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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: amateur draft, coronavirus, service time

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 19, 2020 at 02:22 AM (#5931877)
When does the CBA expire?
   2. Hank Gillette Posted: March 19, 2020 at 02:44 AM (#5931878)
Mookie doesn’t become a free agent in 2021?
   3. JJ1986 Posted: March 19, 2020 at 08:58 AM (#5931900)
MLB has proposed crediting full service for 130 games
I would think that they would need some idea how long the season is going to be before proposing #### like this.
   4. Zonk paid more than $750 in taxes last paycheck Posted: March 19, 2020 at 09:05 AM (#5931902)
Emboldened by their arbitration win, I see the Cubs are now investing in viruses to see if they can keep KB under team control until he's 38....
   5. Walt Davis Posted: March 19, 2020 at 06:17 PM (#5932113)
I would think that they would need some idea how long the season is going to be before proposing #### like this.

Why? Their opening stance was made clear in the next clause: "propotional for a shorter season." MLB's opening offer is "if the season is less than 130 games then nobody gets credit for a full season." (Unless the reporter phrased that badly but I don't know what else "proportional" could mean there. That offer is clearly not going to fly with the union (unless things get so bad they end up with no other option) which is why I asked when the CBA expires.

I think this is a thornier issue than folks realize. There doesn't appear to be any clear language in the CBA to address this. Somebody pointed to a clause around national emergencies which apparently was crafted thinking of wars, terrorism but not this scenario and that clause seemed to give the power to MLB but was based on the need to follow national edicts. So still unclear since the US hasn't "outlawed" the games themselves so the MLBPA can claim that the games could have been played and televised, just no fans. Beyond that, it's not at all clear how service time works in this scenario. Even if somehow the union could get owners to agree that service time clocks are running, there are no 25-man rosters yet. If there's no season, there's no clear option on how that would work.

My best guesses: if there is a "season" then service time will be pro-rated based on how long the season is. (I also suspect we'll see something like a 28-man roster for the full "season" assuming no start until July.) If there is no season, maybe a compromise structured such that everybody who was active last year gets 1 year of service time unless it pushes them into FA in which case that FA is delayed a year.

God only knows how this impacts the arb years -- even if a current 1st-year arb guy gets credit and becomes a 2nd-year arb guy, will the team/arbitrator actually give a raise over their 2020 salary? I suppose the compromise could be along those lines -- these guys play under their 2020 contract but get a full year's service time so become FA sooner. There are also issues around the guaranteed contracts but I assume (but don't know) those are generally clear -- the player doesn't get paid this year but the contract still expires when it otherwise would have.
   6. QLE Posted: March 20, 2020 at 12:37 AM (#5932191)

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