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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Daniels bristles at notion of guile involving Calhoun

For those wanting to get under Jon Daniels’ skin, here’s a tip:

Accuse him of trying to manipulate a player’s service clock.

Thursday marks the day the Texas Rangers could recall outfielder Willie Calhoun without losing a year of contractual control on the centerpiece of the Yu Darvish trade. That, however, is not the reason the Rangers have kept Calhoun at Triple A Round Rock.

“He’s still working on his defense,” Daniels said.

Aha. Hahahahaha, and after we come up for breath, hahahahaha.  Meanwhile, a slew of injuries has led to lots of other guys spinning through the revolving door of the Rangers’ big-league clubhouse, while their top prospect hones his glove skills in AAA.  One expects that Calhoun’s defensive apprenticeship will be complete in another few days :)

BDC Posted: May 02, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers, service time, willie calhoun

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   1. Batman Posted: May 02, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5664609)
Wait. This isn't about Stormy Daniels.
   2. DCA Posted: May 02, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5664618)
To be fair, everything I've read about him is consistent with Calhoun needing more work on his defense, or immediate placement at DH.

He's also not making a very good case for promotion with his bat.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: May 02, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5664619)
Calhoun doesn't seem like the type of prospect that you necessarily bother playing service time games with.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 02, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5664639)
To be fair, everything I've read about him is consistent with Calhoun needing more work on his defense, or immediate placement at DH.

He's also not making a very good case for promotion with his bat.


But, they're running Ryan Rua and Drew Robinson out there on a regular basis. Those guys are sub-replacement level.
   5. Captain Supporter Posted: May 02, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5664666)
Teams have every right (actually its a responsibility as well for any well managed team) to make decisions with their long term interests, not just the current season, in mind. If the players resent that, they have a remedy: collective bargaining. The Yankees kept Gleyber Torres in the minors at the start of the season for pretty much the same reason, and I am glad they did.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5664732)
I agree with the Captain here. Every team has to balance the future and the present. Sometimes it's as simple as letting a starter go an extra inning when he doesn't have it to save the bullpen but it's decisions like this that (rightly) get the attention. For a team like Texas that isn't likely to contend this year there is no reason to rush him to the majors. By contrast a contending team should be more worried about the present.
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5664752)
Why would Texas want to rush a kid who is batting .240/.315/.370 in AAA?
I'd understand if he was batting 300 points higher in OPS, but he isn't. When he starts hitting (again) in AAA, then maybe you bring him up.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5664755)
#2 You can't work on what you haven't got.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 02, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5664842)
I agree with the Captain here. Every team has to balance the future and the present. Sometimes it's as simple as letting a starter go an extra inning when he doesn't have it to save the bullpen but it's decisions like this that (rightly) get the attention. For a team like Texas that isn't likely to contend this year there is no reason to rush him to the majors. By contrast a contending team should be more worried about the present.

The problem is that the collectively bargained system was predicated on the good faith assumption that teams would always want the best players in the majors. That teams would always be trying to win as many games as they could with the talent at hand. It didn't contemplate the advent of tanking, and a more "value based" approach to roster management. Therefore, I still think it's scummy for teams to abuse it.

It needs to be fixed in the CBA. Arb and FA based on age. Arb eligible at the earlier of 2.5 MLB seasons complete or age 26. FA eligible at the earlier of 5.5 seasons or 28.
   10. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 02, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5664847)
Teams have every right (actually its a responsibility as well for any well managed team) to make decisions with their long term interests, not just the current season, in mind. If the players resent that, they have a remedy: collective bargaining. The Yankees kept Gleyber Torres in the minors at the start of the season for pretty much the same reason, and I am glad they did.

IANAL, but I think there's some disagreement on whether a team behaving this way is acting in the "spirit of the agreement" with respect to the CBA, which is why teams still pretend to make these decisions for baseball reasons rather than financial reasons. I don't think it's really been tested in an arbitration hearing, because there's never been a case where there was smoking gun evidence that a team was playing service time games with a prospect, and teams can always fall back on some baseball-related pretense for the decision. But I don't think it's right to say that teams have a right or responsibility to play these games -- in fact, one could argue that they have a responsibility under the CBA to act in good faith and promote players solely for baseball reasons and not for financial reasons.

You're right, however, that if this was really that important to the players' union, they would negotiate something more explicit into the CBA with respect to this point.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: May 02, 2018 at 08:23 PM (#5664900)
I won't be surprised if the next CBA contains a mystery payment to players covering some (egregious) service time games and some of this offseason's FA shortfall. (I won't be surprised if there's not so I'm un-surprised either way).

The main guy to challenge this would have been Longoria but I guess he decided he preferred millions of guaranteed dollars. So the next guy to challenge probably should have been Springer, at least if it's true the Astros basically gave him a sign or we'll delay you ultimatum ... which makes me suspect it was never put anywhere remotely close to that bluntly. Then there's Bryant who, as far as I know, never pressed his claim but then also didn't seem to have any trouble getting the Cubs to agree to pay him $11 M in his first year of super-2 arb.**

** Just $900 k less than Arenado in his 2nd super-2 year in 2017; $650 K less than Machado in his 2nd full arb year in 2017; <$3 M less than Harper's negotiated 3rd super-2 year in 2017; $4.8 M more than Trout's negotiated 1st super-2 in 2015, Bryant is likely to at least match Trout's 2nd super-2 salary next year.

I see the Astros rocked up pretty well for Springer too. He got only $4 M in his first super-2 but signed away years 2 and 3 for $24 M guaranteed ($12 each) ... maybe he'd have gotten that in arb, looks a bit high.
   12. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 02, 2018 at 11:46 PM (#5664993)
The problem is that the collectively bargained system was predicated on the good faith assumption that teams would always want the best players in the majors.


You just made that up out of thin air. Both sides are going to use the CBA to their advantage. Some players have their service time manipulated. So what. That is part of the market.

Some top prospects spend an extra month or two in the minors. "Abuse" would be if prospects languished in the minors for years. That just doesn't happen.

Everyone says Calhoun doesn't have a position, so he should be the last guy to complain about when they have him at AAA OPSing 700 and working on his defense.

   13. Walt Davis Posted: May 03, 2018 at 12:38 AM (#5664999)
Good faith law: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_faith_(law)

Also the fact that teams never, ever explicitly say they are keeping a player down for financial reasons. They are always keeping the player down for "baseball reasons."

I will grant that there is room in there for teams not always putting their genuinely best team on the field -- e.g. maybe that 20-year-old at AA is the best SS in the organization this very moment (which might not be very good) but the "spirit" of the CBA still allows them to keep him in the minors if they believe that will help to turn him into a better ML player at some later point. It's of course absurd when that later point is one week or otherwise just happens to coincide with a service time deadline.

And of course whether service time games constitute a sufficient violation of good faith would be a matter for an arbitrator then the courts. But there's no doubt that acting in good faith so as " to not destroy the right of the other party or parties to receive the benefits of the contract" exists in US contract law. There is little doubt that teams expressly avoid providing open evidence that they are not acting in good faith.

As to the union addressing this in the next CBA if it's important to them -- that's far from easy. Sure, they can negotiate to move the threshold to, say, 150 days but that won't keep teams from playing service time games. I offered the idea of basing service time based on 40-man roster time but that's still just an aggressive moving forward of a threshold -- it does at least mean they accrue time from at least their first game in the majors. A mix of years in org, age and the current system is probably the only way to defeat it.

Something like 9 years in the org OR end of age 28 season OR 6 years in the majors, whichever comes first ... with appropriate language to avoid players becoming FAs mid-season and possibly something for 16-year-old signees.

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