Collective Bargaining Agreement Rumors
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced that they formed a committee to discuss the development and acquisition of international players. Sandy Alderson of the Mets, Andrew Friedman of the Rays and Kim Ng of MLB join MLB executive VP Rob Manfred, while Tony Clark, Stan Javier and Rick Shapiro of the MLBPA join Michael Weiner, the association’s executive director. The committee will meet by January 15, 2012, according to the recent collective bargaining agreement.
Here’s a summary of the primary issues the committee will consider:
- How to proceed should MLB decide to implement an international draft. International players could be included in the current amateur draft or selected in a separate draft (or drafts).
- Which players from Puerto Rico would remain eligible for the Rule 4 draft if MLB implements multiple drafts.
- The age at which it’s appropriate to sign international amateurs to professional deals.
- Ways of revising the agreement between MLB and the Mexican League to provide players with an smoother path to MLB.
- Ways of revising agreements between MLB and the Korean Baseball League, the Japanese Baseball League and the Taiwan R.O.C. League to accommodate a draft.
- Development opportunities for undrafted and unsigned players in Latin America. New leagues and/or teams are possible in Latin America.
- Regulations for representation of international amateurs (for example, the role of so-called independent trainers).
- Possible safeguards for international bonuses.
- How to treat amateur Cuban players given the legal and political landscape.
- Country-by-country plans for development of players who aren’t yet draft eligible.
- Education and acculturation programs at teams’ international academies.
The new collective bargaining agreement calls for a competitive balance draft pick lottery beginning in 2013, and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has details. 13 teams will be eligible for the first lottery based on their market size and revenue: the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Royals, Athletics, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers, and Cardinals. The lottery gives each of these teams the chance to win one of six extra picks in the 2013 draft, which will come after the compensation picks for free agents. The odds of winning a pick will be based on each team's winning percentage in the previous season.
There will be another group of six picks after the draft's second round. The teams in the mix for these will be the ones that did not win a pick in the first lottery, as well as any other team that receives revenue sharing.
Mayo says lottery picks can be traded, but only once by a team and only during the regular season. The picks cannot be sold for cash.
A third lottery will be held for picks forfeited by teams that exceeded their bonus pools. Teams that did not exceed their pools will be eligible, with odds based on a formula of revenue and winning percentage. Got all that? There will be a quiz tomorrow.
Details are still emerging about baseball's new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Here's the latest on the agreement coutesy of Baseball America's Jim Callis, as well as a Q&A between ESPN's Jayson Stark and MLBPA head Michael Weiner...
- The draft was "perhaps [the owners'] most aggressive objective" said Weiner, adding that they wanted to achieve competitive balance. The union heard from GMs and other executives that weren't in favor of some of the proposed changes.
- "We look to the agents for assistance and for ideas," said Weiner. Scott Boras and "other agents who have been active in advising players in the draft" were consulted during the collective bargaining process.
- The players pushed for HGH testing, but left it up to union to make sure it was done the right way. They were uncomfortable with the collection process (blood withdrawal), which is why there is no in-season testing at the moment.
- The draft has been reduced from 50 rounds to 40 rounds, and any attempt to circumvent the draft pool (i.e. an under-the-table agreement) is strictly prohibited.
- Teams get an extra year of protection for compensation picks, meaning if a team fails to sign the player they took with a pick they received for failing to sign a previous pick, they will get another compensation pick the following year.
It was on this day in 1953 that the Dodgers promoted their Triple-A manager to take over the Major League job on a one-year contract. Walter Alston remained in the Dodgers' dugout for the next 23 years, winning 2,040 games and leading the club to four World Series titles.
Some news from around the Majors as everyone lets the turkey settle...
- The new Super Two regulations in the new collective bargaining agreement shouldn't have much impact on Nationals uber-prospect Bryce Harper, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Drew Storen will only become more valuable to the Nationals as the price of closers continues to rise, opines Ben Goessling of MASNsports.com, though "there's a logical argument to be made for moving Storen at the height of his value."
- The Mets are "still in [the] exploratory stage" of their offseason moves and "aren't close on anything," reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter).
- Royals general manager Dayton Moore tells Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he doesn't think his team will be negatively affected by the new CBA. Dutton notes that the Royals spent much more than usual on draft signings and international prospects in the last year since the club was anticipating both avenues to be limited under baseball's new labor rules.
The Padres have Carlos Quentin "on their list of possibilities" for an offseason trade, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It seems like a good match, given that the White Sox are thought to have Quentin on the market and the Padres are looking for a corner outfielder. Center mentions elsewhere in his chat with readers that given the Padres' difficulty in luring free agent hitters to Petco Park, a trade would be the club's best chance to add that desired corner outfield help.
Quentin has posted a .257/.352/.505 line over the last four seasons in Chicago, though it remains to be seen how his bat and his glove (a career UZR/150 of -9.3, though this metric also shows Quentin was an above-average defensive right fielder in 2011) would play in spacious Petco Park. If Quentin was acquired, he and Cameron Maybin would play every day, with Center including Chris Denorfia, Jesus Guzman, Kyle Blanks, Mark Kotsay and Will Venable all in the mix at the other corner outfield spot.
Some other news about the Friars...
- Also from Center, GM Josh Byrnes is "actively talking trade with a number of clubs." Center lists Maybin, Nick Hundley, Mat Latos and Anthony Rizzo as "the only players who I believe are close to untouchable."
- Former Padres GM Jed Hoyer tells Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres that the new collective bargaining agreement played a big role in the club's decision to keep Heath Bell at last summer's trade deadline. "We checked with MLB several times to make sure the compensation system wouldn't be eliminated after the 2011 season," Hoyer said. "The value of the picks was the crux of our decision not to trade him in July or August. In our minds (and many people were involved in the decision), we never were offered anything all that close to the value of the draft picks in return." If Bell turns down San Diego's offer of arbitration and signs elsewhere, Bell's modified Type A status means that the Padres would receive a first-round pick in a slot directly ahead of Bell's new team, plus a supplementary round pick.
- Writing for Fangraphs, Mike Axisa thinks the Padres got the better end of the recent John Baker-for-Wade LeBlanc trade.
- The Padres' willingness to spend on their international scouting and development system is paying dividends, writes Dan Hayes of the North County Times.
- Other than the Indians, the Rangers were the only team that told Grady Sizemore he’d play center field, according to Heyman. The outfielder re-signed in Cleveland today for a base salary of $5MM with up to $4MM in incentives.
- The Phillies were a “strong option” for Sizemore, but they wanted him in left field, Heyman reports.
- Heyman has future slot recommendations for amateur draft picks. MLB recommends a bonus of $7.2MM for the first overall pick and the recommendations decrease to $6.2MM, $5.2MM, $4.2MM, $3.5MM and $3.2MM for picks #2-6. The final selection of the first round will have a recommended bonus of $1.6MM. Given the penalties for teams that surpass MLB's recommended bonuses, Stephen Strasburg's $15.1MM deal will probably remain a record for a while.
- MLBTR has details on, analysis of and reaction to the CBA.
Yesterday, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith broke down ten key aspects of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. More reactions to the changes...
- Pirates president Frank Coonelly commented to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Is this everything the Pittsburgh Pirates hoped it would be? No. But we don't subscribe to the notion it was aimed at us." Even so, the Pirates' large draft expenditures of the last several years will be curbed in years to come.
- The Nationals helped create the new landscape with draft spending limits, writes Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com.
- Many free agents became more attractive to the Red Sox with the new CBA, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, as they are loathe to surrender draft picks.
- Franchise values are reduced by the draft spending limits, agent Scott Boras tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Bubba Starling's name came up multiple times during bargaining sessions, writes Yahoo's Jeff Passan, as the union was concerned teams will no longer be able to buy players out of other sports. The Royals lured Starling away from football for $7.5MM this year.
- One GM sees "massive problems" created by the new CBA, telling Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, "Competitive balance is going to get progressively worse."
- There was some shock among GMs at the $2.9MM cap on international signings, writes ESPN's Buster Olney.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says MLB reduced the chances that small-market teams will be able to build long-term winners because it made winning "a lot more about Major League payroll size than anything else."
- Though Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com gives players and owners credit for completing the CBA peacefully, he believes the new regulations surrounding the draft and international amateurs are a minus.
Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday...
- The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will implement some major changes to the draft, but Baseball America's Jim Callis says the spending limitations won't be as drastic as initially thought.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports (on Twitter) that slots for the first four picks for the draft will be $7.2MM, $6.2MM, $5.2MM, and $4.2MM. Teams are not required to spend that much, however.
- In an Insider-only breakdown, ESPN's Keith Law analyzed the new CBA point-by-point. "The net result here is a big negative for the sport," he says. Click here for some more CBA reactions.
- The Rangers were not in on Jonathan Papelbon before he signed with the Phillies, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford (on Twitter). Texas signed Joe Nathan to close yesterday.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian says (on Twitter) that the Indians will give Lonnie Chisenhall every chance to win their third base job in Spring Training, so don't expect their search for offense to result in an upgrade at the hot corner.
- In a second tweet, Bastian says the one-year deal between the Indians and Grady Sizemore should be announced soon, perhaps on Wednesday.
- The Diamondbacks announced their minor league coaching staffs in a press release. Former D'Backs Jay Bell and Robby Hammock have joined the club's player development staff.
- Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review passes along some changes the Pirates have made to their scouting department.
Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, Ramon Hernandez and Darren Oliver were all Type A free agents under the Elias Rankings system, but they will now be treated as Type B free agents, the MLBPA announced. Teams won't have to surrender draft picks to sign them, but the players' former teams obtain a supplementary first round pick whether or not they offer arbitration tomorrow.
Meanwhile, clubs won't have to surrender a draft pick to sign one of the following six players: Heath Bell, Michael Cuddyer, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Madson, Josh Willingham and Francisco Rodriguez. Teams that lose these players after offering arbitration will obtain first round picks in the slot before the signing team plus a supplementary draft pick for a total of two selections.
Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, C.J. Wilson, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Roy Oswalt, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins were also Type A free agents this offseason. They will cost one draft pick to sign. Their teams will obtain two total picks if they decline offers of arbitration to sign elsewhere, as expected. Takashi Saito and Carlos Beltran, two other Type As, cannot be offered arbitration. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the changes.
The effects of Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement can't be described within one post, even one as long as this. It will take a while for teams and players to adjust to the game's new conditions, but here's an early look at ten highlights from the CBA (in no particular order):
- Playoffs may expand in 2012 - If Commissioner Bud Selig gets his wish and MLB playoffs expand next year, more teams than ever will have a realistic shot at contention.
- Good news for middle-tier free agents - Teams will only offer arbitration if they're prepared to pay a one-year salary that matches or exceeds the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players from the previous season (likely more than $12MM). Middle-tier free agents won't see offers of arbitration and will hit the market uninhibited as a result.
- Draft limits may curb rebuilding efforts - Teams will face draft spending ceilings in the $4.5-11.5MM range. Clubs like the Pirates, Rays, Indians, Nationals, Blue Jays and Mets had been spending aggressively on the draft, but will have to slow down or face steep fines and lose future selections.
- Earlier signing deadline - The draft signing deadline will now be in mid-July, which means a) teams can get a longer look at players who sign late b) teams can trade players from the previous year's draft before the July 31st trade deadline and c) college coaches will be able to set their fall rosters with more time to spare.
- The trade market for elite free agents shifts - "Only players who have been with their clubs for the entire season will be subject to compensation," according to the CBA. In other words, teams won't be compensated for losing players acquired in midseason trades.
- Some draft picks can be traded - If a team wins a pick in the competitive balance lottery, it can assign the selection to another club under some circumstances.
- International spending restrictions - The restrictions on international spending appear to make it harder for teams to build a competitive advantage internationally.
- More super twos - More players than ever will be arbitration eligible before obtaining three years of MLB service. This won't stop the annual service time manipulations for top prospects, but it might delay them until later in the summer. The cutoff will now be earlier than ever, which means teams may wait until the end of June before calling top prospects up.
- Earlier deadlines speed offseason up - Going forward, teams have to decide whether to offer arbitration to free agents soon after the World Series, instead of in late November. The sides also moved the tender deadline for arbitration eligible players up to December 2.
- Expanded rosters for doubleheaders - Though the sides didn't announce any reductions for September roster sizes, they did agree on one change. Teams will be allowed to expand their rosters to include 26 players for some doubleheaders.