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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, mlbpa, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

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