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Service Time Newsbeat

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Did Padres stars lobby owner to promote top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr.?

We’ve reached a contentious point in the relationship between Major League Baseball’s players and owners. The tensions have risen so fast and so furiously following consecutive winters of jilted free agents, that many fear a work stoppage is inevitable once the current collective bargaining expires in December 2021, and perhaps even sooner.

But a new report has given us some hope, slight as it might be, that finding common ground is at least possible if the two sides are willing to sit down, talk, and even more importantly, listen.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that’s exactly what happened when San Diego Padres stars Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer recently took owner Ron Fowler out to dinner. The players were there to talk business, the report says. The business of winning. To do that, they felt Fowler had to break away from a common practice used by his fellow owners, so they made a proposal.

Interesting piece, with some points of particular interest given what we’ve seen in the sport in the last few years.

QLE Posted: March 31, 2019 at 04:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: eric hosmer, fernando tatis jr., manny machado, padres, service time

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. to be on Padres opening-day roster, reports say

While many MLB teams shy away from having their top prospects start the season in the majors, the San Diego Padres seem to be going in the opposite direction.

According to several media reports, shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., 20, who has never played a game above the Class AA level, will be on the Padres’ 25-man roster on opening day.

The news comes a day after 23-year-old right-hander Chris Paddack, who also hasn’t played above Class AA, was announced as the starting pitcher for San Diego’s fourth regular-season game on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.

Padres management has clearly gone mad with power! Run, everyone, run!!!!

 

QLE Posted: March 27, 2019 at 01:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fernando tatis jr., opening day, roster battles, service time

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Agent: Nick Senzel’s reassigment ‘egregious case of service time manipulation’

Reds prospect Nick Senzel is ready for the majors. Although he battled injuries, the 23-year-old performed well with Triple-A Louisville last season, batting .310/.378/.509 with 20 extra-base hits, 25 RBI, 23 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 193 plate appearances. Senzel has also performed well this spring, batting .308 across 39 at-bats.

The Reds, however, announced on Friday that Senzel was among a handful of players reassigned to minor league camp. Senzel was drafted as a third baseman, began playing second base last year, and had been playing in center field during spring training. The common thought is that the Reds, who have built a competitive roster, will keep Senzel at Triple-A to begin the season and call him up right after the club secures an extra year of contractual control.

Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Senzel’s agent Joel Wolfe calls Senzel’s reassignment an “egregious case of service time manipulation.”

Another entry to add to the list….

QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: nick senzel, service time

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Joey Bart joining Giants in 2019 halted by farm director Kyle Haines

Giants top prospect Joey Bart looks like a franchise cornerstone, and he’s proving it in his first big league camp with the Giants.

The No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft is batting .368 with a home run, two doubles and seven RBI in 14 games. He’s been so impressive, teammates awarded him the Barney Nugent Award, which is given annually to the player who performs best in his first big league camp.

One anonymous scout is so high on Bart he believes the catcher can join the Giants by midseason. But, Giants farm director Kyle Haines is here to halt the hype.

“A lot of people want to see him in San Francisco sooner rather than later, but we want to make sure we put him in a position to best grow in the minors,” Haines said to MLB.com.

On the one hand, the manipulation of service time drives one nuts- on the other hand, it seems unfortunate that his natural position is seemingly the only one which the Giants already have a first-rate player (at least we hope) in place….

 

QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, joey bart, service time

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Alonso’s status an issue for union watching service time

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Pete Alonso is hitting .406 at spring training and leads the Mets with three home runs. Yet, if New York keeps him in the minor leagues for the first 15 days of the season, his eligibility for free agency would be pushed back a year until after the 2025 season.

“Seeing what players are going through where their service time is being manipulated, on the front end and/or in the middle, is a concern, has been a concern and will continue to be a concern,” union head Tony Clark said after meeting with the Mets.

Alonso nearly homered again Wednesday, but wind knocked down his fourth-inning drive off Houston’s Gerrit Cole. Alonso had 36 homers and 119 RBIs at Double-A and Triple-A last season.

Another to add to the list…

QLE Posted: March 14, 2019 at 06:08 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, pete alonso, service time

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Stay down or come up: Vlad Jr. not sweating service-time drama

DUNEDIN, Fla. — The second hop is the unpredictable one, the devilish one that demands whole commitment before plotting its escape.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on Friday morning shook his glove at the beast. He jabbed at it, sassed it, made amends, caressed it, cradled it, glared at it and then into the sky.

Nearing noon, his shadow beginning to pool beneath him, he stood at third base and introduced himself again and again to the second hop, the darting, top-spinning, infield lip-seeking evil that, for all we know, brought the protective cup to the masses.

The fungoes drew him to his backhand side, to the bag, and he hung back or he charged, and the second hops stayed down or came up depending on their mood, and young Vladdy asked his eyes and feet and glove (and cup) to be sure.

A consideration of a player waiting for his time to come.

 

QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

Friday, March 01, 2019

MLBPA keeping an eye on Blue Jays possibly manipulating Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.’s service time

On Tuesday, Blue Jays GM said on MLB Network Radio about super-prospect and third baseman Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., “I just don’t see him as a major league player.” It was seen as a precursor for Guerrero — son of the Hall of Famer who played for the Expos — to begin the season in the minors for the first two weeks or so of the regular season, a common theme with baseball’s top prospects. MLB Pipeline deems Guerrero the No. 1 prospect in baseball ahead of Fernando Tatis, Jr. and Eloy Jiménez.

The way service time works, teams are incentivized to hold their best players in the minor leagues for the first 10 games or so. In doing so, the player is unable to accrue a full year of service time, which means the team gets to control that player for an extra year, delaying his eligbility for free agency. Typically, a player’s first three years in the majors are known as “pre-arbitration years,” which results in being paid the league minimum or slightly above. Then a player has three years of arbitration eligibility which typically sees the player make a significant jump in salary. After six years, a player finally becomes eligible for free agency.

Technically speaking, teams are not allowed to fudge with their players’ service time, as they would be acting in bad faith. However, intent is notoriously difficult to prove, so teams skirt around the issue by making up nebulous reasoning to keep a star prospect in the minors. Usually, the representative says the player needs to work on his defense. That’s what the Cubs said about Kris Bryant in 2015 when they had him start the year at Triple-A despite torching minor league pitching in 2014 and follow up with an even more bonkers spring training showing. Bryant said he saw three ground balls in games before he was called up to the majors after the cut-off that granted the Cubs another year of control over him.

True, but tempting to view in the manner of Boss Tweed via Thomas Nast:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4w_eFtk3KJU/TtWePACuQPI/AAAAAAAAAwg/zejWLTrhyBM/s1600/Tweed+++Nast++Under+The+Thumb+-+twas+him+-+smaller.jpg

http://gallery.oldprintshop.com/public/uploads/jpg/92289.jpg

 

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mlbpa, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Kris Bryant: MLB’s service time manipulation is ‘awful’

Despite all signs pointing towards the contrary, two of baseball’s top prospects — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays) and Eloy Jiménez (White Sox) — are not expected to make their team’s Opening Day rosters. The reasoning behind the move? Service time manipulation.

Players receive MLB service time for every day they spend on a team’s active roster and/or injured list. One year of service time equates to 172 days spent on an active roster/injured list; for reference, MLB’s regular season is 187 days long. After six years of MLB service time, a player is eligible for free agency.

Essentially, the Blue Jays and White Sox will gain another year of control over Guerrero Jr. and Jimenez by keeping them in the minor leagues to start the 2019 season. Kris Bryant, of course, is no stranger to this.

A few words on service-time games, from one who has experienced them directly.

 

QLE Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:41 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: corruption, eloy jimenez, kris bryant, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

 

 

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