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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

With Manny Machado’s deal, reports of baseball’s demise might have been exaggerated - The Washington Post

So the owners aren’t trying to win if they don’t put all new money into player salaries. Shouldn’t players who want to win be willing to accept less than full market value so their teams can afford more good players?

Of course not.

“Every time you look around, more money is pouring into the game from some new source,” Zimmerman said last week. “And a lot of owners seem to be keeping it, putting it in their pockets and not trying to win. We players all try to win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 07:46 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agency

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   1. Mefisto Posted: February 19, 2019 at 08:10 PM (#5816667)
The situation with players and owners is asymmetrical. If a player takes a salary reduction, he has no way to know that the owner will actually spend the "surplus" on improving the team. An owner, in contrast, has full control over which players (and managers and GMs, etc.) to sign and how much he'll pay them. He doesn't need to trust any individual player.
   2. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 19, 2019 at 09:10 PM (#5816676)
Interestingly, players in the NBA take less money to play on playoff teams all the time, e.g. the Warriors got DeMarcus Cousins dirt cheap this year. That doesn't happen much in baseball for whatever reason.
   3. Bhaakon Posted: February 19, 2019 at 09:47 PM (#5816686)
It's also asymmetrical in that the financial benefits of winning are reaped almost entirely by the teams, not the players. In the NBA star players have personal brands and endorsements that can rake in nearly as much as their playing contracts (or much more, in a few cases). There's potential there to personally monetize winning and offset lost wages. I'm having trouble finding secure numbers on MLB player endorsements, but everything I see suggests that they're a fraction of their salary at best for post-FA players, and not a large fraction.

It probably doesn't help that fielding most talented team isn't much of a guarantee of anything in the MLB playoffs (relative to the NBA, at least).
   4. Scott Ross Posted: February 20, 2019 at 03:03 AM (#5816715)
Interestingly, players in the NBA take less money to play on playoff teams all the time,

Tom Brady says hi.
   5. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:31 AM (#5816717)
It does help, when you are married to someone, who makes even more money than you do.
   6. . Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:42 AM (#5816719)
Zimmerman said last week. “And a lot of owners seem to be keeping it, putting it in their pockets and not trying to win. We players all try to win.”


That's such a weird and false delusion that has apparently cast its spell upon him. All players do not "try to win," instead virtually all players take the highest offer on the table. As Manny Machado did yesterday. If he was really "trying to win," he never would have signed for the entirety of his prime with as sadsack an organization as the Padres.

Owners actually look to maximize profits far less than players look to maximize wages. Which isn't to say there's anything "wrong" with players trying to maximize wages; just don't try to dress it up as anything else lest you sound ridiculous.
   7. Russ Posted: February 20, 2019 at 09:57 AM (#5816751)
Interestingly, players in the NBA take less money to play on playoff teams all the time, e.g. the Warriors got DeMarcus Cousins dirt cheap this year. That doesn't happen much in baseball for whatever reason.


Individual NBA players have a significantly and meaningfully larger individual impact on their team's chances to make the playoffs. In baseball, even if you go to a team that you think has a good chance of making the playoffs (say the Cubs), you're far from guaranteed that this would be the case. In the NBA, players can be much more certain (probably more than any other sport) about a team's playoff chances.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5816754)
I've been thinking again about the Buster Olney report claiming the White Sox offer was $175/7. While people (including me) maybe pay too much attention to the contracts, if you are a professional writer you should either choose to not write about the contract/business side of the game or, if you do write about it, at least have a basic understanding. It was embarrassing for Olney to put out reports that are obviously farcical to anyone who pays attention to contracts and team-building even a little.
   9. donlock Posted: February 20, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5816774)
$175/7 is a much more reasonable offer than $300/10 and it would make more financial sense. Why would you offer $300 million for 10 years unless someone else was offering $285 million for a like term? Machado's contract is well over anything we have seen in recent years. Don't ask what he deserves or how rich the owners may be; ask who else was going to throw crazy money at the player.

I have not heard any other offers but the White Sox one. I still have not heard who was the runner up for J.D.Martinez last year? Who was the competition? These team bid against phantom offers, duped by super agents.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5816778)
$175/7 is a much more reasonable offer than $300/10 and it would make more financial sense.
Reasonable in what sense? $12m/15 years is even better! Hey, why not the league min for 20 years!

$175/7 was farcical because obviously he wouldn't agree to it (unless structured extremely creatively), and obviously the White Sox knew that he wouldn't agree to it so there's no way that was their offer to him.
I have not heard any other offers but the White Sox one.
You haven't heard the Padres' one?
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5816780)

So the owners aren’t trying to win if they don’t put all new money into player salaries. Shouldn’t players who want to win be willing to accept less than full market value so their teams can afford more good players?


I think #1 nails it. Player salaries are made public, shouldn't owners open their books then?
   12. JJ1986 Posted: February 20, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5816787)
There's no salary cap in baseball and every team makes enough money that they could spend more on player salaries and still profit.

It's also much harder to ring-chase in MLB because it's far less clear at the beginning of the season who the top 2-3 contenders are. David West is the prime example of an NBA player who gave up huge money to play for a contender, but he's a two time champion and his team won 67 games in the other season he played on the cheap.
   13. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: February 20, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5816794)
I think #1 nails it. Player salaries are made public, shouldn't owners open their books then?
Yeah, this. (Will never happen of course, and even if it did good luck getting a true picture from various shell games.)

I don't actually really care how much the teams make...*until* they start crying about salaries. Then I do. If the average fan would still look at it the same armed with that information, so be it. At least the PR playing field would be closer to level.
   14. Rough Carrigan Posted: February 20, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5816799)
There were better people than Jordan Zimmerman, a terrible free agent bust, to make the case that teams should be spending more on free agents.
   15. BrianBrianson Posted: February 20, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5816805)
$175/7 was farcical because obviously he wouldn't agree to it (unless structured extremely creatively), and obviously the White Sox knew that he wouldn't agree to it so there's no way that was their offer to him.


There's no reason to believe either of these things are true.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5816810)
There's no reason to believe either of these things are true.
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/02/padres-agree-to-terms-with-manny-machado.html
   17. Rally Posted: February 20, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5816817)
Tom Brady says hi.


I assume you mean the Expo’s 18th round pick in 1995. Guys who don’t even sign let alone reach the big leagues aren’t relevant to the discussion. Wonder what ever happened to Tom. Maybe he found success in another industry. Maybe he married well.
   18. akrasian Posted: February 20, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5816843)
Tom Brady says hi.

Of course, Brady gets money from TB12 Sports Therapy - specifically from contracts with the Patriots. For some reason that is allowed and doesn't count against the cap.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5816862)
There's no reason to believe either of these things are true.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/02/padres-agree-to-terms-with-manny-machado.html
In addition, the bogus offer amount was strongly denied publicly, while a $250m White Sox offer has all but been confirmed by Kenny Williams.
   20. aberg Posted: February 20, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5816864)
Owners could easily improve their home field advantage if they didn't charge a fee for admission and filled up the stadium with hardcore fans. They're clearly not doing everything they can to win and they're prioritizing profit over competitive advantage.
   21. RoyalFlush Posted: February 20, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5816869)
That's such a weird and false delusion that has apparently cast its spell upon him. All players do not "try to win," instead virtually all players take the highest offer on the table. As Manny Machado did yesterday. If he was really "trying to win," he never would have signed for the entirety of his prime with as sadsack an organization as the Padres.


I took that to mean that all players try to win each game they're playing - not "trying to win" with each contract.

It's a stupid apples/oranges comparison either way, but that's how I read it.
   22. BrianBrianson Posted: February 20, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5816886)
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/02/padres-agree-to-terms-with-manny-machado.html


This may come as a shock to you, but it's not widely believed the White Sox have the ability to successful predict the future.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2019 at 03:17 PM (#5816892)
You didn't need to predict the future to know that it was completely unrealistic to think that Machado would sign for 7/$175m (excluding some strange contract structuring).
   24. Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5816908)
Just to be clear...I wasn't suggesting players should be willing to take less money to win. (That's what the "Of course not" meant.) Instead I'm making fun of the idea that owners need to spend to players' expectations to prove they want to win.

The owners want to win, to differing degrees; the players want to win, to differing degrees. They both are also looking to make money. That's not a bad thing. Without profits for both, the game and riches don't exist. Instead of silly accusations about owners not wanting to win, the players put their efforts into working together toward extracting as much as they can through collective bargaining. For years they were a very effective union. Over the last few CBAs, they lost their way. Instead of being two moves ahead of the owners, they were three moves behind. That's a failure of leadership.
   25. BrianBrianson Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:41 PM (#5816920)
He would have if it was the best offer he received. The media wisdom (and common wisdom) was that he was having a hard time getting an offer he wanted, so it was plausible he wasn't. If it's true - and it was true you had no intention of ever offering him the 10/$300 he wanted, you'd be dumb not to extend him an offer like 7/$175. You'd have nothing to lose, and if he did sign for that and you didn't offer it, you'd realise you're an absolute moron.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5816930)
He would have if it was the best offer he received.
So? If a frog had wings it wouldn't bump it's booty. Machado, his agent, the White Sox, and (almost) everyone else knew that he would receive, or already had received, offers that were much better. Buster Olney should have known too.
   27. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5816934)
You didn't need to predict the future to know that it was completely unrealistic to think that Machado would sign for 7/$175m (excluding some strange contract structuring).


The speculation in Chicago, mostly fueled by Kenny Williams, I believe, is that the White Sox offered Machado 8 years, $250 million with incentives that could push it to $350 million. I'm skeptical of the latter (either whether such incentives were really offered or how reachable they were). But 8/$250 vs. 10/$300 seems like a reasonable pair of offers where it's not obvious which one the player would prefer. It also sounds like the White Sox were still negotiating with Machado as recently as the last couple of days, so their ending at 8/$250 isn't necessarily inconsistent with them starting at 7/$175 (as Brian says, why not; you can always go higher if you need/want to).
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5816939)
Why not? Because it's a pointless waste of time and could even sour negotiations.

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