesting.

What Explains Labor’s Declining Share of Revenue in Major League Baseball? by J.C. Bradbury.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 03:21 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, economics

Friday, February 16, 2018

Rob Manfred Might Have Just Made a Mistake | FanGraphs Baseball

Pfft.

And can we stop with the talk about disbanding the MLBPA. Do you know who would get hurt by such an irresponsible action? EVERYBODY!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2018 at 04:39 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Heyman | Bombshell Lawsuit Filed Against Levinson Brothers

The lawsuit, which claims ACES has been providing MLB players with PEDs for decades, purports to have a signed affidavit from Kirk Radomski, who pleaded guilty to two such charges and was a major player in MLB’s Mitchell Report on PED usage a decade ago, and also goes into minute detail about the Levinsons’ alleged involvement with convicted drug dealer Anthony Bosch of Biogenesis, and how Sam Levinson introduced Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and other MLB players to Bosch and was aware that Bosch’s regimen for the players contained HGH, testosterone and performance-enhancing “gummies.”

The lawsuit, which also claims the Levinsons make “under-the-table” payments to clients, says the Levinsons’ mantra was to do “whatever it took,” even if it meant doing things in violation of the laws of the United States and the rules of MLB and the players union and that Nunez was “thrown under the bus to protect their own reputations” and made to take the fall for the harebrained schemes to try to fool MLB regarding Cabrera’s failed test. Those schemes, memorably, included, devising a phony Website, which Nunez said was the idea of Seth Levinson, designed to fake out MLB into thinking Cabrera mistakenly took a PED after reading about it online rather than obtaining it from convicted drug dealer Anthony Bosch via Sam Levinson’s introduction.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2018 at 08:50 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, international free agents

The Opening Bell | FanGraphs Baseball

I want them contending as often as possible. To that end I want to see them make smart decisions. Going “for broke” every year is not a sustainable model.

You may be reading this and thinking, “Well, yes. But so what?” (You might also think I’m an idiot, but I hope not.) The “so what” is this: I’ve spent too much of the last three years valorizing losing in order to win and praising teams for making marginal improvements when wholesale advances were appropriate. Some of it has been good writing, but too much of it has been far too incautious.

As I start this new chapter at FanGraphs, I’d like to change that — to reexamine the way I write about teams and what they do, and the frames I use to judge them. I’m honored and delighted to join this wonderful community of writers and readers (I was one of you for a very long time), and I am confident that spending time with you will make me a better thinker and analyst. Perhaps it’ll even provide some moments of interest for you, too…

For now, here we are, just a few short weeks away from beginning again. Life is too often lived balanced on the edge of a knife, in moments far too precarious to allow us the time to gather our footing and swing for the fences. But baseball doesn’t have to be played that way. Enough. The opening bell is about to ring. Wouldn’t you rather all 30 teams be out there going for broke?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2018 at 08:39 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agency

Monday, February 12, 2018

Rosenthal: Ideas on improving baseball’s competitiveness (draft lottery? tank tax?); potential pace-of-play compromise – The Athletic

This is an overreaction. If the players want to reopen the agreement they’d better be prepared to extend the agreement a few years past the current one. They’d also better be prepared to make big concessions in other areas. The owners have an agreement they like, to think they will make big concessions for the “good of the game” is unrealistic.

Going forward there are different ways the players can push for a bigger piece of the pie. One idea that I don’t like is minimum payrolls. Such a system will lead to bad contracts that won’t help anyone. Instead, though, why not set a minimum teams need to spend but allows teams to make up any shortfall by putting more money into the pension fund? This way they aren’t forced to spend money just to spend it. A bigger pension fund will also have an impact on a larger portion of their membership, which is really something a real union should care about.

At the same time, increase the minimum contract to $1 million. Originally I thought the minimum should increase with service time. Unfortunately such a system will just push fringy guys out of the game.

Here’s a plan to improve competitive balance, create greater incentives for winning and calm the rhetoric between Major League Baseball and those on the players’ side:

Re-open the collective bargaining agreement. Restructure the amateur draft. And maybe adjust the international signing bonus pools, too.

The idea would address what union chief Tony Clark called a “race to the bottom”—the seeming desire of some clubs to gain advantages in the domestic and international markets by losing at the major league level.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:30 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Inside Baseball | No End In Sight To Baseball’s Messy Winter

$500 million is a complete fantasy.

Speculation is, maybe MLB doesn’t want talk of a $500 million contract, which first appeared on FanRag about Bryce Harper, who along with Manny Machado heads next year’s once-in-a-generation free-agent class (for now). Maybe they want Giancarlo Stanton to remain the record-holder, the agents suggest.

Edit: Didn’t Frazier say he wanted to stay in New York? If that was truly his preference, this would explain why the Mets got a hometown discount.

Many GMs would also tell you how smart they have become about analytics, some even aloud. But how does analytics explain a very good starting third baseman like Todd Frazier getting $17 million over two years when Frazier has been a pretty consistent three-win player in terms of WAR, which would generally suggest he is much more valuable than that, and middle relievers with not a fraction of his impact make as much or more? Is that because they are all so smart?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 09:56 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agency

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Heyman | Boras Sees Too Much Of Past In Current State Of MLB

This is just bluster. First, the offers have been in the press. Second, as MLB gets complaints by the Players’ Association it needs the ability to verify whether the claims are true or not. Third, just like MLBPA and the agents have the right to take their case to the public, so does MLB.

Boras stopped short of using the word “collusion,” but took issue with MLB revealing in its statement of response that “some” nine-figure ($100+ million) offers have been turned down. The 1987 case won by the players regarding collusion resulted in a $280 million settlement paid after it was found owners were colluding.
...
Boras said the issue isn’t the existence of offers or non-offers but MLB reporting the offers as fact when they shouldn’t even know about them.  The league office doesn’t have the right to know of the offers, Boras said.

“I am also curious how a public statement communicated to all teams about offers on the table and players demanding too much money, from a central office that oversees, coordinates with and represents the 30 teams, is any different than the infamous ‘information bank’ in the 1980s,” Boras said.

Dan Halem, MLB’s lead negotiator and a deputy commissioner, pointedly responded to Boras’ remark, telling FanRag through a spokesman, “If Mr. Boras spent as much time working on getting his players signed as he does issuing inflammatory and unsubstantiated statements to the press, perhaps the events of this off-season would be different.”

Boras, responding to that, but ignoring the personal observation, noted, “So he did not deny the point.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:13 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, collusion, free agents

Monday, February 05, 2018

Olney: Is the union ready for a spring training showdown? - Buster Olney Blog- ESPN

Nice write-up by Buster Olney.

No. 5: Is the union leadership better positioned for the next round of labor-related negotiations?

It’s imperative that this be addressed immediately. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that Manfred—whose baseball legacy is built on his ability to forge more than two decades of labor peace, mostly in concert with the late union chief Michael Weiner—called Clark this week and said he would be willing to renegotiate parts of the CBA, in return for an extension.

Would the players’ association have the legal team and strategy in place right now to best represent the players? Do the players want the same group of negotiators who seemingly got pounded in the last round of talks to bargain for them again? Is more legal firepower needed? Is more time needed?

If you bang the drums of labor war, you have to be prepared for the other side’s appeal for peace. Does Clark and his team know exactly how they would respond? What would the priorities be?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2018 at 08:08 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Sunday, February 04, 2018

The MLBPA’s Indifference Toward International Amateurs is Coming Back to Bite It | The Hardball Times

It’s not just the international signing limits and cap numbers in the last CBA. The amateur slotting system made building through the draft even cheaper. The decision not to push for higher minimum MLB contracts and the continued refusal to push for higher minor league compensation helps make “going young” an even more attractive proposition for teams.

Baseball is no different. International amateurs are not part of the MLBPA — it’s not obligated to advocate for their interests. Indeed, the Players’ Association has repeatedly compromised the negotiating position of minor leaguers and amateurs in exchange for short-term gains for veterans. But what this offseason shows is that the interests of the different groups of major league baseball laborers cannot be so neatly divided from one another. If the MLBPA wants this offseason to be an outlier and not the new norm, it has to broaden its focus, and start protecting the rights of international amateurs, domestic amateurs, and minor leaguers too. Undoing the recent changes to the international market would be a good start.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2018 at 11:23 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agency

Friday, February 02, 2018

Baseball payrolls could drop for first time in nearly a decade

It would mark the first drop in payroll at the beginning of a season since 2009, when salaries dipped 1.3 percent. Since then, they’ve risen on average 5.5 percent a year, exceeding the $4 billion mark on opening day last year. Currently, teams have committed around $3.78 billion – a 7 percent decline from last season. And while the eventual signings of top free agents Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer and Jake Arrieta will help bring that number closer to the $4 billion mark, the prospect of wage stagnation is another trend that troubles players as they consider how to voice their displeasure.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2018 at 09:18 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agents

MLB agent’s threatening tweet won’t alter the free agent market | SI.com

Not unexpectedly, a good take by Tom Verducci.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2018 at 08:48 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agents

Ken Rosenthal - Ken Levinson’s statement

Agents banging the drums.

Statement from player agent Seth Levinson on current labor situation:

“There is a bond that exists between Clubs and its fan base. The integrity of that time-honored relationship is predicated upon the good faith effort of the Club to compete to the best of its ability. The CBA which defines the relationship between Clubs and Players is a good faith effort to create and assure that there is a competitive balance among all Clubs so that the greater good and best interests of the game are served.

“There may be legitimate reasons for the problems that players have encountered in this market. That said, there is no Industry in this country where competing businesses act in virtually an identical manner. It is disconcerting, and disheartening for Clubs that are awash in revenue and or are fully capable of improving its product to choose to do otherwise. Jerry DiPoto so eloquently made the point that there may be more Clubs competing for the 1st pick in the June Amateur Draft than for the World Series.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2018 at 04:40 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, collusion

Agent Brodie Van Wagenen Speaks Out On Stagnant Free-Agent Market - MLB Trade Rumors

Reportedly Hosmer has a seven-year $120+ million offer on the table, J.D. Martinez a five-year $125 million offer. The CBA doesn’t require teams to pay players what the players “think* they are worth.

On the pitchers side, starters are throwing less innings than ever. We’ve already witnessed an increased market for relievers this off-season. It stands to reason the starter market would be shrinking to balance out pitcher payrolls.

A lot of players aren’t signing because they don’t believe the offers are high enough. That’s their choice. Suggesting collusion is the reason the current offers don’t meet the players’ and agents’ expectations sounds more like an agent making an excuse for misjudging the market than anything factual.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2018 at 03:24 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: agents, cba, free agents

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Brandon Moss Weighs In On Offseason Pace, CBA - MLB Trade Rumors

Moss with some truth telling.

Moss said that the players have no one but themselves to blame.

“Everything that happens in the game of baseball, as far as how things are done financially, is bargained into a collective bargaining agreement,” says Moss. “The way free agency runs, the way draft money is allotted, the way international signing bonus is allotted. Everything is bargained.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2018 at 09:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agents

Saturday, January 27, 2018

MLB players, teams face FA standoff despite Cain deal

Wishful thinking for the players.

All of it is part of a bigger battle to come, one that is going to define the short remainder of this offseason, hang over the 2018 season and come to a head next November. The animus is strong, the players fixing for a fight, ownership inviting one. It’s real enough that one executive this week wondered if the sides might consider opening up the collective-bargaining agreement in the near term and giving the union financial concessions in exchange for labor peace beyond the pact’s current Dec. 1, 2021 expiration date.

It’s an idea certainly, and even if it’s unlikely, it shows the danger of where the sides are today. Just because Lorenzo Cain cashed in doesn’t change baseball’s fundamental problems. The staring contest endures, for the foreseeable future and beyond, and nobody’s eyes seem to be getting tired.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 05:28 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, mlbpa

 

 

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