MLBPA chief Tony Clark has issued a statement, first provided by ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, leveling significant accusations at MLB organizations. With a huge number of free agents still un-signed, Clark says that teams have failed to engage the market in earnest.
Here is the full statement:
“Pitchers and catchers will report to camps in Florida and Arizona next week. A record number of talented free agents remain unemployed in an industry where revenues and franchise values are at record highs.
Spring Training has always been associated with hope for a new season. This year a significant number of teams are engaged in a race to the bottom. This conduct is a fundamental breach of the trust between a team and its fans and threatens the very integrity of our game.”
Notably, Clark does not accuse teams of acting in concert to artificially suppress earnings — quite a different, more serious potential charge for which we’ve seen no evidence. Rather, his view seems to coincide with the broad points already presented by some prominent media members and agents (as well as at least one sitting GM): i.e., that more teams than usual are strategically disinterested in trying to win in the coming season.
Unsurprisingly, Major League Baseball has a different view of the matter that reflect prior comments from commission Rob Manfred. In a statement released to Crasnick, the league rejects Clark’s characterization as an “unfair” attack on MLB teams. Arguing that many top free agents are “sitting unsigned even though they have substantial offers,” the league statement suggests that agents have failed to “value their clients” reasonably “in a constantly changing free agent market based on factors such as positional demand, advanced analytics, and the impact of the new Basic Agreement.”
Clark’s statement seems to represent a notable ramp up in the rhetoric surrounding the notably slow free agent process this winter. At the moment, though, it seems that this is mostly a war of words for public relations positioning. Camps will soon open without several prominent players, barring some quick developments in the market, which will dramatically raise the visibility of this long-simmering dispute.
The union/agent stance seems to be a familiar one, arguing that tanking tactics are reducing competition for top free agents. From the league/team side, as the above statement suggests, the rejoinder is that clubs are within their rights to operate as they see fit within the rules regime agreed upon by collective bargaining. It isn’t too difficult to see how each side hopes to draw upon the natural but competing inclinations of fans both to chide “cheap” owners and to turn a skeptical eye toward “selfish” players.
In truth, this debate isn’t a new one. Tanking has been discussed for years. Manfred’s prior argument was, in essence, that the market adequately allows for such a strategy; it’s just not that successful an approach if too many teams employ it, since inevitably plenty of clubs will “lose” the “race to the bottom” and fail to recoup top draft picks, etc. Dave Cameron has argued, though, that this year may be somewhat unique in that, for many teams, the incentives to pursue draft status and cost savings may be sufficient to outweigh an expensive, low-odds effort to chase down the half-dozen “super teams” currently pacing the game.
As Evan Drellich rightly observes on Twitter, the concept of tanking does not really adequately cover the deeper mechanisms at play. There’s more at play here, somewhere in the intermingling of pervasive and deepening analytics; aging curves in a (mostly) post-PED era; and drastically cabined amateur spending and other collectively bargained rules. The most recent collective bargaining agreement largely continued the preexisting rules regime, with a few tweaks, largely reflecting an assumption that market mechanisms would allow player compensation to keep pace with earnings growth. Even as they swim in revenue, though, MLB organizations increasingly seem to be pursuing strategies that eschew major long-term free agent entanglements — potentially challenging the assumptions undergirding the players’ commitment to the existing CBA framework.
Revenue is high but we say the players are payed to much. How about we look at the owners?
maybe salaries and the cost should go down? you know so regular people can go to the game with their families
I agree. I don’t feel bad about players making millions but not as many tens of millions as they’d prefer. I want to be able to afford to go to more games. When are the players going to start worrying about our prices? We pay their salaries.
Because their prices have nothing to do with your prices. Owners set prices based on what the market can bear, not based on how much they’re paying players. Cut your team payroll in half and you’re still going to be paying the exact same price for tickets. The only difference is that 50% goes into the owner’s pockets instead of the players’.
I think it’s insane that anyone thinks that if player salaries come down the fans are going to get lower ticket prices. A baseball ticket is an entertainment product. They aren’t pricing tickets based on payroll, they’re pricing tickets based on what price point they think they can get people to show up to a ball game rather than a concert or a play or a movie or whatever.
I disagree with that sir prices for games in Tampa are less than prices in NY
Because there’s nowhere near as much demand for Rays tickets as there are for Yankees tickets. Rays tickets aren’t cheap because their payroll is low, they’re cheap cause they are trying to get anyone to show up.
Duh, because nobody wants to go see Rays games. They have to lower the prices to get people to come. It has nothing to do with their payroll. It’s called Supply & Demand.
You are wrong, every dollar spent, and every dollar taken in by ownership has an impact on the bottom line, just like any business. Ballpark prices are out of hand and we will soon see a “correction” just like you see in the stock market. Same with player salaries. They are unsigned right now because they are asking too much. The owners know that and are finally taking a stand. Contracts will also start to level out as the bubble begins to burst. The owners take all the risk, not the players. It’s called free enterprise.
When you find the world that scenario exists, let us all know,
Supply and demand.
“I think it’s insane that anyone thinks that if player salaries come down the fans are going to get lower ticket prices…”
Maybe not come down necessarily (although there might be more/better discount packages) but it would almost certainly slow the rate of price increases in the future
Every time costs of business thru cost of supplies of salaries of any employees go up, costs passed onto customers also go up. Its just reality, whether you like it or not.
Slow the cost of employee salary increases and increases to costs passed onto consumers slows as well. Period. And since one big FA contract could be as much as giving every single other employee in the stadium a 100% raise, reigning in player salaries is the single fastest way to stop out of control increases to tickets, parking, food, souvenirs, etc (all of which have the possibility of increasing to make up for the increased output)
While I definitely agree with the whole supply and demand portion, don’t think owners don’t raise prices to offset what they spend on free agents too
They don’t. They raise prices to the highest level the fans will pay, the same way every other product on the planet is priced. Do you really believe they will to volunteer to make less profit just because their expenses go down? Of course not, and why should they? If they lower their costs, they make more profit.
I hear this argument on this site constantly and it is blatantly untrue. In ANY business, costs impact the price you charge your customers. When costs go up, prices go up. It’s basic economics. In MLB, 57% of total costs are player salaries. Yes, owners are going to make their profit, but when costs go up the only way to maintain the profit is to raise prices.
Also consider that before taxes the average profit for an MLB team in 2016 was 34 million. The free agents leading this market are asking for 25-30 million per year. So when an employee makes 88% of what ownership makes, clearly they are asking for a huge piece of the pie. That pie only grows when you pay more for tickets or logo items or cable TV to cover the massive new TV deals.
You can dislike owners if you want, but stop acting like the continual growth in player salaries has no impact on fans
This is a naive argument, at best, because it assumes that the goal of a business is not maximizing profits. Which of course we all know it is. A business cannot raise prices simply to cover increased costs. They will raise prices to the level their customers will pay. Always.
None of this has even the slightest to do with liking or disliking anyone. It is simply a statement of basic economics. What you state is not economics at all.
I don’t define a business as a government sponsored monopoly that accepts public money to build stadiums.
That is not a ‘business’ in any real sense, it’s a govt sponsored cartel.
Free agents have zero to do with the price of tickets
If you want lower prices, go to minor league or college games.
Actually, the power does lie with the consumers and not the owners. If fans boycotted baseball for the reasons of high prices and overpaid players, what do you think the owners would do? They are not going to have empty ballparks and go bankrupt, they would have to adapt to the fans demand. The problem is that level of determination and unification are rarely seen these days because people have gotten lazy and complacent.
Every year I go to the Red Sox at Rays and only spend $70 total to go with my wife. $30 outfield tickets first and $10 for parking. I refuse to buy any food as it’s too expensive. If we as fans refuse to buy those expensive seats or overpriced food then it will drop in price. The problem is that people pay these outrageous prices so why would the owners drop the prices when they’ll profit less?
Don’t the Rays have terrible attendance as it is? If what you’re saying is true, then you wouldn’t have paid $30 per ticket to a Rays game. They would already be much cheaper due to poor attendance.
the face value doesn’t change on a ticket if attendance is down
Exactly! I’m planning on going to at least 2 games between the Indians and Angels in Anaheim, and it will cost me as much as a vacation would.
So since the owners are not shelling out the millions like they have in the past are they going to drop ticket, parking, food & beer prices ($10 a beer at some parks)??? I don’t disagree that some free agent contracts the last few years are turning out to be horrible investments for the owners. So I say let’s start a fan boycott of stadiums & merchandise until they drop prices for the fans!
Braun gets suspended and the owner gives a $10 voucher to each fan for food based on what would have been paid to braun. You couldnt even get blackhawks tickets for less than $200 per game for a regular season game from 2009-2017, cubs added free agents then raised their ticket prices up. teams arent likely to raise ticket prices when they are not signing big name free agents, but will when they do or win.
They need an unbiased person in charge of the pa
Go back 25-30 years ago league minimum was what 40k a season? Now it’s over 500k for a rookie
I don’t see anything wrong with that considering the peanuts they make in the minor leagues.
Your view is biased
I’m sure you’re pro large contracts too
I’m all for a fair wage but these contracts are killing the sport
How are they killing the sport? I’d argue tanking (which my team, the Phillies, are guilty of) and length of games are bigger issues. I can’t tell you how many of my friends find baseball to be boring.
You’re talking about the absolute best in the world at what they do. They generate more revenue than you or I could ever dream of generating. Do I think the owners are colluding against them? No. But I think when they agreed to cap international spending and bonus pools in the draft they incentivized tanking which takes teams out of the free agent market which lowers demand for their services.
You don’t have to go out to the ballgame. You’re not happy with the prices, don’t pay. People voluntarily give up their money at the current prices in droves. The players deserve as much of that money as they can get. It’s not massive salaries that keep prices up. It’s that the masses keep paying them.
If you think that player’s salaries are the reason tickets, parking, and concessions are expensive I really don’t know what to tell you.
Prices are high because people are willing to pay. Suppress the player’s salaries all you’re doing is filling the owner’s pockets.
“Suppress the player’s salaries all you’re doing is filling the owner’s pockets.”
Which apparently is going to happen this year!
TRUE! There is no innocent side in this. The buyer sets market prices. If we want prices to drop we have to stop buying. Hitting the player side of the equation doesn’t stop the owners from setting ridiculous prices that we are willing to pay anyway. Well stated my friend!
Ticket prices, like most commodities, are not based off employee salaries, but rather what the market will bear. Players now receive 38% of revenue down from a high of 50% in 2006.
I don’t have to tell you that ticket prices have not gone down in that time.
If you want a healthy, successful business, salaries should be roughly 15 to max 25% of incoming
Even the now slightly lower 40% range is freaking insane – especially when its only the players doing that, and you need to toss on all the other employees on top of that
If anyone wants to know why ticket, parking and concession prices are out of control – well, your post proves why
MLB revenues exceeded 10 billion for the first time last year. It’s produced record profits for 15 years straight. I think it’s a healthy, successful business.
Sure, because team owners will volunteer to make less money.
Downvoted for truth.
Gotta love this board!
So by your logic, teams that cut payroll would lower their ticket prices.
There’s a ton of teams tanking, name one that has reduced ticket prices?
It’s going to be a long wait.
In the meantime, I could show them my Dodgers season ticket invoice.
You’re the type of ignorant fan the agents and MLBPA are counting on. Thankfully, your type is fewer and far between as fans become more educated
I wouldn’t count on some massive boom in fan education any time soon…
I think it’s quite the opposite actually. Especially when you have owners taking advantage of tax payer funded stadiums, manipulations of service time, etc.
Do you quit working your job because you think your boss makes to much money! Get real!
What does owners profits have to do with how much a player is worth? This is as absurd as tying ticket prices to salaries. An owner of a business does not have any additional obligation to pay some free agent more simply because he or she ran a successful business the year before. Mike Moustakas is worth what he is worth. How much a team like the cardinals made last year has nothing to do with how much he is worth. A lot of owners are just getting tired of overpaying for guys that flame out. It’s a hard transition to this realization, but it’s happening.
A fact worth understanding but unpopular to bring up is that MLB team revenue has nearly doubled within the last ten years.
Gee, maybe the players have failed to engage in earnest.
So let’s just let teams tank and let owners become millionaires. Also love how we are hating on Barry bonds for getting his number retired when he was someone who helped save this sport. Lol
Revenue can soar as high as they want and it won’t change the valuation calculations for players.
Big Mac and sosa did
Barry Bonds helped to save baseball? I’d give you maybe took baseball to the next level in SF, but saved baseball? McGwire/Sosa chasing Maris? Sure. Yanks/BoSox rivalry going mainstream? Probably. Explosion of Fantasy Baseball making new fans? Yes. More long balls? Ofcourse. But a genuinely hated individual putting up insane numbers while being tied to steroids? Eh.
Explosion of fantasy baseball?
A) All owners are already millionaires and in fact, most are billionaires several times over.
B) I can guarantee you that not a single owner has purchased a team strictly for the intent to become MUCH wealthier or have it be the PRIMARY way in which they earn money. For most owners, it’s because it brings more attention to them, boosts their egos and enhances their business brand identity. Owners buy teams for the same reason why fans by season tickets. We love the sport and it’s really cool to own them, (season tickets or the team).
C) This is ONE SEASON. Why are we acting like it’s doomsday for free agency? Several players signed lucrative contracts that made them among the highest at their position. Santana and Cain didn’t sign record breaking deals but they were fair and slightly above what most thought they would get.
D) As far as “tanking”… who’s doing it?
Teams that we expect to be competitive this year: Boston, Yanks, Indians, Twins, Astros, Angels, Mariners, National, Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers, Dbacks, Rockies
Teams that have made efforts to get better but may not be playoff ready: Mets, Phillies, Giants.
Teams that are on the fence between being competitively relevant or retooling: Rangers, Mariners, Royals, Blue Jays
Teams that have tanked, have acquired numerous young players and are headed towards making splashes to improve and move towards being competitive in the next 2-3 years: White Sox, Tigers, Padres and Braves.
Teams that are tearing it down with no intent on competing in the next 3 years: Marlins, Pirates, Reds, Rays.
Teams that seem to be stagnant without a clear indication of their intent: Oakland, Orioles, Padres.
Speaking on the Pirates, Reds, Rays, Oakland and even tho they are tied to Eric Hosmer, the Padres, they were all very mediocre or horrible small market teams that struggled in 2017, need to rebuild and can’t do so by signing multiple big name players.
Where’s all this mass tanking ppl are alluding to? I don’t see it. I see bad teams that need more than one hole to be filled and they are converting older expiring assets into young controllable asserts.
With steroid use on decline, teams know that there simply aren’t too many guys over 32 that can be expected to be productive (capable of a 2 WAR season or better) from that age on. Last year, only 20 guys 32 or older had a WAR of 2 or better. Reyes, Granderson and Encarnacion are the only hitters that were FA this year and they eventually found a home. As far as pitchers over 32, only 17 produced a WAR above 2 last year and none of them are FA. Guys like Darvish, Arietta, etc are pushing up against 32.
Teams know..if I sign this guy at age 30 I’m probably not going to get too many years of excelent prouction from them once they move into their mid to late 30’s. Thus, why should I pay him top dollar for those soon-to-be declining years? It’s not collusion. It’s the actions and discretion of a more informed purchaser. Stop whining and adjust.
I think owners may buy a team, in order to make their money once they sell it.
It is probably “cool” to be an MLB owner, and profitable too.
Owners don’t want to be looked at as “fanboys,” or “jock sniffers” by the other owners.
Eight teams tanking is a lot for baseball. This is a sport where historically every team would supposedly go into spring training thinking they have a chance; now more than a quarter are not even remotely trying.
Consider this- in 2008, only one team was projected to win 69 games or less; how many do you think that number will be this year.
We are seeing a very unfortunate culture change in MLB. Last year’s World Series champ in recent years lost 100 games 3 times before “only” losing 92, now they look set up to contend for a decade. The previous WS Champion Cubs are only a slightly less extreme version of this.
How can some teams contend if they enter a season paying tens of millions for a player that no longer plays, was released way before the contract ended, or the player’s skills are now horrible? If you are the Yankees, you can absorb that like they did with Arod. If you are a smaller market team, that bloated contract prevents them from signing a decent player.
You say “tanking” and others can say embracing the suck and not putting off the inevitable. Yanks can buy themselves into an 85 win season. If you’re a small market team with aging vets making $15 mil plus and their skill sets are declining then you have two choices. Spend more money and hope the new player (s) will mitigate the decline of others and net + wins OR you trade off your aging vets and try to rebuild or retool for a better tomorrow. THAT is not a new or unique plan of action in sports. It’s literally been happening for years. If you’re not winning with older and expensive players then you get rid of them and collect young assets and start from scratch.
Even as a Yankee fan, I was more than happy to see them go with the younger guys rather than signing deals that will be upside down in value in the matter of 2 years.
” This is a sport where historically every team would supposedly go into spring training thinking they have a chance; now more than a quarter are not even remotely trying.”
You must be young, because this is patently untrue. Someone has told you a myth.
In the 1960’s, no one though a team like the Washington Senators remotely had a chance to win the American League. Even with the advent of division play, no sane person thought they had a chance. The same can be said for many other teams.
Let’s fast forward: Do you really think in the mid 80’s, even after 10 years of free agency, there weren’t teams we knew had no chance – even in Spring Training?
The environment wasn’t unlike today. We knew whether our teams really had a chance. The rest was just wishful thinking.
If you’re a team owner there a 100% chance that you’re already a millionaire.
Learned today on Hot Stove that NONE of Boras’ clients have signed. Only one of CAA’s clients have signed. The collusion is from the agents holding each other’s hands while sticking their heads in the sand.
Your point of collusion between the agents is becoming more and more valid every day. If the rumored offers on the table are accurate, then agents and the players association whinny attitudes need to be taken with a grain of salt.
We hear what Clark and agents are saying. The translation is they aren’t complaining that free agents aren’t getting offers. They’re complaining that players aren’t being overpaid as so many have been for a long time.
A lot of these free agents have contract offers but are holding out for more money. Hosmer 7 years 140m from padres and royals. Darvish 5 year deal. JD 5 years 125m. Why haven’t they accepted these? They have no one to blame but themselves.
I’m on team MLB here. These guys have not signed yet, but the MLBPA wants to blame it on something else other than guys not signing contracts already offered to them.
If I were an owner “racing to the bottom,” I would give Hosmer a $200M contract today. Nothing against him specifically, but albatross contracts are becoming a huge factor in keeping teams from being competitive. Red Sox re-signed Moreland instead of getting Hosmer because it makes them a better team.
Free Clay Zavada
The thing is (and this article largely misses this) the “race to the bottom” actually isn’t primarily about draft positioning. That’s a part of it, but the primary factor is retooling with cheap talent acquired in trades. Trade your 4 WAR player who’s pricey for a couple guys who could be 4 WAR players in the future for a lot cheaper. Signing Hosmer would be counterproductive as he’s not a tradeable asset and will hamstring the team even in 4 years when it’s supposed to be good again.
That’s fact. A similar example is the Reds with Joey Votto. Votto is one of the best 1B in the game, but even if he didn’t have no trade rights I couldn’t see any team taking on that contract.
Cmon Tony, you’re better than that. Don’t cave, to public pressure.
“Bottoming out” isn’t offering 5, $125M, and 7, $147M.
People who scream “collusion” don’t know what it means.
I don’t think he is caving to public pressure, he is probably getting an earful everyday from players and agents that want teams to spend more and up their offers.
His name is Boras.
A point the Union always likes to make is that players have to set the precedent. That they should always seek the best contract because it helps the players behind them. Yet time and time again these same players would fail to live up to those expectations placed on them by accepting such a huge contract. If players had lived up to their value consistently teams would still be happy to give in to FA demands. But they haven’t, the precedent has been set by previous players that teams are often lucky to get 1 or 2 good seasons out of these mega contracts, so why would any reasonable owner continue to hand out a mega-deal?
yes, exactly. But the suspicion and accusations of collusion come (partially) from the odd fact that owners are suddenly realizing the dangers of mega deals collectively in ONE offseason?!? It screams of something more treacherous, but I think you hit the nail on the head with the basic problem here. That, combined with the fact that stats, stats, and more stats drive baseball decisions now more than ever, creates a situation in which many players have their weaknesses highlighted rather than accomplishments celebrated.
MLB should tell the owners, hey… you want to control a professional baseball team? great. you need to put 120 million dollars into your on-field product every season. you are worried that you won’t generate enough revenue to make that investment worthwhile? you have the fanbase to support a team committed to competing, but maybe you dont realize this because you are alienating fans who have legitimate complaints regarding this “race to the bottom.”
I guess the next step for the MLBPA is to seek a government bailout the way the banks did 10 years ago. Would they deserve it? NO, but neither did the banks.
Sorry players but your leadership signed off on this CBA. You’re not worth what your agent is telling you you are in this current environment. Take what you can get and prepare for a showdown in 2021
This is going to be a fiasco
Ok, which teams are in a “race to the bottom”? The Royals, Tigers, and Marlins? That’s about it…. and none of those teams want to be in that position. White Sox, Phillies and Padres should start seeing improvements in 2018. You could make a case for 20-25 teams being competitive this year. This is just another desperate attempt by Clark to deflect the blame off himself after he completely butchered the last CBA negotiation.
The Phillies have handed out 3 FA deals so far, to the tune of over $80MM.
Clark is engaging in CYA move to hide his own incompetence in negotiations.
In a world of supply/demand, the supply is there, the demand is not. I can list Bal, TB, Atl, Mia, ChW, Det, KC, Cin, Pit, Oak and SD as teams that have no urgency to win. LAD, NYY, and SF want to stay under the luxury tax. Teams like Tor, Min, Mil, Tex, AZ, Col are probably stuck at not being able to pull the trigger on a big, big acquisition or two. I just took potentially 20 teams out of the mix. Teams like the Astros, Cubs, Cardinals, Red Sox are pretty much set and probably don’t want to overpay for the final piece and can wait it out.
There are just not enough teams looking to make long term commitments while breaking the bank or not winning at all.
Tony Clark is right—the race to the bottom has taken too many teams out of the free agency market—at least until the big names go. Then the smaller names will get valued and place accordingly.
And don’t forget 2 of those teams you listed have $100+ offer out to Hosmer, so I wouldn’t say they are in a ‘race to the bottom’ when they’ve made some effort in signing FAs.
I can see a bunch of one year contracts in the next few weeks. A rental year to see how they pan out to get better contract next winter.
I agree that a large portion of the blame lies in this “tanking” mentality that has begun to surface in sports. This mentality suggests that it is no longer financially responsible to accept just being competitive. Therefore if you aren’t world series bound, it doesn’t make sense to spend too much. Economically it makes sense.
The problem is “tanking” is not the only way to build/rebuild an organization. In some ways I see it as the lazy GM’s approach to building a team. Take the Orioles for example. Their owner refuses to mail it in on a full rebuild which infuriates all the critics and armchair gm’s. Therefore no one expects them to be competitive. But they’ve been to the playoffs a couple times in the last 5 years because they didn’t “rebuild.” They may not have had lasting power, but they enjoyed successful seasons none the less.
How about the Braves, A’s, Pirates, Rays, Reds? While they may not be tanking per se, but they aren’t going to go out and spend that much this offseason. How about the Mets? To be in a HUGE market like New York, but spends like a mid-tier team. They’ve been handcuffed since the Bernie Madoff fiasco where ownership lost a bunch of $. You mentioned the White Sox, they aren’t going to spend anything and have been trying to trade Abreu and Avisail Garcia as well. Maybe next offseason, but they won’t spend in this one. The Phillies have spent some, but improvement will have to come from the kiddies before they will spend big in free agency, even though they can afford to sign some pitchers right now. Padres may be attempting to sign Hosmer, but he wants to win so he’s not going there, especially in that pitchers park they play in.
revenues at an all time high….Tony, so are ticket prices. enough is enough. please don’t start the millionaire bellyaching.
also…tank tax… L my A off. What tax will the non tanking teams pay when they finish behind “tanking” teams?
Salary floors exist in other sports. Maybe W/L isn’t exactly the way to go, but encouraging losing in order to rebuild isn’t exactly ideal either.
How about forcing those teams tanking into a lottery pick system.
That or the best team to not make the playoffs get the 1st pick and the worst team gets the last pick type method? Would at least force the teams not making the playoffs to at least compete.
How about a minimum salary cap threshold. I still think one year maximum player contracts would get the best out of the talent the sport has to offer and there would be no reason for long rebuilds.
So a non dynasty fantasy baseball league every year basically.
There would be nobody taking rest seasons in middle years of contracts. Offseason would be very much watched by the fans.
The owners can make whatever they want, they’re the owners. Good for them. When people are outraged by how much they make, I never understand it. Free agents sitting with 5, 6, and 7 year deals on the table will not get any sympathy from me. And if these free agents are deciding to sit out half the season or whatever, I will gladly go to the park and watch their replacements bust their rear ends to try to make a career for themselves.
Yup. Is baseball better with Yu Darvish and the like? Absolutely. But it’ll be just fine without him. That’s HIS choice. Would he really rather make $0 and try to hold out for an extra $20MM (or whatever it may be) when he’s got $125MM sitting on the table in front of him? Honestly I think there’s a 2% chance he doesn’t sign in the next 3 weeks.
Same can be said about JD, Hosmer, etc.
Are you really stupid enough to believe anything Manfred says?
The problem is not that a few top guys like Darvish are not signed. Its that over 100 other guys are not signed yet. 2/3 of all FA are still unsigned. That is collusion.
Baseball won’t be just fine without players like Darvish. What a stupid thing to say. Baseball is best with the best players on the field. Are you old enough to remember MLB trying to field teams of scabs? It was horrible. Unwatchable. And no one showed up at stadiums or watched on TV.
Baseball cannot survive without the major league players.
Obviously Tony Clark is a much more reliable person. How long have you known him? How’s his family doing? Is his Christmas card filled with excuses too?
Also, how did a Colin Kaepernick-less NFL get 103 million viewers for a Super Bowl? A good player wasnt on a team!! How can you even breath knowing that?!?! (not meant to pick a side on the Kaepernick issue, just stating that somehow football manage to live without a player that should be on a team.)
No it isn’t collusion. It’s the same every year. The lower level free agents largely don’t get signed until he big names go. When relief pitchers started getting signed earlier this off season a whole bunch signed in short order right afterward. The problem is the top position players are all represented by Scott Boras and he has completely unrealistic notions of what those players are worth. He’s sitting in multi-year 9-figure deals in a couple of cases because he wants even more. If he weren’t so damned greedy the market would open up.
That’s not an issue for the owners to worry about. Players are being signed to lucrative contracts. Darvish, JD and others have legit solid offers. If Darvish has a deal for 5/$100 or better then it’s on him to sign or to pass. This is work for hire. Owners make an offer and agents advise their clients what to do.
Unfortunately, we’re used to the marquee players setting the market and the lesser players fall in place. In the case of Boras, J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jake Arrieta and Greg Holland are his top 5 this season. If you’re a OF, 1B, 3B or SP then you’re likely waiting for those guys to set the market (via what they end up signing for) and then you get it where you fit in. Unfortunately for Boras’ lesser clients they are NOT his primary concern. However, Boras is an EMPLOYEE. It’s up to the players to be more proactive regarding their employment status.
You are so dense, at this point I just feel bad for you.
Your first post in this thread and I get to down vote with 15 others already giving you the finger.
Dude, you should put yourself on a time out.
– and I am thinking davidcoonce is an alias of yours here on mlbtr –
“Are you really stupid enough to believe anything Manfred says?”
No, but I’m not stupid enough to believe anything you say either – or Tony Clark, Boras and the rest of his ilk.
I have no aliases. This is why I use my actual real name in any forum on any website I ever post in.
Yes, I remember how popular the ST games were in 1995, with replacement players. Some of those games were played to literally zero fans.
I seriously doubt any unsigned player has zero offers. At that point they are just as much at fault as the owner(s).
This whole narrative in the off-season is getting dull. Let’s take a team like the Padres.. Small market, made 7 year offer to Hosmer, They can’t realistically compete this year, but are trying to build a team up. Signing some high priced older free agents doesn’t make sense for them since they need spots for the younger players to develop and poor signings can cripple a small market team.
Hosmer matches up with their plans, but he doesn’t like their offer, but nothing kept them from making the offer. You can probably go down the list of each team and find a similar story.
Or just look at relievers. Quite a few of them have been signed to pretty good deals. it’s not about teams not wanting to spend money. it’s about them not seeing value @ the prices these players (Boras) are looking for.
That’s why this idea of collusion and anything outinleftfield says are hilarious. It’s collusion, except not against relievers, and not by about 10 teams. So 20 owners have got together to collude against non-relievers. Yeah…that doesn’t sound retarded or anything
I’m sure Tony is a good guy and all but he seems ill-informed to be leading the player’s union. If the players are represented by a guy who is just going to ignore the market and its many factors we will soon be seeing a strike
the players and agents need to stop being so demanding in there asking price and in my opinion Yu Darvish and JD Martinez are holding the market up Martinez turned down 5 years and 125 million and Yu Darvish has offers from the cubs, Brewers and some other teams have offered 4-5 year contracts around 90-100 million WHAT is wrong with these offers these 2 sign and then more players get sign
The race to the bottom to collect as much great, young, controllable talent is because free agent contracts have become so ridiculous. Once you have your cheap controllable core in place for 4+ years, you start spending around it.
The talent available is mediocre. There are no superstars. Yet the agents seem to want superstar deals. The owners have to draw the line somewhere. Time for the agents to realize an adjustment in thinking is necessary.
No crying in baseball! Players and owners make millions/billions and the fans get screwed. It is the natural order of things.
The revenues either go to the owners or the players. Given the choice, I side with the players who actually generate the value of the product: they are who I pay to see, not the owners.
Owner’s carry the financial risk, but players should be treated fairly. How do you draw the line?
What other 10+Billion dollar industry derives all its value from 750 employees. I’ll wait.
Also, what other industry has seen franchise values go from 18 Billion to 46 Billion over five years,, while attempting to pay its employees less? Again, I will wait.
The owners are making money hand over fist. If you want to blame anybody for how much it costs to see a baseball game, blame the owners.
no ones getting paid less, the average salary in MLB has risen by $2.16mil in the last 13 years and that’s with the games average player age continually dropping since 2006
Player salaries are going down in 2018
They’re actually already above last years average…so no they’re not
I think the players should get as much as they can, and deserve as much as they can get. I have zero sympathy or empathy for billionaire owners,
Where we seem to disagree is that you think players should get it even if it means my team being hamstrung by a bad contract that limits their flexibility in future years.
Well, if I’m a fan that wants to see winning baseball, then I can’t be in favor of dead-money, albatross contracts, and I want my team to stay away from them.
The blue jays gm touched on what the real issue is yesterday and it speaks to the screwy nature of baseball free agency in general. The underlying issue with all of this is as follows, for a long time both players and front office people have known that free agency is somewhat of an overcorrection. Early in careers players contribute a lot of value while being underpaid. Once they reach free agency everyone has always known that they won’t live up to the contracts they sign but the unwritten rule that was accepted for a long time is that those contracts are overpays to make up for the player being underpaid earlier in their career. Now front offices are no longer willing to operate in that model. They expect to only pay for the production they will receive and no longer want to overpay based on past performance. This is why the true fix is going to be getting more money to players earlier in their careers.
Agreed. The whole system needs a retooling.
Do you know how the system gets retooled? A strike.
Then the anti-trust exemption for MLB will go away. The mechanism for that is the Curt Flood Act of 1998.
Then baseball teams will pay more to the players than they are now.
There will be a strike in the regular season.
1) NO ONE….absolutely NO ONE…is more responsible for the players being given lesser offers than Tony Clark. He bears more responsibility than everyone else who has a hand in it combined. He gave away the store and won nothing in the last CBA. His whining after the fact about the predictable results of his failure is so pathetic.
2) When the rich, big market teams were handing out mega deal after mega deal and teams were routinely buying championships and the small market teams were left by the wayside, did the MLBPA ever care AT ALL about competitive balance? Not a lick.
Tony Clark got rolled beyond belief in the last CBA. The players need to focus on replacing him and not blaming everyone else for their mistakes.
A record number of talented FA’s remain unsigned according to Tony Clark. Sorry Tony but most of the remaining FA’s are just not very good. Pretty much to the last on remaining have big holes in their games and many have been offered some sort of contract for 2018, whether multi-year deals or their original rejected QO’s.
I think both sides are correct.
The Reds and several other are trying to determine where they stand on the rebuild process.
The Small market teams have no choice.
However, also, there are many FA’s with great offers. Just a lot less the Scott B said they should get.
Time for the top to sign there 100 Mil+ offers and get the rest of this rolling.
Well stated. Exactly right.
Or MLBTR said they should get. Of Jon Heyman and “The Expert” said they should get. Or ESPN said they should get. Or the NY Post articles said they should get. You get the point.
The league, the teams, and the owners are earning record amounts of money and now they are saying we simply are not going to sign FA.
The amount of popup ads on the mobile version of this site should be enough to pay a few MLB contracts.
get ad blocker
This is SO MUCH FUN to watch!
Manfred is a liar. There are a record number of free agents still on the market and only a handful are top players. That 3-4 top guys are not signed is not an issue That happens every year. The owners are not signing anyone and that is what has the players up in arms. The more that Manfred lies and tries to deflect blame to the agents, the closer to a strike and possible loss of anti-trust protection for the league and the teams.
At this point, a strike for the regular season is inevitable.
The players knew what they were agreeing to. A strike now isn’t going to resolve anything. They need to hold out for a change to the free-agent/arbitration system in the next round of bargaining. The gulf in value between a pre-arb (even an arb) player and a FA is too enormous to sustain a healthy FA market. Players should hit FA after 4 years and be arb-eligible after 2. Owners will complain that they won’t be able to recoup the costs of all that minor league talent, but nobody’s going to buy it with the cash that’s flying around.
Again, it has nothing to do with the luxury tax or the few top free agents. It has to do with 2/3 rds of FA not even getting offers at all right now. Over 100 guys. Valuable players. 82 of which that put up a WAR over 1.0 and 31 that put up a WAR of 2.4 or over. That is the issue. That is why its clear that its collusion.
What is coming is a strike.
The players are going to say, if you don’t want to sign FA over 29, that’s fine. We want FA after 4 seasons in the majors. Not 4 years of service time, any part of 4 seasons in the majors. The MLB minimum is $1 or $2 million.
why didnt the union see this coming? or did they see it and unwisely dismiss it?
That is like asking why didn’t you see that car that purposely ran the red light and hit you from behind?
It has nothing to do with what the MLBPA did or didn’t do.
It has to do with the owners collectively deciding to artificially drive down the amount FA earn by not signing more than 2/3 of them with just a week to go before spring training.
I don’t think it’s collusion. I think it’s a game of chicken with the lower-tier guys. The players don’t want to get underpaid relative to the top-tier and the teams don’t want to overpay relative to the top-tier.
Are you serious right now?
Out of the top 50 free agents available this year only 23 are left unsigned and 3 of those have contract offers they are holding onto. I’m also willing to say that once Yu signs then so do Arrieta, Cobb and Lynn. That leaves 17 top 50 guys unsigned once the ones who have contracts sign and the 3 P’s above.
That leaves Carlos Gomez as the next best ranked free agent. Let me repeat that, CARLOS GOMEZ! He is barely rated as a starter per WAR.
It’s not collusion so stop throwing that out there. It’s a very weak FA class that is the problem. Most teams have minor league players better than the guys sitting on the market right now.
(Rankings per ESPN 2017 MLB free agent class)
Union knows a strike is the only way to get what they want out of the CBA. And i like Colby Rasmus but I dont want him on my roster. Why should owners have to sign guys like that?
There is no collusion. Some teams have spent big like the Brewers (outside their usual comfort zone) and some teams have big offers out to free agents who are holding out for more years (Padres and Royals). The fact is the big market spenders just don’t have the holes in their team to necessitate going out and spending big on Darvish, etc… Therefore players are left trying to get the middle class to pay up. Some will, some won’t.
Really? You think that’s the reason? You can’t see a correlation between the all the new faces/methods in front offices, focuses on analytics and placing different values on performances and outcomes, AND a downward trend in spending huge money in free agency? Really?
Baseball front offices are getting smarter these days, and spending big dollars for older players who aren’t going to provide that value isn’t smart business.
There isn’t a free agent left on the market without question marks. The hesitation to shell out mega contracts to mediocre players is understandable, regardless of how much revenue a club makes.
It’s not collusion.
Post a source staying how few are getting contract offers because otherwise you can’t really know. Also, I would say Jay Bruce and now Todd Frazier accepting offers is evidence against your position.
Additionally, this is typical baseball in that every team waits to see who is picked up from the top tiers before contracts are agreed too for the lesser tiers. So even if Hosmer, Darvish and players of this ilk are the only offers being made, it doesn’t mean collusion. It’s normal. Hosmer is being unreasonable in his demands so slowly but surely teams who were otherwise suitors are beginning to walk away from the table. They are bidding themselves out.
More like setting up a lounge chair on the railroad tracks and then complaining when the train hits you.
Many, many, many people predicted much of what is now happening the day the new CBA was signed.
That Clark, the PA and the agents evidently were not among those capable of foreseeing the logical implications of the CBA they signed doesn’t exonerate them, it indicts them.
“The players are going to say, if you don’t want to sign FA over 29, that’s fine. We want FA after 4 seasons in the majors. Not 4 years of service time, any part of 4 seasons in the majors. The MLB minimum is $1 or $2 million.”
We finally agree on a solution. I have no problem with this. Where we disagree is that there is collusion among ownership.
The difficulty I have with your analysis above is that 1 WAR is replaceable by a guy who’s a 25 year-old callup, so why should a team pay an FA over 30 two-to-???? times the money to produce the same thing?
As to your point about 31 guys having put up 2.4 WAR last season, I have to ask – what have they AVERAGED the last 3 seasons – and how old are they? YOu are stuck in the old model of paying players for their past performance.
As a fan I don’t care what they did solely in their most recent season because that’s not necessarily the best indicator of what they’ll do going forward. Also, you seem to dismiss age and the aging curve.
Frankly, that’s a little intellectually dishonest.
the players are still going to get paid so why dose a player need 140 million over 100 million so a 100 million won’t give you the life style that these overpaid players want and if players are not happy with the long term deals there being offered then take a 1year deal and enter FA next year
It can be solved easily. The last place team gets downgraded to minor league.
You could say that players are more interested in money than winning. As always the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Tony, you did an abysmal job of negotiating. Next time, hire professionals. Now, that, being said, I don’t like what’s going on here. 100+ FA on Feb 6 is not normal, and fairly clearly the design of a league-wide negotiating strategy, as well as secular changes to the market itself.
Younger players are taking over. Free agents have their best days behind them and teams are seeing this finally
If anything, this offseason is almost like a market correction. Look at what big contracts and draft pick losses have done to the Angels organization. Angels have always tried to put a winning team on the field that has included some big Free Agency signings, and it has absolutely handcuffed them.
It’s just a miracle at what Eppler has done with the organization in two years, but you can’t blame teams for not overpaying anymore. Angels are exhibit A.
Tony Clark is delusional. Fans do not have a fundamental trust in MLB ownership. You pick a team to root for and you hope ownership puts together a winning team. If they don’t you pick another team. Plain and simple.
Employees don’t tell owners how to run their business. If you have a good faith contract you need to understand that an owner wants to make money.
Players are too greedy.
Players aren’t any greedier than the owners. Fans want their teams to win and they don’t really care about anything else. A loser won’t be supported long term. All owners are trying to maximize their profits, the good ones will try to field either a consistent contender that puts fans in the seats every year or at least field a playoff-caliber team every 3-4 years so despair/abandonment never sets in among the fan base. There’s nothing wrong with tearing down a team and rebuilding, if you do it right, but you risk losing a fanbase if the rebuild lasts too long/never comes.
Pleaseeee…..booohoooohooooo…..cry me a river while the rest of us in the real world throw pennies at each other.
I don’t side with either one (owners or players). I’m tired of hearing spoiled brat players whine about not getting salary increases when they already make 10’s of millions of dollars a year.
If spending correlated with winning, Clark would have a point. But it doesn’t and he doesn’t.
dynamite drop in monty
The goonies are good enough!
Clark saying this is really amazing (galling even) considering that the luxury tax and this year’s resets will only make the problem worse.
6-8 teams will go over the tax next year while the rest stagnate or recede and become AAAA teams.
An NHL style system would fix both the competitive issues and give the player’s a chance to get more money but the dirty truth is that both the MLBPA and MLB want the big market teams to have a leg up, so it probably won’t happen.
6-8 teams will not go over the LT threshold
If so, then we’ll have a 3-5 team super league instead.
Either way, the CBA Clark negotiated all but guarantees that the competitive divide will only grow.
Let the players get normal jobs like the rest of us. Then see if they can afford the $500 it takes to take your kids to the games.
Ownership is simply saying no more. To salary requests that are out of hand. Guaranteed contracts despite performance.
If a player performs poorly… they can’t be fired nor do they hand money back.
I’m sorry. I’m an intelligent person. I see issues in both sides. But I’ve grown weary of players, there agents and there union – whom negotiated the current agreement which allows owners to do this- all of them.
The owners are the reason why the games are expensive. They make way more than the players and have seen their franchis evaluations increase 2.5 times in 5 years, which is unheard of in any industry. The players don’t set ticket prices – the market does, of course, to some extent – but the owners have the final say on what you will pay to go to a baseball game.
You’re 100% correct, the owners do make more than the players, and benefit more significantly from an increase in revenue. And you’re point? Please point out the business—because that is what MLB is first, a business…not a game, not a sport, not an entertainment venue, but a BUSINESS—where the owners do not make more than the employees.
Screaming about the cost of attending/watching a game is foolish. Yes, it is expensive, but teams can only charge what the market will bear. Some fans will be left out in the cold and be unable to afford the cost, but there are enough that can and will pay it that the owners can charge that amount. That’s business 101…charge as much as your consumer will pay.
Can you do their job? Nope. Not in a million years. So please STFU. That is about as moronic an argument as you can make about people with skills so far superior that you have no chance to do what they do.
Why don’t you stop insulting everyone and STFU
Yeah outinleftfield. I know a lot of people throw a lot of crap at you. And I know you have decades of experience in the game. I enjoy your posts and hope you continue because I’m learning from you. Don’t turn into guys like Cubbie Steve. Too many like Cubbie Steve on here.
At this point, Clark is just overcompensating for the fact that he negotiated a horrible CBA for the players.
MLBPA better be careful. If they keep attacking the owners they will start leaking the contract offers they have out there more often.. The agents will lose more negotiating leverage, and nobody is going to feel sorry for anyone with a 100 million dollar plus offer on the table.
With such an incredible amount of unsigned players how can collusion not be possible. Billionaire owners made filthy rich by free Central Bank money want more for themselves and less for you. It’s really not complicated.
It’s very simple. With MLB teams gravitating toward a more analytical approach to constructing their teams and valuing players and their performance—current and future—they are realizing that it is not smart business to pay big money for mediocre players, or players who analytics predict substantial declines.
Every player on the market has big red flags. Darvish already had TJ surgery, got torched in the post season, and has thrown a lot of innings. Why invest $150M+ in that if you believe you can get similar performance for significantly lower cost?
Collusion among teams would suggest that players have offers from several teams in the same exact range; that is not that case, apparently. There are fewer teams with interest in players because they don’t offer the value necessary to garner interest.
The Fecal League is very much a thing.
Look at it this way: in the NFL, which has a completely useless union and a salary cap and non-guaranteed contracts, players make 50% of the revenue.
In the NBA, which has a salary cap, players make 50% of the revenue.
In MLB, which has no salary cap, the players make less than 40% of the revenue.
A lot of people are whining on here about overpaid players and how they can’t afford to see a game, but blame the owners for the ticket prices, and understand the players take home way less of the pie than in any other sport.
And when was the last time you went to a baseball game to watch an owner sit in his box suite?
I don’t care who you are or what you do in this world. But if you are over 30 and someone offers you 120 million dollars to play baseball for 5 years and you turn it down because you want more, then you are technically what they call “Ahole”
Not Ahole. Stoopid, And you know the old saying about what can’t be fixed.
To prevent tanking, how about changing the draft order. 10 teams make the playoffs, so the team in 11th place picks first, 12th place second, etc. So if you finish in last place you’ll pick 20th, then after, the playoff teams in reverse order.
that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. How are small market teams supposed to compete without those high draft picks?
Nah, I think he has a point, that way small market teams will be force to spend in order to keep getting high draft picks. It also rewards teams that try to go for it and will make for a better trade market at midseason
good talk, guys. good talk.
I have to side with MLB here. Most top free agents have nice offers on the table. I think, as usual, Boras and others are waiting to see that first big contract so he can base his clients contracts off that. Always been a Boras strategy. This year, others are catching on and doing the same. Take less money it hold out, just stop belly aching and pointing fingers.
Here we go again……thanks cubs royals and Astros for tanking to win it all. The tigers, white sox, padres, reds, marlins, Braves, Phillies, a’s are all now trying to copy your model and major league baseball is worse because of it. Thanks. Funny how a while back the conversation was whether or not the cubs tanked, now the conversation from cubs fans is that the “cubs tanked, but so did other teams”. Which is it? And I don’t think it’s good for any fan base yo watch their billion dollar owners purposely lose in order to stock pile draft picks and go for it all for a short window, only to do it again after that. Look at the royals. About to full on tank again, a mere two years away from their world title.
Not everyone who tanks wins
It doesn’t have to be a short window, the royals were just awfully managed and they had nowhere near the talent the Astros and Cubs have
The Cubs aren’t about to tank again your crazy
Tanking is a term low baseball iq people use to try and sound smart. The Cubs had an owner who wouldnt/didnt spend wisely and terrible scouting. Cleaning house is what turned it around for them. Its not like they could spend their way out of it overnight
major difference between tanking and rebuilding, dude. you really think the Phils have been purposely in a race to the bottom in a division where WAS is the only serious contender? come on now. They had a great core, those guys aged and the process to replaced them began. This process is accompanied by some losing seasons. It is cyclical and it is a natural process for a majority of teams. If you cant understand this, find an easier sport to follow.
Unspectacular player, now unspectacular union leader.
MLB will nominate him for HOF as MLBPA leader
Tony C in denial. Obviously this is a convenient excuse but does not explain many good teams or teams with no hope of winning a race to the bottom doing nothing, all at the same time.
I don’t know what evidence people expect for collusion without an investigation. The evidence of a crime is the absence of FA activity. Kind of like the evidence of foul play is a stable and well off person who goes missing for a few days
As a 4 time loser on collusion charges I say the burden of proof is on MLB. Lets investigate. MLBPA sets up a commision by someone like Sen Mitchell did for steroids and get everyone testifying under oath and surrendering cell phones and hard disks and paper files for scrutiny.
Players need to move on from Toby C. This isn’t going away without tough talk
Also tbose trades by Marlins and Pirates that did not return much should be looked into. As the 2 biggest revenue recipients tbe possibility they were enticed to release such players at this price to disrupt the market must be considered. May be more than a race to the bottom here
I for one will consider suspending my interest in MLB till this is resolved. If it is as innocent as claimed then MLB should not hesitate to reopen CBA negotiations in the best interests of baseball
Gee, comments like this make me wonder if the Union gives a crap about Rookie players who can perform at the same level and deserve to be in the Major Leagues over Free Agent who performs the same or less than the FA? I’m guessing the Union will still collect Rookie dues.
A guy in one of Travis Sawchik’s FG chats made a very astute point…
“Dominik: Isn’t better player development actually very bad for player payment? Better PD means players are more interchangeable and it is easier to replace production with another 500k player you taught to hit bombs or throw 97. Could better PD be one of the reasons for the salary crisis?
Travis Sawchik: Interesting thought. There does seem to be a greater supply of power arms and power bats … so it could be playing a role.”
There are more good baseball players then ever. More coaching than ever. More camps than ever. More trainers than ever.
There are more players capable of playing in MLB than ever before and the same number of teams for the past twenty years. Basic supply and demand.
MLBPA should be pushing for expansion to 32 teams.
That’s a huge part of this. More than ever there are viable alternatives to obtaining talent besides buying free agents on long term deals.
Player: “Pay me what I’m worth.”
Owner: “I’m trying to, but you won’t accept it.”
And around and around we go…
Tony Clark is a piece of work. He is in way over his head as the MLBPA Chief.
Race to the bottom? Maybe there should be a cap then. Unless certain teams do a proper rebuild they cannot compete with the dollar bills that bosox Yankees rangers doyuers giants etc can throw down
Cards get it done even though they are in a small market. I don’t necessarily believe in a “tank tax” or salary floor or similar but tanking is bad for baseball and any team shown to not be trying to compete and put best team possible out there for their fans should be punished somehow because it is bad for the overall product and integrity of the game.
Cards are mid tier. They have established a long and deep rich farm with good scouts.
What the point in spending millions upon millions of dollars with the wrong products on the field to end up never getting a division title? Some teams need to rebuild their team and farm and start flushing the game with talent.
When the rays have to compete against the deep pockets of the al east, the padres against the deep pockets of the nl west. The As with the deep pockets of the al west etc… they have to do a rebuild in order to possibly spend later. The As are cheap. The rays don’t have a strong fan base in a horrible stadium.
It sucks but some teams have to do something now to stay competitive later. Out of those three I mentioned only the padres are setting their selves up for future success with waves of talent. Other mid tier teams are doing the same thing. Braves, shy Sox etc
Only true tank to tank is never a full commitment in the marlins
The cards are not small market. They have the 7th highest revenue in the game.
And geographically, their market is way bigger than metro St Louis.
You can’t force teams to spend money stupidly under the present cba. Perhaps the solution in next CBA is to have a floor similar to NHL. Teams must spend x number of dollars on salaries. Of course MLB differs in that it does not have a cap as such (it has a tax threshold)
Perhaps the penalty for not reaching the floor is drop the value of picks 10 spots and loss of international FA $$
This may take the incentive away a bit , to tank by spending nothing on MLB roster
Maybe instead of dollar amounts for the floor and tax threshold, they should be x% of profits, but I like the idea you brought up.
Ultimately, there will be both a floor and a ceiling. Hard ones.
And frankly every involved party will benefit
Doubt it. Hard caps will limit spending, and hard floors cannot be imposed unless there is a complete redistribution of revenues, which will never happen. It works in the NFL and NBA because they have national TV deals, not local ones. Baseball is a local sport. Fans in NY, LA, Boston, Philly, etc., pay substantially more for access to their teams that fans in Tampa Bay, Miami, Cleveland, etc., and they should expect that the dollars they spend supporting their team should go to their team, not to a team whose fans do not support it as much financially.
Clark and the agents and players crying over the rules (that they bargained) –are just pathetic.
All of the 2017-18 FA players who have any value at all have received fair offers based on their worth in this market. For too long, the MLBPA, agents and players have taken advantage of a system that provides early pensions to veteran players (usually age 34-38) in the form of stupid long-term deals. We are now seeing teams (aided by a few rich teams that have taken themselves out of the market) acting in their short-term and long-term best interest — offering shorter deals that don’t debilitate teams. The fans of these teams that are holding the line (Twins, Cubs, Red Sox, Padres to name a few) should be thankful that their FOs are making wise decisions.
Clark and the MLBPA should focus on the real problem and negotiate better opportunities for younger, high value members of the union to earn what they are worth and stop trying to defend a system that for too long has resulted in far too many overpaid players at the end of their careers.
MLBPA has always focused exploiting a broken and irrational financial system to maximize $$$ for the top slice of players, and the chickens are coming home to roost now. Hell with the league, the fans, most players, and the game itself, if a guy can earn 20+ mil on a legacy deal all is right with the world.
Sorry, but if 125 million for 5 years is not enough to live on from the age 36 until whenever (not including shared royalties from their name on merch.), then someone needs to reevaluate their life, and spend money better.
25 million a year is 154k per game, so that is what? just over 51k per hour in a 3 hour game? (not including practice time). Heck, 7 years at 140 is still 20 million a year. I think I could be okay,.,
I’d want to be done by 35 and spend time enjoying that money.
tony is a desperate man trying to keep a job he deserves to lose.
As a Cubs fan, I am glad they tanked. Most of our fan base (the educated ones, anyway), embraced the vision of the Front Office, and their actions have been validated by a World Series championship.
The article rightly points out the half a dozen or so super-teams. I don’t blame many other teams from not wanting to try to compete right now. The Dodgers, Cubs, and Nats (to an extent) in the NL and the Astros, Yankees and Red Sox all make it hard to compete. Given the youth and the market size of those teams, it makes their longevity as serious contenders seem that much more legit.
Teams like the White Sox and Phillies likewise seem to be on the cusp of joining them.
The model has been validated. Fans have taken notice.
I think what the players and union have failed to notice is that as players continue to leave more and more frequently via free agency, their following dwindles. Fans follow teams much more so than they follow players. We want our teams to win. The older generations of fans may have had a certain nostalgia that prompted them to be more inclined to want to view vets, no matter where they were on the aging curve, but as us younger fans learn about WAR and other advanced analytics and witness the huge amount of success that has come to validate tanking as a strategy—the Cubs have been in the NLCS for THREE FREAKING STRAIGHT YEARS!—we’ve traded in our grandparents’ fandom for a more pragmatic attitude towards our teams.
You can say that because..
1. The Cubs were finally successful and on top of that they are in a large market but that rebound from tanking took awhile.
2. The Astros are also in a large market with deep pockets and also chose tanking and eventually won.
How many markets can do that and add payroll like a Cubs? Just because those two organizations were able to do it doesn’t mean the market size of say the Reds can. Bottom line tanking is not fair to a fan base.
MLB has so many problems with the General Public as it is..talk of pace of play wanted by the commissioner one week and this the next. The Eagles just went from a last place 7-9 record in 2016 to win the Super Bowl the very next year. MLB shouldn’t reward teams for tanking and having low payrolls it’s just wrong.
Baseball owners are in the business of making money. If they want to race to the bottom to reorganize and restructure then they can do that. Plus hearing the Union whine about an agreement you bargained for is counter productive and just makes the union look bad. In today’s world hearing millionaires cry about making $25 million versus $35 million will fall in deaf ears and will lead to those that don’t watch the game out of live for the game to tune it out.
I thought there were smart people in the union… I guess not.
When teams can’t compete with the super teams, they have to get to a point where a couple free agents might make the difference. Do you mortgage the future by adding overpriced free agents in an attempt to enter a one and done playoff series? Not if you have a smart GM you don’t. And almost every team has a smart GM.
You can’t get rid of the super teams unless you have a hard cap. And no one wants a hard cap. This is the mess baseball and the union created. Smart teams don’t want to fight for the crumbs. They’d rather do the slow build.
Next year Boston, the Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs will spend the other team into oblivion, and the other teams will pick up the crumbs, but they are not going to overpay for the crumbs.
I would argue those teams are already spending the league into oblivion. But yeah next year gonna be EPIC.
The current Agreement between players & owners is such that players give up money over their first 6 seasons in order to make huge bucks after their 6th year.
But if owners take away the big money after year 6 then the players will fight for players to immediately be eligible for larger contracts right from year one.
That could wind up hurting the owners way more than the current system does….
Either way, this is setting the stage for an ugly negotiation of the next CBA in 2021 with the very real potential of a strike and a lost seaaon…
Everyone needs to know that there are no innocent victims in this. Both sides are grabbing for as much money as they can get.
With that in mind, I don’t agree with Tony Clark. How often do teams regret long contracts on aging players. How about the fans. Does anyone really want a 34 year old Hosmer playing for their team? I don’t want that for the Braves.
The market finally swings away from players making more. I think it’s about time.
See, that’s where I disagree with the players (and you); from the team end, this isn’t really about money. Unless the top payroll teams are swimming in massive profits (and so could easily spend more than they already do), there is a practical limit to how much a team can spend, not to mention that baseball penalizes spenders above the luxury tax.
If players were willing to take 1-3 year contracts, teams would be much more enthusiastic. You don’t think JD Martinez would get his $25-30M salary from Boston or Arizona if he were willing to sign for 2 or 3 seasons? The trouble is that the players want 5-7 GUARANTEED years, and yet they neither lower their AAV enough to accommodate the increased risk to teams long term or take a reduction in salary in laters years (a la Dustin Pedroia’s contract).
Teams know that the recent market was a bad one, and are no longer willing to pony up on the combination of years AND high salaries. That isn’t about making profits, but instead about avoiding too much dead money later in contracts. It behooves players to ask for fewer years, lower salaries, more incentive-based contracts, and/or other similar options in order to balance risk to teams. And if players truly want to max out potential earnings, they should bet on themselves and go year-to-year at the highest individual salary a team is willing to offer up.
When did Tony Clark become Benjamin Sisko?
It sounds like they expect rebuilding (not tanking) teams to sign some of these free agents. I am a Reds fan. They are currently rebuilding. What benefit would signing some of these names have to the Reds? The whole point of rebuilding is out with the old and in with the new. You are trying to see which young players stick. If the Reds were to sign JD Martinez, for example, then they wouldn’t get see what Jesse Winker (a guy who is ready to get his everyday shot) can do. The Reds currently have four guys slotted in for the rotation. The 5th spot is open to about 5-7 different guys who are competing. Many of those competing are former (or current) Top 100 Prospects in MLB. Should the Reds not give them an opportunity and go sign Jake Arrieta? Most of these rebuilding teams are 2-3 years away from legitimately competing. If you sign Arrieta (a guy who has been on the decline for a few years), then you might possibly sabotage the rebuild by having money tied up in a below average player. The Reds are already there with Homer Bailey.
There is only one free agent I want the Pirates to sign….Ichiro. Let the young players watch a pro go about his business. He would add a little bit of value to each player who got to watch him and play with him by the end of the year.
That is the kind of move that can actually help a rebuilding or retooling team, not signing some marginal free agent hoping to win an extra game over 162.
2016- “”The qualifying offer system is hindering players sign-ability by having steep draft compensation penalties and is unfair, only large market teams can afford the luxury of high contracts and draft pick loss”
2017-“New CBA should even the playing field from high payrolls to draft comp for QO players!”
2018- “Marginal players are no longer getting huge contracts! This is unfair!”
If the players don’t like this they need to look at Tony Clark, the new CBA is barely a year old. Just because marginal players are no longer pricey, draft pick wise, doesn’t mean people will pay more for them. Cain and Santana got paid market value, but JDM, Hosmer, Moose, Arrieta, Cobb, Darvish are all looking for top player money but none of them are. Their bats are either inconsistent (Hosmer/Moose), their defense is garbage and only suited to DH (JDM), Career trajectory is looking bleak (Arrieta), and injury and productivity concerns (Cobb/Darvish).
What about players asking for $30 million plus a year when they are in their 40’s? No One wants to give a player in his 30’s a contract into his 40’s. Only fools like Cashman did that, but now they want to stay under $200 million a season. Too many elite players fall off dramatically once they get to the mid-late 30’s – Cabrera, Arod, Pujols, etc. With those $200-300 million contracts players got when they were around 30 looked great at the time, but now those teams are stuck with huge contracts and mediocre players – Angels and Tigers. Prince Fielder couldn’t even play for the whole contract.
Tony Clark is a like a guy who traded his house for a donut complaining that he’s homeless.
Ninth 3 Year Plan
Bottom line is Clark is feeling the pinch, no way he’s running things when the next CBA is negotiated
When Harper and Machado sign the biggest contracts of all time next season… and Kershaw inks some ungodly extension, everyone will stop talking about collusion.
Dervish, Homer, and Martinez are all still unsigned because of unreasonable demands on their part. They could’ve all been on teams a long time ago if they would sign the offers
Who are the half a dozen Super-teams in the MLB that was mentioned ? Anyone ?
Cubs, Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and… Nationals? Maybe?
The problem is the top of the free agency class is overrated and asking for too much. Yu Darvish had his worst season since his rookie year and ended the season with a massive world series dud. Arrieta had his worst season since 2013 and will be 32 when the season starts. Darvish and Arrieta have each pitched 200 innings ONE time in their careers. Why pay 25 million for an “ace” that only goes 5 plus innings a start?
Hosmer is a career 280 hitter with a 780 OPS. He hit 35 points higher on his BA and 100 points higher on his OPS last year. So he should be paid based on the one year anomaly and not his 7 year history as a whole? Either way 7 years for 147 million doesn’t sound bad for that production.
According to Bob Nightengale on MLB network, Greg Holland turned down the same contract the Rockies offered to Wade Davis at 3 years 52 million. That was dumb! Holland will cost another team a draft pick so he will likely not see another offer like that.
JD Martinez can hit… and that’s about it. His fielding is bad and will be a DH candidate in a couple years. That leaves you with a short list of teams that can afford a 25 million dollar DH.
Many of the teams are still talking to or in on one of these “top” free agents so the next tier guys can’t get any real offers either until the top guys go first.
In the meantime, all we get is MLBPA and agents whining.
I don’t care at all if billionaire owners make more money and players get 100 million over 130 million. Literally don’t care at all. Billionaires didn’t become billionaires by making poor business decisions.
My issue is if my team pays a guy 150+ million over 8 years into his late 30’s and becomes terrible in his mid 30’s. My team is now handcuffed from paying new guys to compete because you have a boat anchor you are dragging along.
Long term contracts don’t work period. Hit FA 2 years earlier at (2) years rookie, (2) years arb eligible or make every year arb eligible instead of rookie scale. Max contract UFA years to 6 if you stay with your current team and 5 if you leave to another team. Lots of things you can do to make it better. Paying guys in the latter half for previous accomplishments is just dumb in general.
Here’s what Tony should have said:
Tell Yu Darvish he shouldn’t have torn his UCL and then gotten shelled in the playoffs.
Maybe tell Jake Arrieta to retain his fastball velocity, a terrifying trend for a pitcher with his profile (power) and age.
Maybe tell John Lucroy to frame his pitches better and not had the worst offensive season of his career.
Tell the Marlins not to flood the market with OF stars, filling holes for other teams.
Tell Eric Hosmer a one-year aberration to his career averages, a year that made Scooter Freaking Gennett Look like Joe Morgan, is just that and he should take the freaking $90 MILLION DOLLARS
Market dynamics, Tony.
Players should have seen this and agents should have seen it but they gambled and lost.
Market dynamics. If you knew more teams were tanking, adjust your prices and negotiating strategies.
It’s not complicated. And the whining makes you look weak.
The problem isn’t tanking. The problem isn’t collusion.
The problem is that teams are smarter than they used to be, and don’t see the benefit in paying high salaries to aging players based on their past performance instead of their future performance.
The players are within their rights to be frustrated because it’s not their fault that teams are getting smarter, but the entire root of this problem is supply and demand. That’s it.
I don’t think the owners/GM’s are any smarter (or less intelligent), but all it takes is one or two Mike Illitch’s who realize that they’re not going to “take it with them” and so they drive up the labor costs for the entire MLB.
Such an silly comment, and hardly going to help anyone
And this is actually much more like it
“i.e., that more teams than usual are strategically disinterested in trying to win *at any cost* in the coming season.”
Bc teams are still trying to win, they just aren’t as willing to ruin the future to do it – they would rather compete now AND in 4 years than sign horrible contracts that would hurt that possibility and force a rebuild/retool every couple seasons.
And since most all teams have come to the realization that it is smarter to let the teams (based off revenue) not the agents (based off desires) control the costs …well then maybe the game is finally getting to a point where costs can be better controlled in the future (and ideally we wont get to situations like what is going on in Mia, where new guys buy a club that is hundreds of million in debt and must gut it completely just for the possibility of a future)
Ultimately what is happening is good, not bad. It should hopefully increase competitiveness and longevity of clubs, while also possibly slow down the out of control increases to prices fans are expected to cover thru a number of ways. And while it sucks the players wont all get the 6 year, 120 million contracts they were desiring… well maybe they can still figure a way to get by on around 12 million a year, hopefully?
There is zero difference for 99% of the fan base when it comes to Hosmer or Darvish wanting an extra year and an extra 20 mil when they have at least 7 & 120 sitting on the table. That’s enough for any reasonable person to accept in a heartbeat.
By this point the players are just hoping they could extend their penises by an extra inch but blame it on the owners for not giving it to them.
Sorry players, but nobody should be on your side – especially since the CBA in place discourages teams from continuously going over the luxury tax. You dug your own graves.
Maybe Tony Clark did not mention collusion because he really is thinking “Oh crap, those owners finally realized how stupid they were spending huge money for a lot of years on guys in their 30’s”
Buying more than 4-5 free agent years is risky, plain and simple.
You can’t have fully guaranteed 7+ year high AAV deals fall flat on their face time and time again and expect that the status quo is never going to change. Unless you’re Tony Clark.
Last 3 World Series winners all “tanked” (I say rebuilt) to get to where they wanted. The Cubs and Astros were just more open about reworking their organization. Like the old fashioned 5 year plan that teams used to have when they realized they weren’t that good.
“Clark does not accuse teams of acting in concert to artificially suppress earnings — quite a different, more serious potential charge for which we’ve seen no evidence. “
Just curious, who is this “we” of whom you speak? MLBTR writers, your friends and family? Or are you presuming that you speak for some unnamed others?
I think a few teams out there, such as the Cubs, Indians and Astros, have given hope to many in the rest of the league (and their fan bases) that being bad isn’t the worst thing ever if you can come out of it with high draft picks and good prospects that hit. The idea of buying a championship, which isn’t a reality for most teams anyways, seems to have fallen out of favor.
That, coupled with the fact that a vast majority of free agents are overpaid and tend to underperform on their contracts makes rebuilding seem like a viable, less expensive alternative to overspending just to stay in the middle of the pack.
As a fan, I’d rather my team be heading up or heading down. If my team is hovering year after year in the middle or lower middle, then I get frustrated because it’s hard to hope for anything better in the short term or the long term.
As far as the teams go, I think there’s a bunch of things resulting in this strange market. Rebuilding teams, teams too close to the luxury tax, teams waiting for next year’s big ticket players, teams that know they’re not one expensive player away…
Add that up and the rest of the teams still left in the hunt for players are in a position where they can wait on their offers because the supply so thoroughly outweighs the demand.
I don’t think that’s collusion. I think that’s just teams knowing after a few months where the market is and feeling confident that they don’t have to outbid several other teams. That doesn’t mean a bunch of billionaires got together and said “hey, let’s stick it to these millionaires.”
I could just as easily accuse Clark and the rest of the boohooers of being in a race to get stuck in the middle for the next 10 years like the Orioles and Royals are about to be.
That’s what the overarching problem is.
1) A good portion of the league doesn’t have the revenue to be able to afford to miss on long term deals, 2) you’re usually better off growing players from scratch and riding them for 6 years rather than buying years 7-12 of someone else’s players and 3) this crop of FA is loaded with what would normally be top-10 FA but not top-5 FA caliber players… it’s all exposing that the MLBPA was perfectly content profiteering off of a system that let the top slice of the league financially run roughshod over the rest of the league. Lower revenue teams are accepting the seeming reality that they’re going to be hatcheries for big market teams, and so they’re figuring out how to best make use of their resources.
The financial system in the league automatically puts most top FA out of the reach of most of the league, and Clark and his merry band of maroons are just shocked and amazed that the league is adapting around that reality.
Tony Clark is really bad at his job and negotiated this mess.
He needs to step aside for a proper labor lawyer
I personally don’t give 2 sheets what Tony Clark says!!
Not sure how much I buy this whole “race to the bottom causing teams not to spend” claim.
There are currently 14 teams projected for losing records at Fangraphs. Of the 14:
The Marlins and Pirates have sold off major pieces.
The Brewers have signed contracts for $105m, plus traded for Yelich
The Rockies committed $114.5m to relievers and a starting catcher
The White Sox signed a starting catcher for $15m
The Tigers signed a starting pitcher for $6m
The Reds have spent $9.5m on relievers
The Rangers have committed over $40m to 5 pitchers
The Phillies have guaranteed over $90m to 3 players
The Padres have guaranteed $10m to 4 players, and have reportedly been after Hosmer
The Althletics guaranteed $10m to Petit, and also made a trade with the Royals
The Royals signed under $5m worth of contracts, but have been in on Hosmer too
The Braves and Orioles have not signed a player to a Major League contract
However, of the teams projected for over 90 wins:
The Yankees brought Sabathia back for $10m, and that’s it
The Red Sox brought Moreland back for $13m
The Nats have spent $21m on Adams, Kendrick and Kintzler
Cleveland signed Alonso for $16m
The Astros spent $23.5m on Smith and Rondon
The Cubs have spent $89m on 5 pitchers
So from what I can see, the teams at the top aren’t worried about their relatively secure playoff position, and that is keeping them from overspending. Teams on the playoff fringe like the Angels, Giants, Diamondbacks, Jays, Mariners, Mets and Twins should be doing more to make the top ones more uncomfortable, but the distance between talent levels and the lack of impact talent on the FA market makes it tough to be overly aggressive.
So I think that’s more of a reason than teams “racing for the bottom.”
The “and that’s it” part for the Yankees isn’t fair. They also added the largest financial commitment possible this offseason in trading for Stanton.
Good point Erik 30 mil is not cheap for sure
I forgot to include the Dodgers, who have thus far shelled out $2m to Tom Koehler.
“Race to the bottom” is like the hokey community college sociology professor version of saying “Dilly dilly”
It’s funny to hear a major union representative cry about how his union and agents like Scott Boras have been the leading cause of this race to the bottom (as he calls it) and then bemoan how they have killed the goose that laid the golden egg. It doesn’t sound like Tony has had many conversations with agents and GM’s or he’d be getting this race to the bottom turned around rather than just lamenting and point the finger. But I guess he has to make it “look” like he’s earning his pay.
The facts don’t support Clark’s assertions, but the free agent stalemate does serve as a distraction from the A’s who appear to be treading water, and BAL who seem practically disconnected from anything related to roster maintenance. They’re not buying or selling despite having glaring needs on their 25 man roster.
Clark advocates for the players.
Manfred advocates for the owners.
They are both reciting only the talking points that support their side. So who you going to believe? I suggest, neither of them.
The only thing we as fans need to know is the two sides are squaring off for a serious brawl. Maybe it doesn’t happen until 2021, but short of a miracle, it will happen.
The other thing we need to know is it isn’t about us, it’s about them. We don’t figure into this fight at all, so taking sides in it is pointless.
Lots of tired old labor dispute hyperbole out of both sides. And it’s all about $$$. Anyone who thinks either side is particularly interested in fans or the quality of the ball game on the field needs to lay off the bath salts.
Not to say there are no issues to resolve with the way the financial system in the game works, but the idea that they’re ever going to sit down and have an honest conversation about it… again with the bath salts…
Exactly. Baseball is a $10B a year business and we the fans have made it thus. It’s always going to be about the money and who gets it.
blah blah blah! yackity shmackity! more more more… Less less less… blah blah blah! yackity shmackity!
Umpire: “Play Ball!!!”
Color commentator: baseball is officially underway, fans.
The familiar written words/ sounds of Professional Baseball. Right? Gotta love it.
The only free agents asking for the sun and the moon; are Scott Boras clients. Personally a sox fan I don’t want us to give JD Martinez $25-30 million for 5-6 years. And then miss out on a better free agency class next year. Hosmer is also not worth as much as he’s asking. If I was an owner I would wait it out. No investment is better than a bad investment.
The 100 “Free Agents” are technically neither major leaguers nor union members. They don’t have a job in Major League Baseball. Technically, only the 1,200 players currently on the 30 teams’ rosters are represented by the union. Most of those 100 free agents are worse players than those currently on rosters, AND are old, beyond their prime, AND are much more expensive than the new guys on the rosters, AND would block the development of younger prospects that need a chance to play. As a fan, I’d rather watch young guys than grossly overpriced has-beens and never-were’s.
Good point; the whole idea of Free Agency was allowing the Free Market to do it’s job. Well, it’s doing it this off-season, but we’ve all seen this movie before; that “collusion” word is lurking in the shadows and it’s only a matter of time until it rears it’s ugly head. All the union has to do is make the accusation and the owners will fold.
I don’t think the players lose their union card the day their contract expires and only get a new one when they sign a deal.
Of course not, but you miss the point. A unionized free agent is an oxymoron. The whole idea of free agency was to allow players to realize their market value via unrestricted bidding for their services. What the players really want is the best of both worlds: they only prefer the free market when it works in their favor, and when it doesn’t, they present themselves as victimized union stiffs.
Such completely bizarre reasoning. To get where you are going you need to confuse two fundamentally different concepts. To start, without the union free agency would be essentially meaningless. If you need to ask why then you need to brush up on your baseball history.
First of all, I remember Curt Flood and know very well the “history” of FA. Your logic (such as it is) is based on your application of FA to sports and that’s where your history begins and ends. Ever hear of a unionized private contractor? The basic and historic legal definition of a “Free Agent” is someone not bound by any prior commitments before entering into a contractual relationship, and there are plenty of those that constrain a MLB player, as well as the owner. You’re confusing fundamentals with their application. The fact that professional sports has distorted the fundamentals doesn’t change the basic concept.
No offense to this site or others sports sites… why would we care if billionnaires don’t want to hand multi-millionnaires tons of millions.
It’s a non-story for the fans.
Pretty much all 9 figures deal didnt pan out.
I can’t see a team giving 100M+ to Arrieta Darvish Hosmer and making the playoff.
Teams are build by drafting well and smart trade.
It’s a story if these obstinate morons on either side end up having a work stoppage and we don’t have baseball to watch.
Hey Tony: go buy your own MLB team and make whatever decisions you want instead of giving unneeded advice to owners and GM’s.
Top 15 reasons there are so many unsigned FAs
1. There is not a single superstar on the list. Very good players, yes. Superstar? Nope.
2. Analytics allows ownership to value patients more rationally.
3. So called top FAs and their agents have over-valued their worth and have not yet accepted generous offers (JDM, YD)
4. Bryce Harper 2019
5. Manny Machado 2019
6. Clayton Kershaw 2019
7. The CBA
8. The correlation between team payroll and likelihood of playing deep into the playoffs is trivial (not ignorable, but trivial)
9. Matt Cain 2012 (5 yrs, 112.5 million)
10. Jordan Zimmerman 2016 (5 years, 110 million)
11 Jason Heyward 2016 (8 years 184 million)
12. Shin-Soo Choo 2014 (7 years 130 million)
13. Jacoby Ellsbury 2014 (7 years, 153 million)
13. Carl Crawford 2011 (7 years, 142 million)
14. Homer Bailey 2014 ( 6 years, 105 million)
15. Ryan Howard 2012 (6 years 135 million)
Honorable mention (as a Met fan): David Wright. Mo Vaughn, Jason Bay, Bobby Bonilla
Yeah but collusion collusion collusion collusion collusion
You forgot Pablo Sandoval (5 years/$95M) …. LOL
Doom and gloom
Doom and gloom
I wonder if anyone who thinks players should get less money would volunteer to take a cut in salary so their employers can benefit.
I believe some free agents are overpricing themselves, but I don’t believe all of them are. So why isn’t it just the top free agents who remained unsigned? If you don’t want to sign Eric Hosmer, fine; why not Lucas Duda or Logan Morrison? If you don’t want Mike Moustakas, why not Eduardo Nunez or Yunel Escobar? If you don’t want Yu Darvish, why not a one year deal on Chris Tillman? In the recent past, teams passed up the more pricey Boras line of free agents and went for the next players. Why not now?
I believed owners in the 1980’s when charges of collusion came up. Since then, it was shown that they were actually guilty. They initiated a lockout in 1990 and cancelled the World Series in 1994. They’ve received revenue sharing and in most cases new stadiums that we were told was necessary to compete. I’m not inclined to believe them again.
Do you pay more for things than you need to just because you can?
You have to define “need”, but some people do just that. It’s called “conspicuous consumption”.
“I’m not inclined to believe them again”
That’s fine, but it should be noted that only 4 of the current owners have owned their teams since the 80’s. Everyone else purchased in the 90’s or later. Five more bought between 1990 and 1994.
I don’t think there is collusion. I do think that the current CBA is terrible for players and they should attempt to renegotiate it, instead of complaining and claiming collusion. That requires them to admit that it was poorly negotiated.
But we should examine the reasoning behind the Luxury Tax. Who exactly pushed for a soft salary cap? It certainly wasn’t the Dodgers, right? Probably not the Yankees or the Cubs. It makes competition more difficult for the most profitable clubs, who have historically been the drivers of high priced free agents. In fact, it redistributes their profits to their competition. It’s a major deterrent. When was the last time the A’s, Twins, Rays, Padres (teams unaffected by the tax) made a big free agent acquisition? I cannot think of one.
The CBA has radically changed the valuation of free agent worth in the eyes of the wealthiest teams. I think that is the biggest issue. Would the Cubs be as hesitant to sign Darvish if there were no luxury tax penalties? Doubtful.
I don’t really care either way. In some ways, a labor dispute between millionaires and billionaires is pretty good entertainment.
Average salaries have doubled and the CBA is terrible?
This has been a most interesting off season free agent market this year.
Didn’t think this would happen but thankfully it has.
I’m getting tired of seeing the little guy get paid $12-15 per hour and a pitcher getting $500,000 per hour ($30M/30 starts/2 hours per start).
And I feel so sad that they don’t get paid for their preparation …. LOL.
So to see Tony Clark and Scott Boras crying is laughable.
Did you see the deal Todd Frazier just signed? $8MM in 2018 and $9MM in 2019.
There’s a guy that can put up 30+ HR’s.
And JDM wants $200M and he can play the outfield too. OMG …. LOL
Check what David Ortiz got his last few seasons. $16M/per year one year at a time.
So who’s kidding who?
Is anyone saying JDM is better that Big Papi?
rich players complaining about richer owners while working stiffs have to work every day to make ends meet and maybe go to 1 or 2 games a year lose again maybe the fans should strike impossible but the owners and players tune would change with no one in the stands. what a nice dream impossible as it is to happen
I think that the problem is that the FA’s are trying to get Elite player paydays for being good to very good and so far it is apparent that it is not going to happen. My team the Astros finally won a championship but it took 32 players to get there (i.e. call ups throughout the season were required)not a couple of 30 mil + players the Angels are the perfect example they had 90 mil tied up in three players that they could never put the talent around to be a force. This year the first year of the Josh Hamilton contract erased they have made some moves get the point? The Agents make their living via kickbacks off of player salaries. In the end it is not collusion but it is good business sense the FA’s need to lower their expectations and sign reasonable contracts that is all.
Wanted to add it does not help the FA’s cause when they go into free agency with a list of teams they will sign with case in point Eric Hosmer and the Padres. Seems like they want inflated salaries, but they want to be on a established or up and coming team and not part of piece that may help a team become up and coming turning around where they are currently at. Hippocrates !
Does it surprise everyone that owners get tired of giving out 7-8 year contracts for people who only perform for 1-3 of that? A great baseball team is not made up of one superstar such as basketball or QB in football. Trout, Bryant ,or Kershaw does not equal a World Series ring. Martinez and Hosmer both good players but giving them seven or more years is just dumb. Post PED players age just as the rest of us humans do.
Can we just go back to PEDs? Baseball’s never been more fun to watch than it was in the 90s I’m 85% joking.
Posted this on dozens of other threads, because the same conversation’s been happening on each thread. My two cents:
The biggest problem in the MLB isn’t the size of the contracts, it’s that 100% of their salaries are guaranteed. Incentive-based contracts and a set rules put into place to prevent teams from making in-game decisions based on incentive thresholds would put an end to “contract years” and these insane 7+ year contracts that have teams paying players half of their total payroll to sit on the bench and be 43-years-old.
Stop paying players for what they did last year and start paying players for what they do. Stop paying players to show up and pay them to produce instead.
Not saying that contracts should be 100% incentive-based, but I don’t see anything wrong with only guaranteeing 15-25%, so the big free agent signings take home between $3m and $6m with no questions, but they have to earn the rest. Set dollar amounts to expected production and pay out based on what percentage they achieve. Hell, pay them more than they signed for if they exceed expectations.
I just don’t want to ever see another Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp, Matt Cain, Pablo Sandoval, the list goes on. Especially Pujols. His contract was designed to buy 3-4 years of MVP-worthy production, but spread the cost out over 10 years. Instead, the Angels are paying for ten years of nothing at the rate of an MVP.
In a nutshell, I don’t blame teams for not wanting to shell out huge guaranteed contracts. The amount of money that’s guaranteed to players regardless of production is absolutely insane. The best players should be getting paid the most. Period. If they suddenly start producing below replacement-level, they don’t get paid more than the guys that are carrying them.
Check the NHL. There is a lottery. The bottom 5 teams go in to a ‘ping-pong’ ball draw. The number of balls in the draw is structured so the bottom team gets better odds than the team that is 5th from bottom. BUT all 5 teams ‘could’ get the first pick and it has rarely been the team that has finished at the bottom.
Hey Tony Clark, did you ever think that maybe teams/GMs/Owners are sick of Scott Boras and his strong arm tactics? Or him forcing teams to strap their payroll with for 200+mil over 7 years for players who consistently end up under performing over the back end or the entire length of their contracts? I just think teams are more aware now that paying 7 years for essentially 3 or 4 good seasons isn’t all that smart or necessary
You arrogant as. . The race TO THE BOTTOM IS ALL THE OVER PAID UNDERFORMING CONTRACTS YOU HAVE STUCK ON TEAMS AND FANS…
WE NEED PERFORMANCE BASED CONTRACTS AND DROP THE CAP TO 10P K AND IMPROVE THE COMPETITIVE BALANCE INSTEAD OF BAITING SMALL MARKETS INTO FOOLISH CONTRACTS OF THESE RETIREMENT PLAYERS