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Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Bryce, Manny stalemate and the latest on MLB free agency

Jeff Passan with a little insight.

2. Justin Verlander and a brigade of other players to end their public grousing on the health of the free-agent market? Probably not.

One part of their messaging is hitting home: More and more players, in speaking out on the matter, are saying there are more than 100 jobless free agents. This is not true. A liberal accounting of the so-called XX(B) free agents—ones who have six-plus years of service—counts about 50. Of those 50, about half are clearly major-league-caliber players. A few come with enough warts to straddle the line between a big league deal and a minor league deal. The rest will get non-roster invitations to camp.

Look, 100 jobless free agents is a sexy talking point. It works. For an organization like the players’ association, which has struggled with messaging, the widespread adoption of the 100-jobless-free-agents narrative is promising, especially when the message is spread in such a scattershot fashion, with Verlander’s tweet the latest among this new oeuvre of player communication.

The problem is, it’s not real, and when players resort to exaggerating to make a point that needs no exaggeration—25 legitimate big leaguers without major league deals as spring training begins is indicative of a problem—it sets them up as boys who cried wolf. Which is a shame, seeing as their main talking point should carry a serious wallop.

Sixty percent of baseball teams are carrying payrolls $50 million below the $206 million luxury-tax threshold. Just shy of half the teams in the game are $75 million below. Eight teams are more than $100 million under the threshold. More than a quarter of the game isn’t even spending half of what it can before incurring a penalty that barely penalizes anyway. It’s one thing for the highest-spending teams not to exceed the luxury tax. It’s another for the teams that receive tens of millions in revenue-sharing dollars to practically sit out offseasons.

So, yes, it is troublesome that Machado and Harper and Dallas Keuchel and Marwin Gonzalez and Mike Moustakas and Gio Gonzalez and Adam Jones and Josh Harrison and Clay Buchholz and Jose Iglesias and Martin Maldonado and Carlos Gonzalez and Tyler Clippard and Evan Gattis and Denard Span and Edwin Jackson and Derek Dietrich and Adam Warren and Tony Sipp and Matt Wieters and Carlos Gomez don’t have jobs. They could be ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2019 at 07:47 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agency

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. The Duke Posted: February 16, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5815847)
The agents created unrealistic expectations and they hate each other so I can see why this taking so long. I expect Harper to end up back with Nationals and Machado with padres.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: February 16, 2019 at 11:26 AM (#5815856)
I didn't actually read the article, but I got an alert on my phone from MLB that Harper was going to sign today.
   3. Adam Starblind Posted: February 16, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5815862)
Taking his talents to South Beach, no doubt.
   4. bookbook Posted: February 16, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5815884)
The premise of the article is bologna. The current political climate has taught us all that exaggerations, or outright lies, carry rewards not penalties. No one cares what a fact checker thinks.
   5. bfan Posted: February 16, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5815886)
Because no one trusts the fact checkers. And, using selective endpoints and the right data sets, you can prove almost any point you want to make.
   6. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: February 16, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5815889)
The premise of the article is bologna. The current political climate has taught us all that exaggerations, or outright lies, carry rewards not penalties. No one cares what a fact checker thinks.

Yeah, I think this is right.

Most people are not paying attention or don’t care. Of the people who care, most of them only read the headline or chyron. The few people who actually read the article are only looking for gotchas for never partisan flame wars.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 16, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5815893)
The issue is there are no "facts" to check. Players used to get a higher % of total revenue, now they get less. They want more, the owners don't want to give it to them.

It's competing interests, not competing facts, and part of what matters is winning the PR war.

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