Two of the most talented players in Triple-A will remain there throughout the month of September. Third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Eloy Jimenez will not receive a cup of coffee in the majors this month, per recent announcements from the Blue Jays and White Sox, respectively.
To those well-versed in MLB service time rules and practices, this news induces a reaction closer to a yawn than a surprise; teams have been using the service clock to manipulate team control for quite some time, and there was no reason to believe that would change in regards to Guerrero Jr. or Jimenez. Recent examples of players whose service time has been suppressed by their respective teams in order to yield them an additional year of team control include Kris Bryant, George Springer and Ronald Acuna Jr., and that list is far from complete. Others still, including the likes of Francisco Lindor, have been held in the minors long enough to reduce their earning power.
That doesn’t mean agents are quieting down about the issue, though. Both players’ representatives have been vocal in regards to their clients’ dearth of a promotion, as well they ought to be considering they’ll miss out on a significant amount of money. Jimenez’ agent in particular blasted with White Sox for service time manipulation. “Especially with elite players like Eloy and (Blue Jays top prospect) Vlad (Guerrero) Jr., that’s the nature of the business,” said Dan Kinzer. “It’s not about the money. It’s the extra year of control.” Similarly, the MLBPA has spoken out against Chicago and Toronto on the subject.
Perhaps J.J. Cooper of Baseball America put it best in his recent piece on the subject: it’s impossible to objectively argue that these players don’t deserve a call up based on performance. Guerrero Jr. has hit .336/.414/.564 with a microscopic 7.8% strikeout rate since his promotion to Triple-A this season, while Jimenez owns an even more excellent .355/.399/.597 line to go along with a 13.2% strikeout rate. Put simply, opposing pitchers aren’t fooling these prospects, and there’s no real reason development-wise that they ought not be exposed to major-league pitching. That’s particularly true in light of the fact that the White Sox promoted low-ceiling prospect Ryan Cordell, while the Blue Jays selected Triple-A veteran Rowdy Tellez. Whatever good there is to say of these young players, any attempt to argue that they’ve done more to earn a promotion than Guerrero Jr. or Jimenez would require a staggering amount of cognitive dissonance.
These teams are clearly planning to restrain their top prospects within the confines of Triple-A until the third week of April 2019, regardless of how well they hit. That’s the point at which they’ll be guaranteed an additional year of team control that allows them to keep those future superstars around through the 2026 season rather than hit free agency after 2025. It’s a distinction that could potentially cost them eight figures in earning power apiece depending on how they develop in the majors.
The question I want to pose is, how do you feel about the overt suppression of service time to manipulate a player’s team control? (Poll link for app users)
I feel like it woudnt matter since the teams arent using them to comoete anyway. Teams are smart, amd theres no way to prevent it. So oh well. Would it be fun to see Vlad Jr up now? Yeah. But if i was a jays fan i would rather have an extra year of control over him rather than watch him play in meaningless games.
……..but, but I need to know if I should keep him for my fantasy team or not LOL
I mean isn’t that how GM’s should start doing business? To accommodate fantasy baseball leagues LOL!!
All jokes aside! I agree with you Nelson. As a Braves fan would have liked to see Acuna Jr on the opening day roster, but I also LOVE the idea of having him for an extra year!!
Give me a break. Until they fix this in the next CBA, it will always occur, it’s smart business.
Yanks did this with Torres, to extend control thru 2024. Sure, his TJ provided a convenient excuse, but I’m sure they would have came up with another to keep him in the minors for 20 days to extend control one more year.
There are innumerable more examples of players held in minors for XX days for an additional year of team-control
I completely agree, it’s smart business, especially for a team like the Braves, with Acuña Jr.
That extra year of control is pivotal for this franchise, especially considering there are teams out there like the Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, and Cubs that’ll throw a crazy amount of record-breaking money at a player like Acuña Jr. as soon as he’s able to hit the market.
The facts are the Braves, along with other teams with similar payroll constraints, just cannot compete financially with these teams, and especially cannot afford to get into a bidding war in free agency..
This is the case, especially considering the Braves will have quite a few other young and talented players that they will need to lock up around the same time.
By prolonging Acuña Jr.’s debut, it NOT ONLY allows the Braves another year of control, but it also allows the franchise another year to see where they are financially, and to see how they’re young players each fit in their longterm plans.
This extra year, will allow the Braves the opportunity to try and negotiate, eventually locking up Acuña Jr. to an extension, or the Braves can use this extra year to make whatever necessary trades, so they can get enough financial flexibility, so they can resign him..
Also, smaller market teams, can use this extra year to add more value to a player, if they eventually have to trade away this player, because they cannot afford to resign him..
Ultimately, it ALL goes back to xabial’s original comment, it is just smart business..And this extra year of control, GREATLY helps the smaller market teams…
It is what it is, plain and simple. It isn’t football, where one year carries a legit possibility of negatively altering your career..It’s baseball, where they’re lucky enough to even earn such humongous contracts. Not to mention, they’re contracts are also fully promised..
Atlanta is not a small market, it’s one of the larger medium market
plus if they’re as good as advertised they will be super too and get that money back anyways. these are usually top guys who signed big bonus money and I don’t feel sorry for them one bit. actually guys that speak out about this sound like babies and it automatically makes me not want to be their fan.
“ . . . it’s smart business.”
It’s also an Unfair Labor Practice, xabial. Players need to pursue this whenever it happens.
They make stupid money. If it was unfair the government would have gotten them years ago. Just like what we see in the NFL stuff that seems unfair doesn’t make it illegal.
99.9 % of Minor Leaguers don’t make “stupid money”. The going rate is less than a living wage.
It’s ALL a part of baseball players earning and getting guaranteed contracts..Some terms favor the team, and some terms favor the player..
Besides, it rarely happens, and only to top, premium talents. It isn’t unfair by any means. It isn’t like they are locking the up for ten more years, or they aren’t getting paid during this year…
Regardless, they’re still getting paid well, they just have to wait one more season for their big-time money..Besides, a lot of these players are starting to get early extensions and raises as well…
Cry me a river, good lord…Again, in case you forgot, baseball contracts are fully guaranteed..
How fair is it when a team pays a player that’s injured and incapable of playing?? Is that fair for the team??
Or what about when a player signs a big contract, and fails to perform to expectations?? Does the team get back a portion of the player’s salary??
No, it is all a part of the give and take..If that player can’t wait that extra year for a big raise, then give up a year or two of free agency, and sign an early extension..Again, it is a give and take…That’s how the real world works, and there is nothing unfair or unlawful about it..
That is such an asinine and ridiculous statement…
exactly. this is good business. I don’t understand why people think a guy that’s 21 should make more that the ownership group that put in a billion dollars up. the players don’t risk much at all. if they dont make it they still are young enough to start over. they took a chance. no one stopped them form going to college or getting a job. they took a chance. its risk reward. the owners take huge risks. don’t get me wrong we should raise their taxes. what’s not fair is a mom working 60 hours and has no health care
i don’t feel that players should get paid more than owners but the system is unfair players.
with the exception of a few players the avg minor leaguer gets called up around 23ish. with how gms are viewing guys around 30.
regardless of how much i was making i would be mad if my earning potential was limited because of loopholes in the system. i think they either shorten the length of team control to 4 years or do something like the nhl does with restricted fa.
my proposal would be after there 3 years other teams can bid for the players service and the controlling team gets to match the contract. if the team doesn’t match it the team wanting the player depending on the contract is the draft picks the team losing the player will recive.
it may not be the best system but seems the fairest way to solve this issue. would love to hear any thoughts on this ideal
Why would the players want to fix this? You are not looking at it from all sides. There is the side of the owners and the side of the rookie, but there is also a third side, the side of the veteran player that will lose his job. THAT is the player that is being supported by the player’s union and the CBA, not the rookie that isn’t art of the union yet. Players are not going to vote for themselves to possibly lose their jobs earlier to 19 year olds that make less money. On the surface it seems unfair, but there is far more to it than just the surface.
You make a great, under considered, valid point.
its not unfair labor practice given that the MLBPA negotiated and approved the CBA.
Exactly. Teams use the rules that were agreed upon by both the owners and the players to maximize the length of time they can hold onto their top prospects. In what way is that “unfair”? They’re playing by the rules in place.
its more like a loophole that follows the rules but not the spirit of them
none of the people negatively affected by it are part of MLBPA or had any representation in that negotiation. Conversely those who it benefits by keeping young players from coming up and taking their job did.
lol. nothing in baseball is unfair. kids making millions when adults work 40 and dont make what they get in one year. that is unfair.
It is smart business since its a collectively bargained for benefit the owners negotiated and the MLBPA did nothing about in last years negotiation for the new deal.
I don’t believe It’s not an unfair labor practice because it was negotiated as optional.
The players have a union — a really powerful one. MLBPA negotiated and bargained for these stupid rules. If it turns out there’s something they don’t like about the arrangement, the MLBPA has the ability to try to change it in the next collective bargaining agreement.
Holy,I actually agree with you…those that know business it’s a smart move.
exactly. they signed on to this. they could have made it a priority but they did not. there is no reason not to do it. players would do the same thing if the tables were turned.
Agree Xab. My view is they should not count roster expansion as service time because their not on the 25 man or injured roster. That said I’d prefer they did away with it altogether and play September the same was as the other five months. I don’t like it but if it’s going to be done, why not the first month of the season when pitchers’ arms aren’t fully stretched out?
13.2 K/9 as a hitter? That’s a bit alarming, isn’t it?
I think the stat means if Eloy was the only player to come up to bat (at least 27 times a game), he would strike out in 13.2 at bats, so his strikeout rate is less than 48.9%.
That’s… still very alarming..
Nope. Just the wrong stat. I don’t think he could hit .335 with a .400 OBP and have a 48% K rate. That’d be….ridiculously insane.
It’s a typo … should read 13.2 K% which is not alarming. In fact, quite good. You don’t reach alarming until you’re north of 25% (typically).
Heck, even these days some players would cry tears of joy for a 25 K%..And as long as they are providing their team with power and run production, their managers and GM”s are perfectly content with such a number…
Cognitive dissonance. I love it.
Teams can delay call up but don’t be surprised if players refuse to extend with you because of it.
Holding a grudge for 6-7 years…? Salty.
I think it’s safe to say, a lot can — and will happen —in 6-7 yrs. Your post seems like a stretch.
Post is stretched but can you predict future?
Early 2000’s the long ball was they way to go, 2010 a 20/20 player to go, now it’s deep bullpens….where is mlb 6-7 years??
New CBA, problem fixed Lol
(Wishful thinking I know)
guys like this are not singing extensions. they are the greedy ones that want every dime.
Yeah, how dare they want as much money as they can possibly get before their career is over because of age, potential injuries, and normal bodily breakdown for the organizations that are ultimately just waiting to replace you. So selfish!
Come on man, everyone wants the maximum dollar for what they do, regardless of the profession they are in. Same thing you said about using this rule to your advantage, it’s smart business to try and make the most money.
What — if anything — does the CBA say about such behavior by teams? Given the context of this article, that’s some pretty pertinent info.
My answer is some combination of A, B, and C. And as always, fans are the biggest losers in all of this.
I don’t think the fans are the biggest loser. If my team stinks (which they do this year), all I care about is the future. I want a good draft pick. I start paying more attention to the minor league teams. An extra year of a potential Star is awesome news for the fans.
The players are the biggest loser. A million or two in salary versus $20M+ if they do in fact turn into stars. That’s a massive miss of earnings.
I agree that fans of specific teams (such as the Blue Jays) reap some benefit, but I’m not a Jays fan and I’d LOVE to watch 19-year-old Vlad Jr. play. And it makes sense that most other fans would feel that way, too.
I am a Jays fan. And I’m happy with him not being up and waiting 3 weeks before he comes up next year.
I understand his perspective also. He prob earns 30 million less in 2025. And he could have a freak accident in 2025. Taking 30 million away from him
Then you have the fact the Jays gave him a multi million signing bonus already, meaning he should never be poor
In most rolls of the dice he comes out ahead
As a fan of the team it gives us the chance to have a very good team from 2021-2026 and have plenty of money to add the peices in FA
IF hes butthurt from the service time rules in 2025 we trade him for some top prospects and restart the process
Hopefully it leads to 4 or 5 years of playoff runs and a WS or two
From the fans perspective it would have all been worth it
As a Jays fan, you could go watch Vladdy play in Buffalo. It’s not far away. I’m all for keeping him in the minors and keeping the extra year of control.
As for the perspective of the players, it does hurt them. Not sure what the solution would be to fix it. Maybe something where teams could offer the player the opportunity to come up early in exchange for a 7th year on the entry level contract which would roll into an extra arbitration season. The players get paid fairly in that 7th season in arbitration and if they sign away those right it might be a fair agreement.
in year 7, if the player is as good as the player thinks he is going to be, won’t his salary be in the high teen’s or 20’s (millions of dollars)? The player is losing out in that he reaches free agency a year later than hoped. But a 20 something million dollar salary is STILL a lot of money
Oh please, what’s with the extremely biased wording of this? Yes, it absolutely sucks for the players, but the mlbpa seems to care much more about veteran players than minor leaguers, and as long as that is the case, don’t expect to see any changes in the next cba. I absolutely hate to side with the owners, but given that the mlbpa agreed to these terms, yes, the owners are only doing what is smart for business. Hopefully the mlbpa will stand up against this in the next cba but I’m not holding my breath.
Why would they care about the minor leaguers? They aren’t part of the MLBPA until they get called up.
Which is one reason I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the veteran players that are getting shut out of the big money they thought they would get at free agency. I understand that it sucks that they’ve had their salaries arbitrarily restricted, but at the same time, the MLBPA has systematically screwed amateur talent and minor league talent for years, to divert money out of the hands of young players to veteran players. They were part and parcel of creating the system that the owners are now taking advantage of.
If the MLBPA really cared,they would assist in the revenue sharing and resetting of the cap.
Also,there is a simple solution. Apply bonus time to AA and AAA players who have spent time at that levels plus the service clock at the MLB,as they could not vote on MLB matters on an entry or first contract. It allows for developing players without the use of service time and they are still controllable. And if they don’t “pan out”,they never had a long enough service time to qualify for pension.
Also,if the young player is traded OR over the age of 24,then the development is not curbed. MLB isn’t even the worst at this. It’s the NBA. They have a horrible minor league system(although getting better). The NFL is such a greed league,but the players are the victims. There is no long term development in the NFL-the careers are too short. The NHL has the best system,but still flawed and it’s comical they ask each side(owners and players) to bail each other out.
In terms of American sports, MLB sets the standard for player development, and a more than fair pay scale for their prospects.
More than fair??? You do know there’s no OT pay in the minors? And they don’t get paid hourly. And they don’t get paid in the offseason. They don’t get paid for the bus rides, the work outs, and most of them make UNDER the minimum wage?
For the select few who got a big signing bonus, it’s probably not a huge deal. But for the rest? Definitely not “more than fair”
No one is forcing them to play baseball for a living…
it’s ridiculous to argue that Vlad deserves a shot over Tellez or Jimenez over Cordell when Tellez is 4 years older and Cordell is 5 years older. The team needs to find out what they have in a 23 year old or 26 year old and sept baseball seems like a perfect time to do so. There is only so much playing time and in Vlad’s case he’s not even on the 40 man. Just because he can hit the lights out, doesn’t mean he is a fully developed player yet.
Agreed, and they way they wrote about Tellez there is a bit misleading, especially for fans of other teams who might not know anything about him. Saying he’s a “Triple-A veteran” implies that he’s like 29 and is finally getting a call up. Really, what he is, a 23 and a half year old who, yes, has now played two full seasons of Triple-A ball and has had a decent enough year especially considering issues going on in his personal life (his mother being very sick and having her pass away about a week ago or so). Not saying he’s the next Carlos Delgado or anything, but it just seemed awfully dismissive when he’s more than just some warm body that’s an upcoming minor league free agent or something. And for what it’s worth, he’s been crushing it so far in his brief major league career (obviously he’s not going to keep up this pace as no one could, but it’s still quite impressive).
Thanks for saying this; I scrolled down to make a similar comment.
> it just seemed awfully dismissive
Could we call it “cognitive dismissiveness”?
I don’t get why I’m supposed to get worked up about this.
1) Don’t I want my favourite team to spend as little as possible to get as much as possible? Don’t we normally love “team-friendly” deals like Chris Archer, Chris Sale, Jose Bautista, and the like? Why should Vladdy or Eloy be any different?
2) Don’t I want the superstar player my favourite team drafted/developed to be under team control for longer?
3) If a superstar doesn’t make their millions for an extra year, am I supposed to be upset?
4) Am I really supposed to believe that some of these baseball players are such giant babies that they’re going to petulantly hold it against their team if they don’t get paid as much as they think they should? Yes, some people actually buy into this sort of narrative — I actually saw a guy argue that Josh Donaldson exaggerated his injuries this year because he was mad he didn’t get a contract extension from the Blue Jays during the offseason….. I mean, COME ON.
Like…. seriously, we’re talking about guys who spend 8+ years of their life in an organization, racking up All-Star appearances, postseason runs, fan adulation, bobblehead days, and all sorts of other side benefits. But noooo, I was kept in the minors for a couple of extra months, several years ago, so f–k ’em?
And that’s also one way to look at it..lol..
One way, that I also tend to mostly agree with..
This will not and should not change. It occurs far too rarely, and it is ONE year, in a relatively non-contact sport, which already promises its ML and MiL players their salaries.
If these players can’t wait out that extra year, then they need to forego a season or two of free agency and sign an early extension for a raise. Plain and simple..If you want something early, you have to give up something in the long run, that’s how business works..
In terms of earnings, baseball players have it better than any other American sport..They’re provided with a great development system, opportunities to quickly progress within, and more than fair pay, which is a lot more than other American athletes can say…
Asking if anyone thinks an injured player acruing service time while not playing is manipulation? The team is paying for rehab most of the time and a salary. Most of the time I look at it as most players are going to experience time off the field and this helps the teams get more out of there prospect. When u make a rule people will do whatever they can to squeak every last $$ allowed up to the rule. If that’s not fair then the rule is infact unfair nothing else.
i dont think its right comparing vlad and tellez for a few reasons but i also am not a fan of where the article calls tellez a minor league veteran, sure hes been in the minors a few years but is still only 23. The jays know mid may vlad will be the everyday 3rd baseman until 2025 but what they dont know is who their first basemen is going to be next year. i truly think they have to trade Smoak for some kind of prospect and at least attempt to trade part of Morales contract so that the jays can have a younger player take over for the rebuilding years and open up the DH position just in case tulo is healthy enough to tie his shoes for a game or 2. next season jays have almost 70 million locked up in 4 players Smoak, Morales, tulo and martin. need to try and dump some of that and fill it with league minimum rookies, hence guys like Jansen, tellez and meguire coming up. those types of guys will never make the big money vald and eloy will so let them make a 100k for the month cause it might be the only time they ever get to make decent cash
Typing on my phone… turned it sideways and it deleted everything I typed 🙁
Hate when that happens…Always seems to happen, at the worst times, especially whenever I type something really long..
Which, admittingly, occurs quite frequently..haha
Commenting has been glitchy as heck for ages on the app.
Is there an issue with suppression of service time? Sure, anyone who argues otherwise is fooling themselves. However, in the case of the Blue Jays with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. calling him up now only services the player and not the team.
Quite simply the Jays have other priorities than giving at-bats and playing time at 3B to the eventual fixture and cornerstone like figuring out who else fits into their infield picture moving forward. Tulo is seemingly unmovable due to a combination of decline in on-field performance and the boat load of money he’s still owed. That would seemingly push Gurriel Jr. to 2B or 3B, but given how he has started off his major league career he should be a lock to earn a starting spot. That begs the question of whether or not the Jays tender contracts to Devon Travis or Alemdys Diaz, buyout or trade Yangervis Solarte, and figure out where Brandon Drury fits into their plans moving forward (Richard Urena is likely to remain in AAA as a depth option).
And that’s just the problems the Jays face in this immediate offseason before eventually having to deal with the next wave of infield prospects like Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, and Kevin Smith all likely on the cusp of reaching the majors next year sometime as well.
People can complain about the suppression all they want, but the Jays have other (good) problems that they have to deal with first and if that means Vladdy Jr. doesn’t come up til after the suppression, in my mind as a Jays fan they’re justified with baseball decisions for the team moving forward.
These are a lot of good points.
However, what I do not understand is this is a post about jiminez and Vladimir jr…. but why is the picture of Cuba Gooding, jr.
Both guys are gonna get paid anyway
39% of voters find the service time clock delay to be “abhorrent?” Really I don’t even know why that is a choice. Oh no, Vlad Jr. is going to get his $500 million dollar contract in 2025 instead of 2024. This represents a violation of all that is sacred.
Yeah, give-and-take with the CBA. Whiny MLBPA. The Players get the Guaranteed contracts vs the Owners getting to manipulate Service time & long Development timelines.
There are many MLB teams that would love to have the option of an
NHL-style Buyout. I dunno, like pay 3/4 or 4/5 of the contract just to get rid of an
under-performing player. I follow just the Blue Jays, but I’m guessing that every team has a few contracts where they’d like to have the option of a “Buyout”.
*cough,* Martin, Tulo, Morales, *cough*.
Give teams a “franchise tag” kind of system to get another year of control. Teams can retain their first time FA for another year but it’ll cost them a minimum of X dollars.
But the MLBPA bellyaching is amazing, considering they have only worked to the benefit the top flight free agents for many years… and hell with everyone else.
I feel like there should be certain additional arbitration escalators for players who are just under the amount of service time necessary to qualify to be a free agent after 6 years. So when players like Vlad Jr. and Eloy get called up in mid-April, they will receive escalators in each arbitration year because they are on track to be under team control for 7 years. This would need to be a very technical rule, and it probably wouldn’t solve the problem entirely, but it would be good for baseball and even better for the young prospects.
Please no on this idea baseballnerddom. Keep everything black and white, cut and dried as it is now. Definitely stay away,from arbitrary decisions. That would only,make things worse and not give either the players or the owners good guidelines on how to make decisions.
I don’t think it makes things worse because it would allow the guidelines for calling a player up to be when they are ready for the big leagues rather than when they can get away with service time manipulation. Sure it would be difficult for the average fan to wrap their head around, but that shouldn’t really matter.
No Soup For Yu!
Is it really so bad for the players involved? If they hit well enough to justify the extra year of control, they’ll make bank in arbitration anyway. Enough money to where they will never need to work another day in their lives if their smart. If they can’t survive off of the $10 million they’ll make in their first arb season alone, then they have serious money management issues.
I just find it awful hard to care about these players hitting free agency a year later than normal, especially when, if they hit as well people expect them to hit, they’ll end up making about $300 million anyway. They’ll end up making most people’s yearly salary in a day, even in their early arb years, simply by playing a game and I’m supposed to be up in arms about that? I’m supposed to care that he won the lottery a year later than he should have? Because I don’t and I don’t think anyone else really does either.
I don’t know why so many people seem to think it’s abhorrent according to the poll, because it’s just not abhorrent. It’s a minor inconvenience for these players at best. And if a player is really so petty as to hold a grudge against a team because they’ll make $300 million+ one year later than they would have otherwise, then they’re just whiny little children. I like to think making $50 million+ in arbitration will settle any grievances they might have right now.
What’s aggravating with the White Sox is the spin.
They actually said Eloy had to work on his defense.
But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised
They have to say it.
Vlad actually does need work on D. Eloy seems more then capable, but if they said anything to remotely hint at “manipulating” his service time they would immediately be grieved against and lose.
They are just hiding behind their words. But it’s for your benefit in the end
The MLBPA agreed to this in the CBA. Complaining about it is stupid. There is no need to waste a year of control on these players on a September call-up. That isn’t smart management. Vlad Jr. is 19 & has played 30 games in AAA. Hes a great hitter, but his defense still needs work. The Jays also have a glut of infielders on the big league roster & there is no need to bring Vlad with so many other guys there for playing time.
It’s the business of the game. What alternative do they Have? Free agency at a certain age? Some players sign at age 16. Some at age 22 after college. The system they have now has flaws, but it could be much worse.
I honestly don’t get why teams don’t just call them up now and send them down for a few weeks within the next two years during a slump. No one here can seriously believe that Vlad Jr. and Eloy will go through the next few years without a single extended slump. If Toronto has Vlad on the OD roster and then sends him down during a slump in July or August or even July of the next year whenever it is clear they are not making the playoffs, it would look a lot better to the fans. Fans will probably applaud if it is done during a slump. They will still get the extra year, but it doesn’t look nearly as bad. But if you do it the Kris Bryant way, you look like you are trying to cheat the system, whether it is allowed or not.
Jays could always gamble and sign Vlad to a long term deal right now. Bypass all arbitration years and add 1 or 2 more years with some incentives to lay additional money to the finals years of the contract. It’s a huge risk, but that’s baseball. Every signing and trade has risk.
Just with this franchise alone we’ve seen deals for Gurriel and Hechevarria upon reaching US soil. Both players started in the minors. Guerrero’s slated to be miles better than those guys. Take the plunge. Ensure you have this guy taken care of for the next 9 years.
I mean if you’re running a ball club that isn’t in contention, why wouldn’t you make sure you could have a star for another year?
perhaps to put a better product on the field for fans buying tickets, merchandise, concessions, watching on pay-for-view TV, etc.
It isn’t a big deal at all. It is a smart business decision. It is essentially just using the guidelines of the CBA (that the players union negotiated) intelligently. I’ll probably take some flack for saying it but, people tend to forget that almost all unions mainly benefit the “common employee” and punish the “exceptional” one.
If MLBPA wants its players treated differently then negotiate it that way.
As a fan I was extremely thankful that Atlanta didn’t bring up Acuna early. It would have been utter stupidity if they had done so.
Permissible — yes; smart — “penny wise and pound foolish?” This is not like every team has multiple prospects in this category, most don’t even have 1. I think a very good case could be made that It is in the best interest of teams and MLB to bring up advanced prospects like Guerrero sooner than later — it would be an interesting debate.
How is it in the best interest of the teams?
For teams like Toronto and Chisox, putting exceptional prospects on the field should make for a better product and put more fans in the seats.
It is only the elite few. The exceptional ones. That is makes it even more imperative that teams control them longer and not give in to stupidity trading a few weeks for an extra year.
MLB service time is only 1 element in the complex issue of the current MLB pay system which benefits older, veteran players at the expense of prospects and younger players. The owners will not agree to change service time control unless the players are willing to trade off another element of pay that effects their earnings. And, I do not see veteran players willing to take less money or strike in order to benefit the younger players. I believe MLB owners would trade off significant concessions to the service time controls if players will accept NFL type “guaranteed” contracts but that is not going to happen.
i thought people were complaining about expanded rosters in september. now they are complaining about not calling up a player.
The trend today is to call up players at a younger age, because they are cheaper. It used to be players moved up the ladder one rung at a time, one level per year. Now, it’s get them to the bigs quickly. Holding a player in the minors longer is not always a bad thing for the player. Sano and Buxton were rushed, and their service time clock is the least of their worries. Devers looks like more time in the minors might have helped. For every highly touted player who misses out on that extra year of service time and misses their payday, there is at least one that falls thru the cracks because they were rushed, and never develops to their potential.
I can fix the problem. It’s almost too simple:
All players must enter the league through the first year player draft or sign as undrafted free agents. Rookies get 8 year contract. No further regulations. No loop holes. No more corruption. What is this the federal government?
Personally, I would do away with the draft as well as any and all spending limits. But given that that likely won’t ever happen, I like the idea of 8 years of team control after signing a player as an amateur. Given that domestic talent doesn’t sign until after high school, vs 16 y/o as an international, I think it might need to be age based. Such as 8 years after signing OR the age of 26. One downside would be that it would completely destroy college baseball. In any case, the teams have figured out that not only are younger players the best value, they also give them the best chance to win. The service time system is antiquated and doesn’t need just a tweak or two. It needs to be completely overhauled. It sucks, but I can’t imagine there won’t be some type of work stoppage before the next CBA gets signed. Especially if we see a repeat of last year’s winter.
The reason why it won’t likely happen for the draft to be abolished and no spending limits is that ;approx 6 teams would be able to sign every one of the top prospects every year and the other 24 teams would have no chance to ever compete. That would completely destroy MLB.
Also what happened last winter was a market correction where MLB clubs finally decided it was not a good business decision to spend a fortune on aging MLB players on the downside of their careers. The work stoppage may happen but you can not force MLB owners to overspend on players.
There will be an adjustment somewhere. Either the owners start spending again or they overhaul the system. But last winter will NOT be the status quo going forward. I can promise you that. As weakened as the MLBPA is (relative to it’s prior status), the players still won’t accept having their salaries arbitrarily kept low on the front end without the payoff on the back end. Something will give and I doubt it’s the owners spending money on big veteran contracts. I think the system is going to have to overhauled, which I expect to be both complex and contentious. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see a chance in hell that there isn’t some type of labor stoppage before they agree on the next CBA. My fear is that they reduce the team control years in exchange for a hard salary cap. I think that’s bad for baseball.
As long as there is a hard floor, why is a hard cap bad for baseball? A hard cap has brought parity to the NFL and the NHL. The NBA has a soft cap and you see the ugliness in it and with Baseball, you have the same couple of teams that spend all they want to every year and 2/3 or more of the league is mired in mediocrity because they can not come close to matching the spending.
I think most fans tend to think a salary cap keeps teams like the Yankees from buying every good free agent. In reality, what ends up happening is that you’ll have a player that wants to stay with a team, a team that wants to keep him, and the team has the money to pay the player his desired (or close to it) salary. But because there is an arbitrary rule restricting how much teams can spend on their own product, the player ends up elsewhere. You see that in the NFL all the time and i can’t stand it. Owners sure love free market capitalism….right up until it’s time to pay players and fund stadium construction.
Also, for all the talk of parity in the NFL, and lack of it in MLB, the Patriots play in the Super Bowl every other year and MLB hasn’t had a repeat champion since the late 98-00 Yankees. Whatever competitive balance is brought about by a salary cap is ENTIRELY incidental. That’s the excuse the owners use to put public pressure on the players. The reality is that the sole purpose of a salary cap, of a draft, of international spending limits, etc. is to keep money from the players and put it in the pockets of the owners. Period.
I agree, salary caps would have several negative effects.
As much as I dislike the Patriots, they have a very good business model. They rarely overpay for a veteran. They do not hesitate to trade a vet or let a vet walk if they are either starting to slow in production or they are demanding more than what the team thinks they are worth in terms of production. They do not worry about what is thought of them for letting those players go. The players they have all know this going in. They sign a lot of guys on shorter term deals. They only have literally a handful of players that would be considered high priced vets and this gives them the flexibility to pick up guys short term to fill a hole. They play the cap very well and do not tie up a ton of money on just a very few players. Most other teams resign players even when economics and results say not to do it and they run into cap problems that keep them from competing for a super bowl but most teams are competitive for the playoffs most years. If they have a down year, unless you are the Browns and have no idea what you are doing in your management, you can usually bounce back to the playoffs in the next year or two max.
Anyone who is willing to trade a year of the player’s prime when the team might be competitive for a few week’s of the player’s infancy when the team is playing out the string is no longer allowed to laugh at Dave Stewart.
This makes sense if the player was a DH. I don’t know about Jimenez but Vlad still needs work on defense. Since that is half of the game, this is a non-issue to me as a prospect-following Blue Jays fan.
Simple question: if Vlad was a free agent in 2024, no matter what, would you still want to keep him in the minors until April 20th, which is the magic date when these can’t miss prospects invariably become “ready”?
Simple answer to your simple question: no. You’d bring him up and get him MLB ready on both sides of the ball, plus you give fans a reason to be optimistic of the future and continue to support the club.
The system is broken. There needs to be an age cap on team control. If a player is drafted out of high school, they should be a free agent automatically, at 28.
I believe in Vlad Jr’s case, he should be a FA by the time he is 26 at the latest based on his age and he should be up next year.
“It’s not about the money it’s about the extra year of control”, which means it’s about the money.
And don’t forget HUGE signing bonus most of them get
Fans always forget about those big signing bonuses. Agents tend to forget about them too when it comes to bashing a team for not paying bit salaries before arbitration too.
Decided to look it up–Vlad Jr signed for a $3.9 Million bonus and Eloy got $2.8 Million plus a $250k college scholarship. So these guys got paid.
That’s not “paid” when your actual value to an organization is in the tens of millions, if not more. We aren’t talking about manual laborers. This is an $8 billion a year industry and we’re talking about two of the very best at what they do in the world. Were baseball a free market, these guys would be making vastly more than $3.9 million or $2.8 million, right now., Even accounting for the lack of actual MLB experience, these guys would get a ton of money on the open market.
While these guys would make more money, you would see older veterans who now make a ton of money in the current way of doing business will start losing their jobs to guys with little or no major league experience. If you thought last off season was bad for the FA market, add these guys in and you will see even more vets out of jobs. or losing a ton of money that they normally would make. That is why the MLBPA is not making a stink about the young guys.
I agree that you would see the game shift even more to young players and away from veterans, but that’s the way the game is going now anyway. Also, the reason last winter was such a horror show for the players is that you had guys that sacrificed much of their value early in their careers with the “promise” that they’d get paid on the back end. If they’re not getting paid on either end, something is going to change. Either the system will be overhauled and teams are going to sacrifice years of team control or they’re going to spend money on the non-elite veterans again. My money would be on the former.
Realistically, what legislation could the PA try to negotiate into the next CBA? The team has complete control of when they call up, demote or delay their rookie players. They pay the cost to be the boss. With all the money invested into the minors and all the failures they have to eat, no one should impede on how they handle their call ups. I literally can’t think of anything they can say or do to satisfy this “problem”. So what a kid has to wait an extra year before they hit FA. This is all an agent issue and I doubt the players really care. Most are going to be more than happy to be in the big leagues earning upwards of $500k and traveling in style with the mlb team. And as far as grudges, teams can smooth things over by being a little generous in terms of salary for the first few years. A lot of these players won’t even have the same agent 6 years from their mlb debut. Move on.
This wasn’t a problem with Dwight Gooden, Roger Clemens, Mike Trout and so forth. The Mets were worthless until Dr. K stepped on the mound and made Met baseball entertaining. Same for Clemens and the Sox. Was anyone really paying attention to the Angels pre Trout? These 3 were kids in their teens and early 20s. Guys like this made their teams entertaining and justified buying a ticket to a game. It was good for baseball.
Now the business is rooted deeper than ever and holding down talented kids like Guerrero and Jimenez is bad for baseball. I get the business side of the equation (extra year of control, blah, blah, blah) but if I were a Jays fan I would have no interest in baseball today and would be looking forward to seeing the Raptors. If Vlad Jr were playing everyday though, maybe I go to a game or in the very least I’m watching his ABs and the Jays would have some relevancy.
This whole situation is a joke and needs to be addressed. The best players on any team should be the ones playing.
The general consensus is:
From a baseball standpoint, it is terrible
From a Blue Jays fan or from a business perspective, it’s great. I mean, Jays fans obviously want to see Vlad up and playing but it’s meaningless baseball and they know holding him back means he can be kept for another year.
This is a team that even if they opened their pockets, have a hard time signing big name FA’s due to the inconveniences of crossing the border and whatnot.
The fact is there are zero rules being broken. If the rules permit it (or bending the rules), nothing wrong or illegal/against the rules is being done. As kids, and adults, we all look to bend the rules or twist them to get an edge. It also happens in our daily lives in the places we work and so why shouldn’t it happen in Baseball when its really nothing but a business?
One thing that you left out, Players and their agents will look to bend and twist every rule that they can to gain what ever benefit then can by doing so. Teams could also choose not to hold a player up and get them to the MLB roster as soon as possible, pay large increases in salary during the pre arb years and pay what the player wants during the arb years and guess what? None of that will mean a thing win the player and agent begin negotiations when it comes time for free agency. The player will not need to give one penny in a “hometown discount” The only players that do have no desire to leave the team that they are on. If they want to go for the gusto, They will do so. Nothing wrong with the players doing that. It is called business.
Wow, 3 options, over 8,000 votes and as of making this post 125 votes separate the most popular choice from the least popular.
This CBA was pitiful for baseball. Hurting teams for EARNING more money than other teams, and the service time manipulation are terrible for the game. I don’t blame teams for using the trick, but I blame the player’s association for allowing their CBA to have this happen.
You do realize that most of the extra income comes from local tv money. Unless you are located in the top 5 to 10 cities, you can not get a huge local tv contract. The money is just not their to be had. Not like the NY, Chicago, LA, Houston, Boston, Philly teams are doing anything drastically different in their business models other than having the ability to negotiate bigger local TV money because of where they are located.
That logic makes no sense. The padres are located in the 8th largest city in the us and they’re small market.
29th largest media market.
Pardon me, the top 5-10 media markets. Those would still be the same cities that I mentioned and they are the ones that have the biggest impact local TV markets. The point is the local money that they command is huge compared to the rest of the league. How is that not logical?
Welcome to the give and take of collective bargaining
I know there will be exceptions but i think a fairly simple solution would be if a player is brought up before a date (say the day of that draft year) they accumulate that year as service time.
As an example this years draft date was June 4th. If a player was brought up say April 15 this full year is included as a full year of service time so they would have this year and the next 4 years (ie 2022 would be their last season with the team). If the player is brought up After June 4th they would be with the team until 2023. September call ups could be excluded from this.
Based on Game starts and/or innings played you can do the super 2 factor. Will teams try to manipulate that of course but it will be a lot harder to not prove that than starting their major league clock.
In the end there is no delaying a week here and there but instead hard cutoffs and delaying someone that could be a major impact 2-3 months vs 2-3 weeks will be a bigger deal.
Just quick thoughts and please tear it apart to hopefully further discussion 🙂
I can see why prospects and their agents would like this, but why would MLB owners ever agree to that approach without getting equal consideration back from union?
Surprised to see basically a 3 way split. I’m surprised that so many people are disgruntled about millionaires being forced to wait an extra year or so.
I’m surprised so many people are bootlickers for billionaire owners who don’t want to pay players what they deserve.
I think a lot of it is that many fans are just common everyday people who believe in following the rules. Right now the rules agreed to by both parties allow “service time manipulation” to occur. It gets publicized because the few players it actually impacts are the elite prospects but the VAST number of players it has little to no impact upon. Basically it functions as does every other union, it benefits the masses and not the few.
Vlad shouldn’t period
It’s the most comically overblown issue in baseball.
They’re both going to be in line for massive amounts of money totally disproportionate to what every other prospect gets and very few prospects are ever subjected to the issue.
Guys, I’m not sure on this question, so I’m going to pray to God to see what He wants.
I’ll let you know when he answers.
The heck with this question…..Ask who we should put the early money on for the WS. I have a mortgage to bet! 🙂
the alternative is a bryce harper, manny machado, nolan arenado situation where the player flat out refuses any extension offer and leaves the team at age 25. then the front office looks irresponsible by not protecting their best assets.
just wait for a new CBA with new problems and new loopholes
I don’t find any problem with keeping them out of the majors for that extra year of control. The team can always take care of them in the meantime like the Cubs did with Bryant.
These kids are insane talents but let’s remember they are still kids, especially Vlad Jr. Let’s understand that rushing these guys through the minors isn’t always the best way to groom them. The talent is undeniable but actually spending time in the minors is invaluable for refining fundamentals and routine.
I agree that the teams are manipulating service time. Everyone agrees. But I take exception to this sentence about Rowdy Tellez and other marginal players:
MLBTR: “any attempt to argue that they’ve done more to earn a promotion than Guerrero Jr. or Jimenez would require a staggering amount of cognitive dissonance.”
A “staggering amount of cognitive dissonance” better describes the writer’s notion that accomplishment is the sole reason for calling up players in September.
A lot of these callups are likely getting their last chance at staying with the organisation. The Jays need to know if they can make it as major leaguers and so be protected in the Rule 5 Draft. In addition to all the 2018 MLBers still with the org at various levels, the minor league system has 20 prospects already eligible for the Rule 5, plus another 19 who will qualify this December. That’s 90 or so players. They all won’t fit on the 40-man roster after the season.
I didn’t think Tellez deserved a 40-man spot last winter, but he got one, and now he’s spraying doubles all over Rogers Centre. Maybe now the organisation will keep him for another year of development, and give him a shot at replacing Smoak when he’s gone. Or maybe they’ll use Tellez’ spot to grab someone DFA’d by another org, or to make a selection in the Rule 5. This process is not interesting to most fans, but it is necessary for the good management of assets. We need marginal players up at the MLB now, to weigh their worth. We don’t need uber-prospects up at this moment to prove their value.
Ding ding ding!! We have a winner. What is amazing is when a player that was at one time thought of as a good prospect gets released, the same people who complain that the uber prospects are not being called up in September to play in meaningless games are the same ones who will try to say “Player X never got a chance. We gave up on a prospect for nothing!”
Go Rowdy go !!!! Go Rowdy go !!! Go Rowdy Go !! Rowdy Be Good !!!!! 8 hits so far: 6 doubles and a home run. Oh yeah, and one single. An OPS of 1.4 and change. Who is his agent and what isn’t he screaming at the overpriced bonus BABIES!!!
I sat keep them down in the minor-league’s for 3 more years. Let em earn it!
It would just be plain stupid to bring these players up to basement teams and give up a later year when maybe possibly they’d be contending that year. Sorry but they’ll get super rich soon enough.
Players like Guerrero and Bichette are guys a good system would sign long-term to avoid losing them. It takes no creativity, imagination or guts to hold them down for the extra year and I believe I just summarized the Blue Jays front office. These guys would have been the face of your team for 15 or more years, why not showcase them and sign them to deals that incent them to stay? Earning it by staying in the minors and playing below their ability level will come back to bite you in the end. If the Toronto front office thinks this move is smart, it speaks volumes to their lack of understanding of people.
Now that they have treated these guys in this fashion, I’m guessing both will refuse to sign long-term deals and they’ll be gone as soon as possible. The franchise showed no loyalty to them, they won’t show any loyalty to the franchise and who gets hurt? The fans of the Blue Jays!! If it’s not obvious these two guys are ‘something special’ that you would want to keep for their entire career then someone needs a new job because they don’t know baseball.
Treat them as a tandem that needs to stick together, bring them up on the same day and let them bond and give them early deals that extend them the same length of time. In my opinion, not bringing Vlad up was a huge mistake, not bringing up either in September is a bigger mistake and leaving them in the minors in April will seal the deal. Both will ONLY opt out or pray for a trade so they can get away from the front office who chose to make them a commodity instead of treating them like family.
Not just one but two generational talents and the Blue Jays go cheap on both!!! Bad front office, no championships but money saved. Great strategy. Go cheap on generational talent!! Brilliant. In a few years when all the youngsters have grown to their potential and you have a competing team you’ll have a very short window to win because your two superstars will remember what you did to them in 2018 and 2019!! You simply don’t get it!! There are 29 other teams that would kill to have two guys with their ability in their minors. You have it and chose to ‘save money” rather than showcase it. Very short-sighted of you!! No financial model would support this type of behavior for players at their level !! I’m not a Toronto fan and this appalls me. I can’t imagine if my favorite team did this. I’d be jumping up and down screaming “you idiots”! But that’s me, I’m probably too invested in my team. Good luck Toronto fans, enjoy them while you can. I think they will amaze you!!