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Service Time Newsbeat

Friday, March 27, 2020

MLB, players agree to $170M deal on early season pay, cut down draft

Major League Baseball and the players association have reached a tentative agreement regarding several issues surrounding a potentially shortened or canceled season, sources confirm to Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported the deal Thursday night.

MLB owners have agreed to advance players portions of salaries to be spread out over April and May. If there is no season, that money will be kept by the players. Each of the 30 teams will contribute just short of $95,000 per day to eligible players for 60 days or until start of 2020 season, not to exceed $170 million. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal adds that salaries will be pro-rated based on length of season, and players have agreed not to sue for full salaries.

As previously reported, the players would accrue a full year of service time if they are active for the shortened season. If the season is canceled, players would gain the same amount of service time they accrued in 2019, which is important because it means players like Mookie Betts or Trevor Bauer would become free agents as scheduled.

 

QLE Posted: March 27, 2020 at 12:49 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, free agency, labor issues, negotiations, salaries, service time, shortened season

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

MLB’s Sticky Service Time Situation

While the long-term financial implications of a pandemic for baseball players and owners might not be top of mind for many of us right now, discussions between players and owners on the myriad issues resulting from the season’s delay are taking place right now, and those discussions will have considerable effects on the sport’s future. Last week, among reports of the league potentially skipping June’s amateur draft, service time emerged as the most significant potential baseball issue resulting from COVID-19, particularly if the 2020 season is lost.

The problem is not a simple one, as players generally receive service time for being on a major league roster, with the resulting time accrued inching players closer to larger salaries in the form of arbitration and, eventually, free agency. If a partial season is played, some sort of service time pro-ration based on the actual number of days in a season seems likely. If the season goes 100 days instead of 186, starting every player who sees major league time with 86 days is another potential compromise. Likewise, salaries don’t seem to be a big issue, per Jon Heyman, with pro-ration also likely in that case. But what might happen should no season take place is more difficult to say.

Joel Sherman reported the MLBPA has proposed a full year of service time if players had a certain amount of service time accrued in 2019, with Ken Rosenthal reporting the time period was 60 days, essentially pushing forward service time for players who were on rosters for a significant portion of last season. MLB, for obvious reasons, does not want to provide such credit. Unfortunately, the framing of this issue has been somewhat problematic. In his tweets, Sherman said the following:

“Pretty much certain MLB would not give full service without games played/revenue taken in. Remember service time is an MLB lifeblood impacting arbitration, free agency, pension.

 

QLE Posted: March 25, 2020 at 01:05 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: service time

Thursday, March 19, 2020

AP sources: MLB could skip draft; service time big issue

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is considering skipping its amateur draft this year and putting off the next international signing period as a way to preserve cash while games are affected by the new coronavirus, people familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press.

Talks between management and the players’ association are ongoing and include the contentious issue of major league service time, which determines eligibility for free agency and salary arbitration. MLB has proposed crediting full service for 130 games or more and proportional service for a shorter season, the people said on condition of anonymity because those details have not been made public.

The union has taken the position that a full season of service should be credited even if no games are played, one of the people said.

Scheduling has been left open since there is no way to determine when the season could start.

So, what broader long-term consequences do we see as potentially coming from these actions?

 

QLE Posted: March 19, 2020 at 12:46 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft, coronavirus, service time

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Kris Bryant’s 2015 service time grievance to be heard this week

It seems like eons ago that Kris Bryant was a rookie. It was eons plus about two and a half weeks ago, however, when he began the 2015 season in Triple-A despite the fact that there was every single reason to believe that he was major league ready to start the season and no reason to believe that he needed more time in the minors.

The Cubs placed him in the minors for 19 days to start that season because if they had left him down there 18 days or fewer he would’ve become eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. If his service time clock had begun on April 16, 2015, he’d be entering his walk year next spring. Since his service time clock began on April 17, he will not become a free agent until the 2021-22 offseason.

At the time the Cubs, laughably, claimed that Bryant needed more work on his defense and, instead, began the 2015 campaign with the immortal Mike Olt as their starting third baseman. Everyone knew the defense excuse was not true. But hey, major league clubs have complete and total power over such things and only offer up thin lies like that because they feel like “no comments” are rude or something. Besides, they’ve gotten away with service time manipulation for years, so why wouldn’t they get away with this example, even if it was particularly obvious and egregious.

After the 2015 season Bryant filed a grievance, claiming that the Cubs acted in bad faith in keeping him in the minors. We heard nothing about it after that and I just sort of assumed that it had failed or been withdrawn or something.

Any chance that this will be decided by Feats of Strength?

 

QLE Posted: October 24, 2019 at 12:38 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, grievances, kris bryant, service time

 

 

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