MLBPA Asks Selig To Investigate Executives’ Comments On Morales, Drew

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark has asked commissioner Bud Selig to conduct an investigation regarding comments made by several anonymous executives to ESPN's Buster Olney for a column penned by Olney this week, the MLBPA announced in a press release. Olney's column featured a number of front office executives stating (on the condition of anonymity) what they would pay free agents Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew on an annual basis. The comments violate baseball's collective bargaining agreement, which has language designed to prevent executives from commenting on specific players and their values/contract goals, as it could depreciate a player's market value. Within the release, Clark issued the following statement:

"I am angered that numerous, anonymous baseball executives have blatantly and intentionally violated our collective bargaining agreement by offering to ESPN comments about the free agent values of Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales.  These statements undermine the free agent rights of the players and depress their market value. Today, I have called upon the Commissioner's Office to investigate immediately and thoroughly the sources of these statements and to take appropriate action to enforce our agreement."

Morales and Drew, two of the more prominent free agents on this year's market, each remain unsigned due largely to the fact that each is tied to draft pick compensation after turning down a one-year qualifying offer at the end of last season.

This isn't the first instance of this type of investigation in the past year, as Major League Baseball also looked into comments made by Dodgers owner Magic Johnson regarding Robinson Cano. Back in October, Johnson was quoted as saying, "Though I can't talk about it, that other guy in New York is going to get paid. Not by us, but he's going to get paid."

This most recent wave of comments is clearly a bit more telling due to both the number of people who were willing to offer their take to Olney and the specific nature of their responses. At the time of the Cano situation, GMs around the league told Olney that they felt their comments had been monitored more closely in the past year than any time in recent memory.


28 Responses to MLBPA Asks Selig To Investigate Executives’ Comments On Morales, Drew Leave a Reply

  1. Selig will be happy to seek justice in this matter. Tony can expect word back in 2023.

    • animal_strength 1 year ago

      just like the a’s will get a new stadium

      • JoshReddicksWalkupSong 1 year ago

        Don’t get all crazy. 2023 would be way too early for the A’s to get a new stadium.

        • chicothekid 1 year ago

          Just imagine how bad the pipes will smell by THAT time!

  2. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    While the text of the CBA is clear and these executives did violate it, it seems unfair that agents can publicly offer their assessments of their clients’ value, and in Boras case even tell the Blue Jays ownership how to spend their money, while GMs and team executives are required to remain silent.

    • RT Long 1 year ago

      I agree. Well said.

    • $40129616 1 year ago

      Not at all. If the GMs can publicly make these statements, it leads to collusion. Agents are advocating for clients, and can make the statements in the client’s interest. The two parties have very different bargaining power, and this rule serves to even the field.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        Collusion is already illegal under federal antitrust laws (FYI the MLB’s exception does not exempt GM’s from the collusion provisions of antitrust laws). If GM’s wanted to violate federal law and collude I don’t think a provision in the CBA would stop them.

        • $40129616 1 year ago

          No, this provision prevents a form of indirect collusion, where GMs can evade the law by discussing player’s values in public.

    • harmony55 1 year ago

      The Collective Bargaining Agreement is a negotiated contract. If the owners want restrictions on agent comments, that item can be on the bargaining table the next time around. Meanwhile, all parties are expected to comply with the terms of the current CBA.

  3. The bottom line is that Boras over played his hand in these cases. His clients would like to get nice multi year deals, despite a history of serious injuries and sub par performances, but they’re simply not worth what they are asking for.

  4. johnsilver 1 year ago

    So this is how MLB works, and this country? some workers, or here 2 players make a mistake and leave, then sue, or become FA and then because they made a serious mistake and left expect to recoup loses from former employers?

    What a country!

    How about suing the Agent (attorney) that gave such “sound” advice? Shouldn’t that have been the 1st thing done? Or would that have been to obvious?

    This sounds a lot like what is going on elsewhere around this great land.

    • They’re entitled to not have their collectively bargained rights violated. The MLB teams agreed to those rules, they should be expected to adhere to them.

      Their continued unemployment and teams violating the CBA are entirely separate matters. Tony Clark is doing his job as union chief to represent the interests of his players. Please spare us the what-is-this-country-coming-to routine.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        You just echoed everything that is wrong with the entire fiasco.. Everything goes wrong with poor advice? Blame someone else!

        Edit:

        As for the what is this country coming to routine?

        If many here had seen it in it’s older years? They probably would be ashamed to see how it is now.

      • East Coast Bias 1 year ago

        Apples and oranges, my man. Apples and oranges.

    • chicothekid 1 year ago

      they can’t sue the agent. His job is to negotiate. He advised them, they listened. He didn’t force them to turn down the QO. Their greed got the best of them, which is why they chose Boras in the first place. Nobody forced them to turn down the QO.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        That is a point. They also had the option to tell that agent to go back to the team and take any kind of offer, (like well below market value) when most team’s roster had been set, like Boras did when he made this same mistake in the well known Varitek fiasco.

        Varitek forced Boras to sign for like 2/5m then, after Boras had “recomended” he deny arbitration and had just made 10m the season before, gotten no feelers in the FA market.

        I am quite sure Drew could get some type deal done with Boston, or any other team if he would accept some deal in the 1y and 5-6m range, byt we all know he’s not going to take the humiliation of the mistake he did and is going to blame it on someone else, just like he tried all that winter and spring of 2009 calling for investigations into collusion that went NOWHERE.

        The fault lie at his feet and nowhere else.. He misled his clients.

    • northsfbay 1 year ago

      Our country is in trouble because some people listen to bad advise? You are not a quick learner.

    • NorahW 1 year ago

      Not what happens to normal, non-union everyday workers. I don’t know where you get your information, but a low percentage of workers are unionized. In most cases the employer has the upper hand, especially in a bad economy.

  5. Robert Eichhorn 1 year ago

    Tony is right. It’s also collusion when a player is pressured to not sign a contract because it will inhibit the value of other players.

  6. Mike1L 1 year ago

    I can’t imagine why my post would have been deleted, so let me try again. I agree with Clark. GM’s shouldn’t be giving a range of values for the two unsigned players, because potentially they are signalling to other teams what they would pay. It should be investigated. That being said, I have very little sympathy for either Drew or Morales, because they put themselves in this position, and perhaps more importantly, because Boras often conjures up offers or “interest” that simply doesn’t exist. IMHO, the agent has every right to sell, but does not have the right to identify specific teams he’s reached out to, imply interest from the mere fact of those conversations, and then conflate his contract wishes with alleged interest by specific teams.

  7. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

    Hey Scotty, beam me up to wherever you are!
    La La Land. Is my guess.
    You realize of course, this whole conversation would not be taking place, if your players simply had taken the qualifying offer!

    Thank you, come again!
    EOM!

    • Mil8Ball 1 year ago

      So if I am walking and I get hit after someone blows a stop sign it is my fault cause I didn’t stay home, and doing so would have avoided the whole thing? Good to know

      Even funnier is how breaking rules is OK in an instance like this just because they possibly made a mistake not taking a QO. It doesn’t matter if they should have or not…these executives are breaking rules and need to be investigated.

      Ryan Braun is a villain for cheating to stay on the field and lying, but all is OK when Pineida cheats to get a better grip on the baseball and then lies.

      How do you people come up with this stuff?

      • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

        Scott Boras is a very interesting study.
        However, he really doesn’t bring out the best in me.
        Plus, where’s the old sticks and stone adage.
        It really shouldn’t matter what they say, I mean so what.
        It still doesn’t change the fact that no one wants to give up a draft choice for either and they are outrageously expensive for what they bring to the field. Drew is a solid glove with some pop. Yeah, he is a major leaguer, but I wouldn’t pay him 14 million a year or even a 4 year 40 million dollar deal.
        If Morales didn’t break his leg, however he had to know the market was limited because he really can’t take the field every night.
        Bottom line is Boras likes to hear himself talk and a lot people are tired of it. Not only that, when he sends his minions out to talk up his players, I mean what is the purpose of that.
        It really depends on whose OX is being gored!

        • Mil8Ball 1 year ago

          I agree what they say shouldn’t matter, but a rule is a rule. Will anything come out of it? No probably not, just adds fuel to a growing problem the QO system is creating.

  8. CitizenSnips 1 year ago

    So executives stating the true value of these players is depreciating their value? Those figures were spot on.

  9. 0vercast 1 year ago

    Does anybody else see the irony of the QO situation as it relates to Boras and his clients?

    If it weren’t for superagents driving prices sky-high, first-round picks wouldn’t be coveted like they are nowadays, and these players would be playing tonight for their new teams on secure, lucrative, multi-year deals.

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