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Friday, January 14, 2022

Breaking Down The MLB Top 100 Prospect Incentive Proposal

But because of that, including a Top 100 Prospects designation in the incentive seems unnecessary. To get a sense of how many players would be affected, we looked back at the rookie of the year balloting from 2010 to present. Of the 72 players to rank in the top three of Rookie of the Year balloting since 2010, 54 (75%) were Top 100 Prospects coming into that season. There were a few players (like Jose Iglesias and Jaime Garcia) who had ranked previously as Top 100 Prospects but not in the year before they landed ROY votes. For these purposes they are considered as not making the Top 100.

Of the 18 players who weren’t in the Top 100, five (Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, John Means, Devin Williams and Jake Cronenworth) are still quite early in their MLB careers. Of the other 13, six (Danny Valencia, Vance Worley, Matt Shoemaker, Matt Duffy, Jung-Ho Kang and Tyler Naquin) were either non-tendered, released or had their contracts sold to other teams during the first five years of their MLB careers. It’s fair to say that service time considerations didn’t play a role in the roster decisions on any of those six players.

The other seven either reached free agency without being released/non-tendered or had their contracts sold or are on pace to do so. Trey Mancini and Paul DeJong so far seem destined to play through the entirety of their arbitration years and into free agency without being non-tendered. Jacob deGrom turned into one of the best pitchers in the game. Iglesias, Wade Miley, Garcia and Mark Trumbo all reached MLB free agency.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:42 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: labor issues, prospects

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   1. John Northey Posted: January 16, 2022 at 12:24 PM (#6061224)
An interesting alternative for the PA is to say if a guy gets votes for the top 5 in MVP, CY, or Rookie of the Year in his first 2 seasons he gets service time added to 'round up' his total so he reaches free agency regardless of tricks the team played. So guys like Kris Bryant & Evan Longoria provide no benefit to their team by holding them down for a few weeks. Vlad Guerrero Jr still wouldn't gain as he came in 6th for ROY, then didn't explode until his 3rd season (last year).

Seems more fair. The players who are hurt by the current policy get rewarded while the team who pushed it get punished. Can't think of anything more fair than that.
   2. Smitty* Posted: January 16, 2022 at 12:41 PM (#6061225)
Here’s an idea that occurred to me on the service time games. I haven’t thought about it too much, so poke holes in it :)

What if service time were only measured in half year increments (at least for free agency purposes). So if you spend a single day in the big leagues, you get half a year service time credit. If you spend ~85 days or more in the big leagues, you get a full year credit.

Bryant type situations should be avoided, as the team would have to leave him down over half the season to gain the extra year. Guys ready around mid year might get down a few weeks longer so the team only spends a half year service time but those guys aren’t really better off today. Fringey guys like relievers who get yo-yoed all year could get gamed out of a few years, but those guys rarely last long enough for it to matter. Maybe teams in an emergency situation are a little less likely to call up a guy that aren’t sure is ready, so that could be a drawback but seems like an acceptable trade-off.

So now, dear readers, pick it apart and tell what’s wrong with this as a plan.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2022 at 03:18 PM (#6061237)
#2: The only problem I see with it is that it's something the owners have never really budged on. In all this time, the best the MLBPA has ever been able to do is get them down to 172 (or whatever) days counts as a full season so what could the players give up to get them to cut that in half now? The other issue is that no matter where you put the cutoff, somebody will get gamed. The Rays limited Wander to 104 days (almost surely avoiding super 2), they likely would have been willing to limit him to 84.

So we need a lottery system! A random selection of

1. 1/3 of players with 5-<6 years become FAs (unless under a contract extension of course)
2. 1/4 of players with 4-<5
3. 1/8 of players with 3-<4
4. 1/16 of players with 2-<3
5. 1/32 of players with 1-<2

I think I'm kidding.

EDIT: Further consequence is it may force a team like the Rays to spend some of their money ... if you stock your team with pre-arb and arb players, you'd lose 2-3 players a year for nothing. You either start making them good buyout offers or you have to start signing a few more FAs to build your winning team.
   4. Smitty* Posted: January 16, 2022 at 04:50 PM (#6061248)
Wander still gets gamed, but the gaming is less impactful to the player (compared to today). In either scenario Wander is a free agent at the same time, but the blatant Bryant-esque situations are avoided.

As far what to give up, do you expect me to do Tony Clark’s whole job for him? :)
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2022 at 05:40 PM (#6061251)
What if service time were only measured in half year increments (at least for free agency purposes). So if you spend a single day in the big leagues, you get half a year service time credit. If you spend ~85 days or more in the big leagues, you get a full year credit.

What is a half-year credit? Are they eligible for FA in the middle of their seventh season?
   6. Smitty* Posted: January 16, 2022 at 06:00 PM (#6061255)
Credit granted at the end of the season, still eligible after 6 years of credit.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2022 at 06:16 PM (#6061258)
Credit granted at the end of the season, still eligible after 6 years of credit.

How does that help a player who comes up and stays up on July 17 vs. the guy who comes up and stays up the next year on June 12?

Oh, and though you somehow didn't ask, I do hate pants.
   8. Smitty* Posted: January 16, 2022 at 07:03 PM (#6061274)
Player A called up July 2021 (assuming this is after the ‘full year cut off’)
Player B called up June 2022 (before full year cutoff)

Player A: current system: free agent after 2027 season
My idea: free agent after 2027

Player B: current: free agent after 2028
My idea: free agent after 2027

Player A (guy who’s not ready until mid-year) comes out the same compared to today
Player B gets free agency a year earlier compared to today

So if you want to compare them directly player b comes out better than player a. But it’s because the system helps player b while not hurting player a.

Note that neither are really the player the system is meant to help. It’s meant to help the guy who’s ready at the beginning of the season
   9. Smitty* Posted: January 16, 2022 at 07:04 PM (#6061275)
And thank you for the pants hating confirmation, much appreciated
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2022 at 07:16 PM (#6061278)
But you're essentially just moving up FA a half season and pushing the place in the season where teams can manipulate service time. Instead of doing it at the front of the season if a player is ready, now they'd do it if the guy is ready in June.
   11. Smitty* Posted: January 16, 2022 at 07:49 PM (#6061292)
Yes, but look at the result of the gaming compared to today

6 years of control was negotiated in good faith years ago. Today teams game the system to get practically 7 full seasons of control. In my system, the gaming leaves the team with less than 6.5 years of control (which players in that boat already give today)
   12. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2022 at 10:18 PM (#6061310)
I agree with Smitty that his plan would help the players but, maybe I wasn't clear enough, it's essentially equivalent to saying that 86 days (in excess of a full year) is a full year. So Bryant had to be held below 172 service days in year 1; now he would need to be held below 86. So 86 is the new 172. It certainly increases the win penalty for the Cubs, maybe enough that they would have brought up Bryant in July/Aug 2014 like they should have. If it's attached to arb too then it essentially gets rid of (and effectively expands) super-2. (Everybody eligible for super-2 sould just be considered a 3 for arb and eventually a 6, rather than 5.124, for FA.)
   13. Smitty* Posted: January 17, 2022 at 03:21 AM (#6061320)
Yup, that’s the big win for the players, it should curtail the worst of the gaming because it’s a whole lot easier to stomach Mike Olt for 2 weeks then it is for half a season.

Also since I wasn’t explicit about it, this would apply for arb as well. Super 2 would no longer be a thing.

One potential drawback for the players is that teams may be less likely to call a guy up for September if that uses a half year of service up. This seems like a trade off that’s worth it
   14. McCoy Posted: January 17, 2022 at 07:19 AM (#6061322)
They should just do a lottery. All players below the the threshold go into the pool with a quarter of them getting to have their service time count as a full season. You can set a floor if you want, say 30 days. The more days you have the higher the chance you have of your name coming up.
   15. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:20 PM (#6061476)
Really all of the variations mentioned here are economically the same as transferring playing time to some players but not others. So just make the implementation straightforward as possible, and let players buy service time at a rate that (1) that depends on current salary and (2) goes up depending on the volume of purchased (e.g. one day costs 1/180 of current annual salary, two days costs 2.2/180, three days costs 3.993/180, etc.). You can limit total playing time purchases to one year, or maybe a half year, or two years, or whatever. You can limit timing of purchases (but I kinda like the idea of Kris Bryant buying a week of service time in his rookie year). But again the desired overall structure is pretty obvious.

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