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(NBC Sports)   As MLB agents and players complain about stagnating salaries and unsigned free agents, retired union counsel Gene Orza advises players' union to add better lawyers, economists and labor advocates to their staff, make the MLBPA great again   ( nbcsports.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Players Association, Red Sox, Boston Red Sox, union, free agents, collective bargaining, Orza, Trade union  
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290 clicks; posted to Sports » on 08 Mar 2018 at 1:05 PM (28 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-03-08 11:49:34 AM  
What part of "free" in "free agent" do you not understand?  Oh, that part.
 
2018-03-08 11:55:03 AM  
These guys need to learn about supply and demand. At multiple levels.
 
2018-03-08 12:42:42 PM  

kevlar51: These guys need to learn about supply and demand. At multiple levels.


Who needs to learn this. What do they need to learn precisely, presumably something about dealing with monopolies?
 
2018-03-08 01:14:22 PM  
he's right you know .jpg
 
2018-03-08 01:19:07 PM  

Gubbo: kevlar51: These guys need to learn about supply and demand. At multiple levels.

Who needs to learn this. What do they need to learn precisely, presumably something about dealing with monopolies?


Except that the only way to question baseball's monopoly is to show that the commisioner hasn't acted in the "best interest of baseball" since Fay Vincent was fired.  Obviously, that *should* be trivial, but good luck proving that in court, and better yet getting by the inevitable appeal.

Other sports don't have that issue (and the NFL has been legally found to be a monopoly, see the $3 league), but it is quite legal in baseball (for now).
/look to Europe to see how the "free market" is done (soccer teams compete or are relegated)
//Look to the US to see "privatize the profits, socialize the costs" writ large
///Just say no to public financed stadiums
 
2018-03-08 01:23:03 PM  
look to Europe to see how the "free market" is done (soccer teams compete or are relegated)

Look to Financial Fair Play and the list of champions of the big five leagues to see why this is baloney
 
2018-03-08 02:11:08 PM  
Most of the remaining big-name free agents who haven't signed yet are represented by Scott Boras. That more than anything seems to be the problem. That, and people like Greg Holland and Jake Arrieta who were stupid enough to be talked into rejecting perfectly adequate deals by the aforementioned Boras.
 
2018-03-08 02:17:59 PM  
"Perfectly adequate" according to who, the owners?
 
2018-03-08 02:20:50 PM  
Off the top of my head, reasons why the baseball free agent market has been so slow and has worked against the players this off season:

1.  The insane luxury tax penalties for teams exceeding the threshold.  Specifically the fact that these penalties increase dramatically both for exceeding by an excessive amount and for exceeding in consecutive seasons.

2.  The 2017-2018 vs. 2018-2019 free agent market.  This year's free agent crop is not very impressive.  With names like Kershaw, Machado, and Harper potentially being available next year, teams have all the more reason to get under that cap this year so they can be stronger players in the market next year.

3.  Qualifying offers and compensatory draft picks.  Teams are realizing that the risk of signing a player to a potentially crippling contract when he is at or past his peak exceeds the reward of keeping that draft pick.

4.  Revenue sharing.  Low budget teams are rewarded for being low budget.

To my knowledge, three of these are part of the contract MLBPA agreed to.  And reason #2 is directly tied to reason #1, and has not exactly been a secret.  If I could foresee it, there's no reason they should not have seen it too.

When you factor in the new ways of evaluating players and their value, teams realizing the benefit of a steady stream of minor leaguers coming up in the ranks (even big market teams like the Dodgers, Cubs, and Yankees), and the number of bad contracts that have cost GMs and other front office personnel their jobs, this slow off season should be a surprise to nobody.
 
2018-03-08 02:20:52 PM  

ElwoodCuse: "Perfectly adequate" according to who, the owners?


Who else would have an opinion that matters?
 
2018-03-08 02:22:59 PM  

Maybe you should drive: Off the top of my head, reasons why the baseball free agent market has been so slow and has worked against the players this off season:

1.  The insane luxury tax penalties for teams exceeding the threshold.  Specifically the fact that these penalties increase dramatically both for exceeding by an excessive amount and for exceeding in consecutive seasons.

2.  The 2017-2018 vs. 2018-2019 free agent market.  This year's free agent crop is not very impressive.  With names like Kershaw, Machado, and Harper potentially being available next year, teams have all the more reason to get under that cap this year so they can be stronger players in the market next year.

3.  Qualifying offers and compensatory draft picks.  Teams are realizing that the risk of signing a player to a potentially crippling contract when he is at or past his peak exceeds the reward of keeping that draft pick.

4.  Revenue sharing.  Low budget teams are rewarded for being low budget.

To my knowledge, three of these are part of the contract MLBPA agreed to.  And reason #2 is directly tied to reason #1, and has not exactly been a secret.  If I could foresee it, there's no reason they should not have seen it too.

When you factor in the new ways of evaluating players and their value, teams realizing the benefit of a steady stream of minor leaguers coming up in the ranks (even big market teams like the Dodgers, Cubs, and Yankees), and the number of bad contracts that have cost GMs and other front office personnel their jobs, this slow off season should be a surprise to nobody.


Can I simplify that the problem is the amount of time that a team can control a player. And how they can effectively extend it even further with delaying the call up to the Majors.

Years of a rookie contract, with the prospect of arbitration, all pushing a player to his late 20s before he eventually hits the market. And by that stage, teams are wary of paying for declining production.
 
2018-03-08 02:23:59 PM  

Gubbo: Maybe you should drive: Off the top of my head, reasons why the baseball free agent market has been so slow and has worked against the players this off season:

1.  The insane luxury tax penalties for teams exceeding the threshold.  Specifically the fact that these penalties increase dramatically both for exceeding by an excessive amount and for exceeding in consecutive seasons.

2.  The 2017-2018 vs. 2018-2019 free agent market.  This year's free agent crop is not very impressive.  With names like Kershaw, Machado, and Harper potentially being available next year, teams have all the more reason to get under that cap this year so they can be stronger players in the market next year.

3.  Qualifying offers and compensatory draft picks.  Teams are realizing that the risk of signing a player to a potentially crippling contract when he is at or past his peak exceeds the reward of keeping that draft pick.

4.  Revenue sharing.  Low budget teams are rewarded for being low budget.

To my knowledge, three of these are part of the contract MLBPA agreed to.  And reason #2 is directly tied to reason #1, and has not exactly been a secret.  If I could foresee it, there's no reason they should not have seen it too.

When you factor in the new ways of evaluating players and their value, teams realizing the benefit of a steady stream of minor leaguers coming up in the ranks (even big market teams like the Dodgers, Cubs, and Yankees), and the number of bad contracts that have cost GMs and other front office personnel their jobs, this slow off season should be a surprise to nobody.

Can I simplify that the problem is the amount of time that a team can control a player. And how they can effectively extend it even further with delaying the call up to the Majors.

Years of a rookie contract, with the prospect of arbitration, all pushing a player to his late 20s before he eventually hits the market. And by that stage, teams are wary of paying for declining production.


I missed a part with the team control. If you're 3 years away from hitting the market, and you're offered a 7/8 year deal at a number that is massively under market, but massively in excess of your current deal. What are you gonna do as a player.
 
2018-03-08 02:30:34 PM  

Gubbo: ElwoodCuse: "Perfectly adequate" according to who, the owners?

Who else would have an opinion that matters?


How much money is perfectly adequate for the owners to pocket every year, there doesn't seem to be a limit on that
 
2018-03-08 02:33:33 PM  

ElwoodCuse: Gubbo: ElwoodCuse: "Perfectly adequate" according to who, the owners?

Who else would have an opinion that matters?

How much money is perfectly adequate for the owners to pocket every year, there doesn't seem to be a limit on that


From their perspective? Any dollar that goes to a player that could have gone to them is tantamount to outright theft.
 
2018-03-08 02:34:14 PM  

Gubbo: Can I simplify that the problem is the amount of time that a team can control a player. And how they can effectively extend it even further with delaying the call up to the Majors.

Years of a rookie contract, with the prospect of arbitration, all pushing a player to his late 20s before he eventually hits the market. And by that stage, teams are wary of paying for declining production.


Exactly, it's all intertwined.  But teams now days are even more wary of paying for that declining production because of the luxury tax and possibility of losing draft picks.  The small market teams have less of a financial interest in maintaining their fan base's interest by making on occasional splash in the free agent market, because they benefit from revenue sharing.  In the past those behemoth contracts were recognized as bad investments, but the cost of doing business.  That's not so much the case anymore.
 
2018-03-08 02:36:12 PM  

Maybe you should drive: But teams now days are even more wary of paying for that declining production because of the luxury tax and possibility of losing draft picks.


which is why the players need new union leadership as the article points out
 
2018-03-08 02:36:32 PM  

Maybe you should drive: Gubbo: Can I simplify that the problem is the amount of time that a team can control a player. And how they can effectively extend it even further with delaying the call up to the Majors.

Years of a rookie contract, with the prospect of arbitration, all pushing a player to his late 20s before he eventually hits the market. And by that stage, teams are wary of paying for declining production.

Exactly, it's all intertwined.  But teams now days are even more wary of paying for that declining production because of the luxury tax and possibility of losing draft picks.  The small market teams have less of a financial interest in maintaining their fan base's interest by making on occasional splash in the free agent market, because they benefit from revenue sharing.  In the past those behemoth contracts were recognized as bad investments, but the cost of doing business.  That's not so much the case anymore.


So the NFL players probably have the worst labour deal at the moment, MLB isn't great (but they have great benefits after retirement so it isn't terrible). Does any sport have a good labour deal at the moment?
 
2018-03-08 02:37:52 PM  

ElwoodCuse: Maybe you should drive: But teams now days are even more wary of paying for that declining production because of the luxury tax and possibility of losing draft picks.

which is why the players need new union leadership as the article points out


That also comes with the requirement that the players are willing and able to sit out a season.

As the NFL Players Union learned, that isn't easy.
 
2018-03-08 02:39:13 PM  

ElwoodCuse: look to Europe to see how the "free market" is done (soccer teams compete or are relegated)

Look to Financial Fair Play and the list of champions of the big five leagues to see why this is baloney


"baloney" is too soft. It's worth a full Bullshiat.
 
2018-03-08 03:00:29 PM  

ElwoodCuse: "Perfectly adequate" according to who, the owners?


Greg Holland was offered 3 years and $53 million by the Rockies. Let's be generous to Holland and assume that he's not all farked up after missing 2016 with TJ and that his garbage close to last season wasn't typical for him. He's been good for roughly an average of 2.5 WAR per season (pre-surgery of course). If you go by the market valuation of $8 million per win above replacement, and you assume a relief pitcher on the wrong side of 30 isn't going to fall off a cliff, that translates to about $60 million over three years. The Rockies' offer was for seven million less than that, which seems to me to be a reasonable hedge against the risks for dumping that kind of money into a reliever. That's not an unfair offer, especially in a free agent market this slow. Really, he should have taken the QO and reestablished his value for next season, which would have been a better move than missing Spring Training.

Jake Arrieta reportedly turned down a deal with the Cubs in the six year / $126 million range, which Yu Darvish ultimately took. If you look at the deal through the same WAR lens, it looks like it undervalues Arrieta, sure. But that doesn't take into account that for two seasons since his Cy Young year, he's declined steadily in performance, with his FIP jumping up almost two full runs. How much longer does he produce at an elite level? The total number of WAR in that contract is like 15 or 16. Does Arrieta give you that over the next six seasons? If you replicate his 2017 season, no, not even close. Is he going to give you positive production when he's 38, in the final year of his contract? With all those questions, yeah, $126 million doesn't seem like chump change to me.
 
2018-03-08 03:06:32 PM  

Cagey B: With all those questions, yeah, $126 million doesn't seem like chump change to me.


Barry Zito got that a decade ago

What do you think has happened to MLB revenues since then
 
2018-03-08 03:08:03 PM  

Cagey B: Most of the remaining big-name free agents who haven't signed yet are represented by Scott Boras. That more than anything seems to be the problem. That, and people like Greg Holland and Jake Arrieta who were stupid enough to be talked into rejecting perfectly adequate deals by the aforementioned Boras.


fark Boras. I wish teams would straight up boycott anyone repped by that shiathead. He is cancer.
 
2018-03-08 03:08:49 PM  

ElwoodCuse: Cagey B: With all those questions, yeah, $126 million doesn't seem like chump change to me.

Barry Zito got that a decade ago

What do you think has happened to MLB revenues since then


Oooh. Oooh. *raises hand excitedly* Have they exploded upwards?
 
2018-03-08 03:16:12 PM  
In 1985, when they changed the number of pre-arbitration years from two to three, the minimum MLB salary was $60,000 a year. This year, it's $545,000. Sure, that extra year of arbitration (and the idiotic dance around service time rules) might cost a Bryce Harper or a Kris Bryant $20-30 million or so over the course of that first big FA contract, but the lower-tier guys who will be lucky to make as much in their career as Clayton Kershaw will make this season are doing much better than they were a generation or so ago.

There's also guys like Anthony Rizzo, who signed a long-term deal while he was still pre-arbitration. In 2013 and 2014, he made $2 million combined, or more than twice as much as he would have made under the league minimum. He's made $17 million in three seasons since then, and will make between $23 million and $52 million more from the Cubs, depending on whether the Cubs exercise their team options in 2020 and 2021. if they do, the downside is, he'll be past his prime at 32 for his next contract. Upside is, he'll have made $73 million dollars by then.
 
2018-03-08 03:16:30 PM  

Psylence: Cagey B: Most of the remaining big-name free agents who haven't signed yet are represented by Scott Boras. That more than anything seems to be the problem. That, and people like Greg Holland and Jake Arrieta who were stupid enough to be talked into rejecting perfectly adequate deals by the aforementioned Boras.

fark Boras. I wish teams would straight up boycott anyone repped by that shiathead. He is cancer.


won't someone please think of the billionaires. these greedy players and their agents are robbing them blind
 
2018-03-08 03:17:56 PM  

ElwoodCuse: Cagey B: With all those questions, yeah, $126 million doesn't seem like chump change to me.

Barry Zito got that a decade ago

What do you think has happened to MLB revenues since then


Barry Zito got one of the stupidest all-time free agent contracts in the game, and failed miserably in generating value during that period. That's not a really good example.

If you want to talk about the player's union fighting for value, they should be looking at stuff like minimum salaries through the various levels of development and changing how arbitration and free agency eligibility works so that younger players, who are really the ones getting screwed, get a bigger share of the proceeds. I give less than zero f*cks about Scott Boras clients complaining that they were too late for the stupidity of earlier eras in overpaying players that were almost guaranteed not to be worth their contracts.
 
2018-03-08 03:21:53 PM  

Cagey B: I give less than zero f*cks about Scott Boras clients complaining that they were too late for the stupidity of earlier eras in overpaying players that were almost guaranteed not to be worth their contracts.


It wasn't stupidity. It was the system. "Yeah you get underpaid for a while, and then you'll get overpaid towards the end of your career". What was stupid was the MLBPA allowing the owners to create a system where now they can say "oh hey we're not going to overpay you towards the end of your career either".
 
2018-03-08 03:22:08 PM  

ElwoodCuse: Cagey B: With all those questions, yeah, $126 million doesn't seem like chump change to me.

Barry Zito got that a decade ago

What do you think has happened to MLB revenues since then


Citing a contract which was derided as ludicrous and unnecessary before the ink was dry might not be making the point that you might be trying to make.

Unless I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.
 
2018-03-08 03:25:11 PM  
Cagey B:

If you want to talk about the player's union fighting for value, they should be looking at stuff like minimum salaries through the various levels of development and changing how arbitration and free agency eligibility works so that younger players, who are really the ones getting screwed, get a bigger share of the proceeds. I give less than zero f*cks about Scott Boras clients complaining that they were too late for the stupidity of earlier eras in overpaying players that were almost guaranteed not to be worth their contracts.

Seriously, this. Minor league salaries are laughably low, considering how many warm bodies MLB apparently needs to winnow out the wheat from all that chaff.
 
2018-03-08 03:30:10 PM  

ElwoodCuse: It was the system. "Yeah you get underpaid for a while, and then you'll get overpaid towards the end of your career".


If you're seriously going with the "poor billionaires" line of argument, this is beyond idiotic. The system was more accurately "you get underpaid until you're eligible for free agency, and then most of you are out of the game. But look! A handful of you get oversized lottery checks!"

So now the relative few who do get paid aren't getting contracts that are quite as high in the six figures. Boo farking hoo. This is like a person working the door at Wal Mart complaining about the unfortunate people in the $200,000 - $500,000 tax bracket paying too much because of the billionaires above them.

Players getting more of a share of the business is a legitimate concern, but pegging that to free agent contracts, especially for Scott Boras clients, is a mind bogglingly dumb hill to die on.
 
2018-03-08 03:45:41 PM  

Psylence: Cagey B: Most of the remaining big-name free agents who haven't signed yet are represented by Scott Boras. That more than anything seems to be the problem. That, and people like Greg Holland and Jake Arrieta who were stupid enough to be talked into rejecting perfectly adequate deals by the aforementioned Boras.

fark Boras. I wish teams would straight up boycott anyone repped by that shiathead. He is cancer.


Kansas City Royals pretty much did that.   They got screwed over with the Hosmer deal (holding out till almost spring training), so they told him they wernt interested in Moose or Holland.  It wasnt "F- you Boras" but it pretty damn close.
 
2018-03-08 03:56:37 PM  

Trainspotr: There's also guys like Anthony Rizzo, who signed a long-term deal while he was still pre-arbitration. In 2013 and 2014, he made $2 million combined, or more than twice as much as he would have made under the league minimum. He's made $17 million in three seasons since then, and will make between $23 million and $52 million more from the Cubs, depending on whether the Cubs exercise their team options in 2020 and 2021. if they do, the downside is, he'll be past his prime at 32 for his next contract. Upside is, he'll have made $73 million dollars by then.


Alternative theory. If, rather than sign away prime years for relative peanuts in exchange for some financial security, what would he have made on the open market.

I'll wager more than the $1 million per season.
 
2018-03-08 04:47:18 PM  

Cagey B: Most of the remaining big-name free agents who haven't signed yet are represented by Scott Boras. That more than anything seems to be the problem. That, and people like Greg Holland and Jake Arrieta who were stupid enough to be talked into rejecting perfectly adequate deals by the aforementioned Boras.


This. Owners are probably starting to see what happens when you sign 31 year old pitchers to 100+ million, long-term deals.

Spoiler: It doesn't end well usually
 
2018-03-08 07:06:38 PM  

Gubbo: Trainspotr: There's also guys like Anthony Rizzo, who signed a long-term deal while he was still pre-arbitration. In 2013 and 2014, he made $2 million combined, or more than twice as much as he would have made under the league minimum. He's made $17 million in three seasons since then, and will make between $23 million and $52 million more from the Cubs, depending on whether the Cubs exercise their team options in 2020 and 2021. if they do, the downside is, he'll be past his prime at 32 for his next contract. Upside is, he'll have made $73 million dollars by then.

Alternative theory. If, rather than sign away prime years for relative peanuts in exchange for some financial security, what would he have made on the open market.

I'll wager more than the $1 million per season.


He guaranteed himself between $42 million and $73 million when he was 23 with a career OPS under .800. Sure, he might have gotten more on the open market, but he also could have gotten hurt or washed out of the league. Everything is a calculated gamble.
 
2018-03-08 07:44:44 PM  

Trainspotr: Gubbo: Trainspotr: There's also guys like Anthony Rizzo, who signed a long-term deal while he was still pre-arbitration. In 2013 and 2014, he made $2 million combined, or more than twice as much as he would have made under the league minimum. He's made $17 million in three seasons since then, and will make between $23 million and $52 million more from the Cubs, depending on whether the Cubs exercise their team options in 2020 and 2021. if they do, the downside is, he'll be past his prime at 32 for his next contract. Upside is, he'll have made $73 million dollars by then.

Alternative theory. If, rather than sign away prime years for relative peanuts in exchange for some financial security, what would he have made on the open market.

I'll wager more than the $1 million per season.

He guaranteed himself between $42 million and $73 million when he was 23 with a career OPS under .800. Sure, he might have gotten more on the open market, but he also could have gotten hurt or washed out of the league. Everything is a calculated gamble.


He could have an under valued contract. Or an injury. Ownership won either way

That's the point of why the PA needs better representation
 
2018-03-09 08:34:07 AM  

Trainspotr: Cagey B:

If you want to talk about the player's union fighting for value, they should be looking at stuff like minimum salaries through the various levels of development and changing how arbitration and free agency eligibility works so that younger players, who are really the ones getting screwed, get a bigger share of the proceeds. I give less than zero f*cks about Scott Boras clients complaining that they were too late for the stupidity of earlier eras in overpaying players that were almost guaranteed not to be worth their contracts.

Seriously, this. Minor league salaries are laughably low, considering how many warm bodies MLB apparently needs to winnow out the wheat from all that chaff.


A regional Single-A short season team (affiliated with an MLB team valued at $1.2 billion), was begging for people to house and feed their players for free.  In return, you would receive a relatively small number of free tickets to games and a few other sub-public broadcasting level premiums.  It's pathetic.
 
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