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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Heyman | Union Challenge Means Otani Status On Hold

Maybe the Players Union shouldn’t have agreed to the 25 year-old threshold in the first place.

Discouraging him to wait another two years may be good for the Union but it might not be for Otani. He clearly dreams of playing in the MLB. What if he blows out his arm between now and then?

The union actually challenged the future terms covering 2018-2020, but with complaints heard on the player side regarding current rules that calls for Nippon Ham cashing in with a $20 million posting fee windfall while Otani is limited to a signing bonus of somewhere between $300,000 and $3.53 million, management people wonder if the bigger union concern is over that perceived inequity.

“The union is holding up the posting agreement,” one management source said. “The union is making demands.”
...
The union is trying to protect his interests as best it can. But management sources wonder whether the union’s complaints about the future arrangement are a “backdoor” attempt to aid Otani, or even a way to “discourage” Otani from coming over now. Just a two-year wait could boost Otani’s guarantee by as much as 100-fold, which would make a wait until 2020 the likely decision of just about anyone but one of the world’s athletes who aims to prove his two-way mastery at the MLB level.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2017 at 06:24 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: shohei ohtani

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. eddieot Posted: November 16, 2017 at 08:17 AM (#5577091)
If the union didn't challenge this agreement they would be negligent. Good for them. I understand Otani is "not motivated by money" but bending the rules for him is that slippery slope that the union is there to prevent. Shades of A-Rod to Boston. I want to see Otani in MLB as much as anyone but not if he's being exploited to the detriment of those who come after him.
   2. Captain Supporter Posted: November 16, 2017 at 08:48 AM (#5577100)
The rules are not being "bended" here in any way. MLB is simply following the posting system that has been previously agreed to by the parties involved. Otani wants to play here and it would be a shame if two years of a potentially historic career are lost because of union meddling.

If the union is concerned about the players that come after Otani, they have a simple remedy. It's called collective bargaining.

   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 08:57 AM (#5577103)
If the union is concerned about the players that come after Otani, they have a simple remedy. It's called collective bargaining.


That's what they're doing. They're refusing to approve the changes to the posting system that MLB and the Japanese leagues want to make.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 08:58 AM (#5577105)
Discouraging him to wait another two years may be good for the Union but it might not be for Otani. He clearly dreams of playing in the MLB. What if he blows out his arm between now and then?

He'll make as much in Japan as in MLB. He's not being hurt in any material sense.

If he blows out his arm, he'll join the list of 10,000 other guys who've done the same. Not everyone gets to play in MLB.
   5. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5577128)
If he blows out his arm, he'll join the list of 10,000 other guys who've done the same. Not everyone gets to play in MLB.

Wait is this the argument for not coming over now?
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5577129)

If he blows out his arm, he'll join the list of 10,000 other guys who've done the same. Not everyone gets to play in MLB.
Plus, if he blows out his arm, he still might be good enough to have a big league career as a hitter.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:27 AM (#5577131)

Wait is this the argument for not coming over now?
i think the opposite.
   8. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5577143)
Otani wants to play here and it would be a shame if two years of a potentially historic career are lost because MLB and NPB want to auction off his rights for $20 million dollars while he cannot get a contract worth 1/5 of that sum.

   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:46 AM (#5577144)
Wait is this the argument for not coming over now?

It's the argument for why the MLBPA shouldn't give a rat's ass about the risk Ohtani never makes MLB.
   10. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:49 AM (#5577148)
If the union didn't challenge this agreement they would be negligent. Good for them.


Yeah, obviously he guy would make a great Yankee and there isn't a more perfect landing spot for him in baseball, but I'd much rather he get paid appropriately rather than become another victim of the Budshovik Plantation system for artificial suppression of market compensation.
   11. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:54 AM (#5577152)
i think the opposite.

No, snapper has been arguing for weeks he should be waiting.

It's the argument for why the MLBPA shouldn't give a rat's ass about the risk Ohtani never makes MLB.

Ok, fair enough. I didn't read Furtado's comment exactly that way but I can see it.
   12. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5577173)
The rules are not being "bended" here in any way. MLB is simply following the posting system that has been previously agreed to by the parties involved. Otani wants to play here and it would be a shame if two years of a potentially historic career are lost because of union meddling

The previous system gave the Japanese team a posting fee of $20 million and then the player is free to sign for as much as a team is willing to pay. In this case, the Japanese team gets the same $20 million posting fee, but the player is not free to sign a market rate contract. So this is not the same as the previous system.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5577186)
The previous system gave the Japanese team a posting fee of $20 million and then the player is free to sign for as much as a team is willing to pay. In this case, the Japanese team gets the same $20 million posting fee, but the player is not free to sign a market rate contract. So this is not the same as the previous system.

Eaxctly. MLB and NPBL are trying to change the rules, and the MLBPA is saying not so fast.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5577189)
Eaxctly. MLB and NPBL are trying to change the rules, and the MLBPA is saying not so fast.
But weren't the rules changed a few years ago with the international signing bonus limits? NPBL had nothing to do with that, right?
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:49 AM (#5577193)
But weren't the rules changed a few years ago with the international signing bonus limits? NPBL had nothing to do with that, right?

Right. But the NPBL wants to keep getting the $20M flat fee, rather than a % of the bonus. The MLBPA thinks that's unfair; they're right.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5577200)
Well, then it seems like NPBL isn't trying to change the rules. Furthermore, they will presumably not post him if it is changed too much against their favor. I'm not saying it's fair, but from their perspective they have already gone down from $50+ million for their best players to the $20m level.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5577222)
Well, then it seems like NPBL isn't trying to change the rules. Furthermore, they will presumably not post him if it is changed too much against their favor. I'm not saying it's fair, but from their perspective they have already gone down from $50+ million for their best players to the $20m level.

Right, but you can't expect the players to happily go along with the Japanese team getting a huge profit, the MLB team getting a huge bargain, and the players getting peanuts.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5577232)
Right, but you can't expect the players to happily go along with the Japanes team getting a huge profit, the MLB team getting a huge bargain, and the players getting peanuts.
Maybe all 3 parties will agree to a system in which the posting amount limit is higher than $20m, but a percentage goes to the player. That way, they don't have to violate or scrap the new int'l bonus rules. The teams have to pay more, but they're still getting a better bargain than with the Matsuzaka/Tanaka situations.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5577236)
Maybe all 3 parties will agree to a system in which the posting amount limit is higher than $20m, but a percentage goes to the player. That way, they don't have to violate or scrap the new int'l bonus rules. The teams have to pay more, but they're still getting a better bargain than with the Matsuzaka/Tanaka situations.

That would make a ton of sense.
   20. Boxkutter Posted: November 16, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5577375)
So the MLBPA cares about Ohtani, who is not a member of the union, but they don't give a #### about minor leaguers who aren't members of the union?
   21. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 16, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5577392)
Furthermore, they will presumably not post him if it is changed too much against their favor. I'm not saying it's fair, but from their perspective they have already gone down from $50+ million for their best players to the $20m level.

The Japanese owners are in shaky territory. MLB isn't required to go along with a posting system, they're just lucky that MLB's interest in driving down the compensation of the Japanese players is so strong that it can justify enriching the Japanese owners as part of the price.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2017 at 01:22 PM (#5577404)

The Japanese owners are in shaky territory. MLB isn't required to go along with a posting system
True, but the MLB owners are also presumably wary about ending the mutual agreement not to sign each others' players who are under contract.

E.G. If an MLB team signs Ohtani without compensating the Japanese team, that would open up Japanese teams to offering the Judges and Bellingers of America a few million dollars (instead of the $600k they will make next year). Who knows which players would be tempted to cross the ocean, but MLB doesn't want to open up that box.
   23. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 16, 2017 at 03:13 PM (#5577537)
So the MLBPA cares about Ohtani, who is not a member of the union, but they don't give a #### about minor leaguers who aren't members of the union?
To be fair, minor leaguers don't make much money, which means they're not important.
   24. eddieot Posted: November 16, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5577626)
So the MLBPA cares about Ohtani, who is not a member of the union, but they don't give a #### about minor leaguers who aren't members of the union?


It's the Major League Baseball Players Association. Minor league players are free to start the Minor League Baseball Players Association. The MLBPA has a more than compelling interest in making sure players entering the work pool are compensated fairly. Why is that hard to understand?
   25. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: November 16, 2017 at 05:19 PM (#5577645)
Maybe all 3 parties will agree to a system in which the posting amount limit is higher than $20m, but a percentage goes to the player. That way, they don't have to violate or scrap the new int'l bonus rules. The teams have to pay more, but they're still getting a better bargain than with the Matsuzaka/Tanaka situations.

IMO, this is the key point. MLB needs all 3 parties to agree on a system, but for unexplained reasons has twice now negotiated with only one party and come to a deal. They have then had the third party reject their deal. I don’t know why they expect this to be successful.

Before the ink was dry on the CBA it was clear that this posting system wasn’t going to fly so I don’t know why they even bothered.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2017 at 07:57 PM (#5577725)
So the MLBPA cares about Ohtani, who is not a member of the union, but they don't give a #### about minor leaguers who aren't members of the union?

Labor lawyers can correct me but ... the legality of the US draft (and international restrictions, etc.) is based on the ruling that a union does have the right to collectively bargain over entry into the profession (the Clarett decision). Whether those entrants ever achieve the status of "major league player" is beside the point. Thus the draft is part of the CBA which also allows for the system of FA compensation. It seems to me that the posting system is just another method of entering the profession "major league baseball player" and therefore the Union has the right/duty to negotiate that channel of entry. Of course their true motivation might be to help Otani make more money even though he's not a union member yet but obviously will be very soon but protecting him is not the basis of their right to negotiate.

And yes, MLB is "bending the rules." The old agreement on NPB-MLB transfers had expired. The two leagues hastily negotiated a "tentative" 1-year agreement without union input. "The old agreement expired so let's slap something together that basically applies to just this one guy" is certainly bending the rules if not outright breaking them.

And remember, under the path he's (rather foolishly) chosen, Otani gets his signing bonus but then makes minimum for three years (or 3 years, 171 service days if he's Bryanted) then enters the arb system and won't make what he's worth until 2024. If he waits in Japan for two years, he starts making what he's worth in 2020. Of course that's under the agreement that expired, who knows what rules we'll end up with now.

   27. Bug Selig Posted: November 16, 2017 at 08:34 PM (#5577744)
This would be less of a problem if the Braves didn't have him tied up in John Hart's basement already.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 21, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5579860)
MLB & MLBPA agree on new posting system. Seems like the old system will remain in place for the posting fees, but bonuses will be subject to pool limits. Doesn't seem like the union got anything here. Ohtani will lose some money, but gets to play for the team of his choice [and mine!] next season.

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