Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire in December, but commissioner Rob Manfred said Sunday that he expects a new CBA in place by the end of the postseason, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal (Twitter link). “Both parties still have significant issues on the table,” added Manfred, but he doesn’t believe those concerns are enough for either side to rip up the agreement and start negotiations from scratch (via Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, on Twitter).
Manfred, who’s in Boston on Sunday for Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz’s final regular-season game, also addressed several other important topics:
- After acquiring left-hander Drew Pomeranz from the Padres for top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza in July, questions arose in August over whether San Diego was completely honest about Pomeranz’s medical information. It turned out the Padres didn’t reveal that Pomeranz was taking anti-inflammatory medication for his elbow at the time of the deal. Then, when MLB handed Padres general manager A.J. Preller a 30-day suspension in September, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner expressed displeasure with the commissioner’s office, saying, “We felt that some wrong was committed and that it’s important to have a level playing field. The Padres didn’t play on it.” Interestingly, the league gave the Red Sox the opportunity to undo the trade in early August, Manfred revealed, but the non-waiver deadline had already passed by then. Moreover, there was no way for the league to compensate the Red Sox, the commissioner stated. As a result, Boston turned down the offer and kept Pomeranz (Twitter links via MacPherson and Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe). The 27-year-old has scuffled since the trade and is currently dealing with left forearm soreness.
- Whether the Padres fire Preller for his questionable practices is up to them, not the league, according to Manfred (via Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune). “I felt that that Mr. Preller behaved inappropriately in the situation. He behaved inappropriately to the detriment of two clubs,” said Manfred. “And I thought that a publicly announced suspension of 30 days, which is the longest suspension of a front-office person in 70 years, was a firm statement of our view on how he had behaved or, in this case, misbehaved.” As of Sept. 17, the Padres’ front office was reportedly split on Preller, who, in addition to crossing the Red Sox, didn’t disclose all available medical information in a July trade with the Marlins. As a result, the Preller-led Padres reversed part of what was a large transaction that centered on Andrew Cashner. Ultimately, the Padres re-acquired right-hander Colin Rea from Miami and sent pitching prospect Luis Castillo back to the Marlins. That came after Rea left his sole Marlins start with an elbow injury. Rea is now attempting to stave off Tommy John surgery.
- Ortiz was among 104 major leaguers who tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in 2003, but Manfred downplayed that. The list didn’t distinguish therapeutic use exemptions from PEDs, per Manfred, who called it “unfair” and “wrong” that the positive test might negatively affect Ortiz’s legacy (Twitter links via MacPherson and Alex Speier of the Boston Globe).