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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

10 Degrees: MLB’s absurd rules that keep prospects like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. out of the majors

And just last week someone was arguing with me that there’s no game theory in baseball!

What’s most frustrating about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Eloy Jiménez not gracing stadiums, nightly broadcasts, highlight shows, sizzle reels, memes and every other square inch of baseball-related programming this September is the reason for their absence from the major leagues. It is the purest and most repugnant distillation of capitalism in baseball, and it feels silly to even type something this illogical: Guerrero and Jiménez have been so good, it pays to deny them the promotion they’ve earned.

Think about that. About doing great work – beyond-great work – and being penalized for it. It’s infuriating. It’s unfair. And it happens again and again and again in baseball, a sport that every year jerks around so many of its finest young talents for one reason only: control. Even though Guerrero is unquestionably one of the best players in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization and Jiménez the same for the Chicago White Sox, the teams still needed to ask themselves a question: Is one month of them now worth one year of them in their primes?

Because that’s the calculus. And of course the answer was no. However liberating it may feel to flay the Blue Jays and White Sox for filching Guerrero and Jiménez’s well-earned spot on a major league roster, the manipulation of elite talents’ service time is clearly the right strategy for all teams, particularly rebuilding ones like the Blue Jays and White Sox. Admitting that is not siding with the teams; it’s a call for them to work with the MLB Players Association and figure out how not to punish teams for promoting good players.

QLE Posted: September 05, 2018 at 08:26 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: control issues, eloy jimenez, greed, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

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   1. Michael Paulionis Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:59 PM (#5739492)
7. Blake Snell and the Tampa Bay Rays. The 25-year-old left-hander, who arrived in the major leagues two years ago and was perfectly average last season, is the heir to Chris Archer, who was the heir to David Price, who was the heir to James Shields, who was the original Rays starter worth a damn.


I usually don't try to critique Passan as he normally is relatively thorough, but I do need to call out his failure to admit Scott Kazmir was "a Rays starter worth a damn". Kazmir was a 2-time All-Star starting pitcher for the Rays. Jesus, before turning 25, Kazmir had accumulated 17.4 WAR. That's a HOF-level start of a career. Meanwhile, Archer has accumulated a mere 12.3 WAR during seasons that are more typical of peak performance (24-29). Putting Shields on a pedestal is misleading as well considering he was essentially past his prime as a starter by the end of his contract signed with the Rays (age 24-32).

That said, Snell looks legit. I'd argue he's the best of a bunch that has also included a few other guys with quite a bit of hype: Matt Garza, Jeremy Helickson, and Matt Moore.
   2. Hank Gillette Posted: September 06, 2018 at 01:58 AM (#5739524)
Admitting that is not siding with the teams; it’s a call for them to work with the MLB Players Association and figure out how not to punish teams for promoting good players.


So the solution is to allow the teams to bring up the players and still screw them?

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