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What is the end game?

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#21 Thrylos

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:04 PM

To put things into perspective:

 

Anthony Swarzak was signed to a 2 yr, $14 million contract

 

Any way you cut it, this is not a "bargain" rate contract.

 

Front officers (and owners) got younger and smarter and more analytics- and ROI-based and realized that 7-10 year contracts to 30+ year old players make zero financial sense.

 

Players and their agents are still expecting those kind of contracts.Good. Luck.

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#22 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:05 PM

 

Some of the players also have 'opt out' clauses that sends them out on the free agent market before the end of the contract. How about a team 'opt out' clause where they could terminate a contract when the player declines?? It would eliminate the concerns about a 'Pujols type' of deal. 

 

The pendulum has swung too far in favor of the players on the contracts, its time to reverse that trend.

 

I could not disagree more....revenues are rising faster than player salaries. 

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#23 Blake

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:07 PM

I believe there are two forces at work:

 

A:Franchises have learned that big dollar long term contracts tend to be losing propositions over the long haul.

 

B: Players and their agents are waiting for someone to sign and therefore set the free agent market.

 

It is what it is and how it plays out is anyone's guess. Basically, who will blink first?

 

 

 

 


#24 mazeville

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:07 PM

 

For years the MLBPA gave in on things like an international draft cap pool, cap for the draft, and other things just so there wasn't a salary cap. Well, maybe they'll have to think again about what they've been negotiating for. 

Now that Chicago and Houston made the "tear it all down" rebuild popular, more and more teams are going to be finding ways to shed payroll. Maybe a salary floor is needed over a non-existent salary cap.  

 

I think if I'm the players I push for a floor and agree to a cap. That would prevent these complete teardowns, forcing teams to at least have some higher priced players on their rosters so they are above the floor. I don't think that teams would agree to a floor without an agreement on a harder cap than the one they have now. 

 

And to be honest, you really don't want teams doing complete teardowns like that. I've advocated for it as a Twins fan, but it's not great for baseball to have teams just selling off all their veteran players so they'll lose and get a top draft pick. Doing so should be a LOT harder.

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#25 ThejacKmp

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:15 PM

If there is no collusion then teams are getting smart and are relying on younger guys who give better bang for the buck. That's their choice to make but the player's union should then be pushing for players to hit arbitration and free agency sooner -- "if you're not going to pay players later in their career, then the revenue needs to shift younger." They'll need to show a trend that this is happening (average career shorter, average free agent contract shorter/cheaper) but there will be a reaction.

 

My guess is this will be at the center of the next labor discussions.

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#26 ThejacKmp

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:17 PM

 

I think if I'm the players I push for a floor and agree to a cap. 

If I'm the players I never push for a cap. That's the one thing baseball has going for it over football and basketball unions - no cap. Bryce Harper is one big year from a $500 million deal next year. Manny Machado is going to zoom up there too. That's going to reset that market and push elite salaries higher. This will make those average contracts bigger too.

 

The players union should never ok a cap. Maybe if they got rid of arbitration? It would take something crazy on the early end of player's careers.


#27 KirbyDome89

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:19 PM

 

I don't know that it's the per-year dollars holding anything back as it is the length. Some of these guys want longer deals than GMs are willing to give, and I think that's holding back the market.

 

It's interesting. Teams are getting smarter about longer-term contracts and the players have a real problem with it. Personally think this year leads to a major change in the agreement between players and owners that ultimately results in a salary floor and perhaps a stronger cap.

 

As for this year, ultimately I think some players get nervous and start signing. I wish they'd get on with it, though. 

There are a good number of posters on TD who don't want Darvish at 6 years. While I might disagree, I can certainly understand why others don't feel like paying 25+ M annually to a pitcher who will finish the contract at age 38. It's going to be ugly at the end. The same goes for Hosmer, if MN had a need at 1B, would anybody really want to give him at an 8th year?

 

There was a really good article already written about this. I agree that I would rather see revenue flow into the team rather than an owners pocket, but I also want that revenue spent wisely. I think the players should be making demands, and if I was Hosmer or Darvish I would be trying to get as much as I could too, but ultimately reality has to settle in. 

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#28 laloesch

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:19 PM

 

I just think these players want too much money when they aren’t worth it. Every player available has question marks attached to them. I think owners and gms have seen too many long high dollar contracts not work out and thus don’t want to have another bad contract or players into their late thirties on their teams.

There is no collusion, simply the players aren’t that good anymore and the agents, specifically Scott Boras, think they’re players are fantastic and should be compensated for past performances. How many big time free agents have the Astros signed? How many have the Indians signed? It just doesn’t work to build through aging players.

I for one am glad the owners are taking a stand. In reality, these players all make too much money for what they do. Stop being greedy and you will get a contract. Pretty simple.

 

I don't think it's collusion either.I think most teams are getting pretty Leary of offering guaranteed contracts for 6, 7 or 8 eight years for 100's of millions of dollars.The reason is that many times the back end of those deals ends up being bad for the team and it handcuffs them from making other deals because their payrolls are maxed out.Unfortunately due to the lack of a hard salary cap, the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, etc. about 7 or 8 teams have pushed salaries so high that mid to low level teams have to intentionally tank in order to have a chance at competing.  

 

The other factor now is the luxury cap and penalty.With escalating penalties now in play big market teams are extremely reluctant to continue to stay over the tax and this is one year in which a bunch of them are trying to get under the threshold to compete in next years big free agent market. 

 

https://www.mlbtrade...raft-picks.html

 

If a team spends above $217MM in 2018, it will receive an extra 12% tax in addition to the usual 20%, 30% or 50% luxury tax. If a team spends over $237MM, it will receive an extra 42.5% or 45% surcharge tax.Beginning in 2018, there will be an extra penalty for teams in that second category, Cooper notes. A team that spends above $237MM will also have its top draft pick lowered ten spots, unless that pick is in the top six, in which case the team’s second pick will be lowered ten spots. 

 

The players association should never have agreed to this if they wanted salaries to continue to escalate year after year.I am convinced they will strike before 2021.What we are seeing this year is just the beginning.Teams don't want the luxury tax penalties and certainly don't want to have their top pick lowered 10 spots.Steering clear of high priced free agents to help keep them under the tax threshold or reset is doing what it was intended to do.Slowing down out of control big market spending that is killing smaller market teams and making them effectively Division 2 MLB.  

Edited by laloesch, 07 February 2018 - 12:27 PM.

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#29 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:26 PM

There probably is some collusion. It's hard to prove but I'm sure the league and some important owners have decided that salaries are going to remain low or grow slower than revenues would suggest. Steve Adams reported a bit on this fight at mlbtraderumors. 

 

https://www.mlbtrade...ree-agency.html

 

"“I find it interesting that free agents have nine-figure offers since the CBA mandates that teams not share that sort of information,” said Boras. “I am also curious how a public statement communicated to all teams about offers on the table and players demanding too much money from a central league office … is any different from the infamous ’information bank’ in the 1980s.” ....

 

To Boras’ credit, it does seem curious that the league’s statement would openly acknowledge the size of offers that some players have received. In addition to running counter to the CBA, the comments hardly paint players in a favorable light at a time in which commissioner Rob Manfred is spearheading efforts to broadly expand the game’s appeal to a younger audience. If anything, today’s statement only furthers the popular “greedy player” narrative — one which often ignores that the alternative is for the even wealthier owners to simply pocket money not spent on player contracts.

While those numbers weren’t exactly a secret after being leaked to the media by various sources, likely from both the agent and team side of the equation in various cases, it was nonetheless surprising to see the league stating those numbers in a factual manner (even if it was merely in reference to media reports; it’s not clear which was the case in this instance)."


#30 TheLeviathan

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:32 PM

I have a hard time agreeing anyone is getting "screwed" in this.

 

Except fans and tax payers.

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#31 Twins33

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:32 PM

That's what is so strange about this, and what makes me so suspicious that there is some sort of collusion going on, in which teams are somehow agreeing not to make any offer over $100mm, for example.

I know it's just an example but reports are that Darvish has multiple 100M+ offers and Martinez has one from the Red Sox.

I personally don't think collusion, just because it's always been bad to give older players big money and lots of years. They did it anyway. Now front offices are getting smarter and looking at the aging curves and data that has been out there for a long time and deciding "why were we doing this? That was dumb."
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#32 spycake

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:41 PM

 

There are a good number of posters on TD who don't want Darvish at 6 years. While I might disagree, I can certainly understand why others don't feel like paying 25+ M annually to a pitcher who will finish the contract at age 38.

Nitpick, but Darvish would only be 37 at the end of a 6-year deal (in his age-36 season, as his birthday is in August).


#33 Kelly Vance

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:44 PM

The owners see revenues rising and the players want some of it. Same old, same old. The minimum salary in 1969 was under $25K. But you could also buy a new Volkswagen Beetle for $ 1,000. 

 

Now players are mostly millionaires. Not really much to complain about since they make tons for playing a child's game. Meanwhile, season tickets are increasingly prohibitively expensive for most people, and it breaks many family budgets to take the kids to a ball game.  

 

We will never see a return to reasonable ticket prices now, and who wants to spend $10 on a beer?  

 

But the market is what it is.... sign Yu and swallow hard. 

Edited by Kelly Vance, 07 February 2018 - 12:47 PM.


#34 laloesch

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:01 PM

 

The owners see revenues rising and the players want some of it. Same old, same old. The minimum salary in 1969 was under $25K. But you could also buy a new Volkswagen Beetle for $ 1,000. 

 

Now players are mostly millionaires. Not really much to complain about since they make tons for playing a child's game. Meanwhile, season tickets are increasingly prohibitively expensive for most people, and it breaks many family budgets to take the kids to a ball game.  

 

We will never see a return to reasonable ticket prices now, and who wants to spend $10 on a beer?  

 

But the market is what it is.... sign Yu and swallow hard. 

 

Here's the problem.75% of the leagues franchises do not have anywhere close to the same revenues that the top 4 or 5 teams in the league do.In fact on average most teams have approximately 200 million less in revenues when compared to the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs and Giants. 

 

That's a HUGE problem for parity in baseball.If you have a select few franchises that have almost twice as much money as the average MLB team you end up with huge disparities in payroll and all the good players going to those top 4 or 5 teams and significant cyclical tanking from the bottom feeders (that's not collusion by the way).

 

Now the question is what do you do with the bottom feeder teams in terms of revenue?A Division 2, with the Rays, Marlins, A's, Reds, Brewers, Royals, Rockies, Twins, O's.Or do you just contract all the low market teams that just can't generate enough revenue?

 

I just don't see a solution here other than a hard cap or accept that some teams will always have better players and will plunder the AAAA teams when they need talent.  

Edited by laloesch, 07 February 2018 - 01:08 PM.

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#35 Blackjack

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:04 PM

 

.Unfortunately due to the lack of a hard salary cap, the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, etc. about 7 or 8 teams have pushed salaries so high that mid to low level teams have to intentionally tank in order to have a chance at competing.  

I think that they need a hard salary cap, it would put the smaller teams on an equal footing with the big teams, the high spending Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox. etc.Throw in a salary minimum to keep the players happy. It would make all teams more competitive and would reward teams that truly do a good job of evaluating talent.Win, win, win all the way around.


#36 KirbyDome89

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:05 PM

 

If there is no collusion then teams are getting smart and are relying on younger guys who give better bang for the buck. That's their choice to make but the player's union should then be pushing for players to hit arbitration and free agency sooner -- "if you're not going to pay players later in their career, then the revenue needs to shift younger." They'll need to show a trend that this is happening (average career shorter, average free agent contract shorter/cheaper) but there will be a reaction.

 

My guess is this will be at the center of the next labor discussions.

Hitting arbitration sooner seems more than fair. Cutting years of team control would be pushing the pendulum even further in favor of large market teams. Maybe if it was accompanied by a hard cap but I can't see why the players union would (or should,) agree to a hard cap. 

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#37 laloesch

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:09 PM

 

The owners see revenues rising and the players want some of it. Same old, same old. The minimum salary in 1969 was under $25K. But you could also buy a new Volkswagen Beetle for $ 1,000. 

 

Now players are mostly millionaires. Not really much to complain about since they make tons for playing a child's game. Meanwhile, season tickets are increasingly prohibitively expensive for most people, and it breaks many family budgets to take the kids to a ball game.  

 

We will never see a return to reasonable ticket prices now, and who wants to spend $10 on a beer?  

 

But the market is what it is.... sign Yu and swallow hard. 

 

$10???LOL.Last time i was home in Cincy I went to a game with my dad and brother and a 16 ounce beer was 15 dollars!

 

I want to sign Yu but my fear is that it's going end up being a really really bad deal in year 3 or 4 and if the Twins cave and give him six years at close 30 mil a season? Ufff-da  

Edited by laloesch, 07 February 2018 - 01:22 PM.


#38 laloesch

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:15 PM

 

I think that they need a hard salary cap, it would put the smaller teams on an equal footing with the big teams, the high spending Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox. etc.Throw in a salary minimum to keep the players happy. It would make all teams more competitive and would reward teams that truly do a good job of evaluating talent.Win, win, win all the way around.

 

Well the minimum salary is currently 500K i think.Increase that to whatever the floor should be for and that could be the compromise.That would be better for the MLB players collectively as a whole but you will never get the MLB players Union to agree to that because of the hard cap.LIke i said I think were headed for strike before 2021.

Edited by laloesch, 07 February 2018 - 01:33 PM.


#39 laloesch

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:26 PM

 

There probably is some collusion. It's hard to prove but I'm sure the league and some important owners have decided that salaries are going to remain low or grow slower than revenues would suggest. Steve Adams reported a bit on this fight at mlbtraderumors. 

 

https://www.mlbtrade...ree-agency.html

 

"“I find it interesting that free agents have nine-figure offers since the CBA mandates that teams not share that sort of information,” said Boras. “I am also curious how a public statement communicated to all teams about offers on the table and players demanding too much money from a central league office … is any different from the infamous ’information bank’ in the 1980s.” ....

 

To Boras’ credit, it does seem curious that the league’s statement would openly acknowledge the size of offers that some players have received. In addition to running counter to the CBA, the comments hardly paint players in a favorable light at a time in which commissioner Rob Manfred is spearheading efforts to broadly expand the game’s appeal to a younger audience. If anything, today’s statement only furthers the popular “greedy player” narrative — one which often ignores that the alternative is for the even wealthier owners to simply pocket money not spent on player contracts.

While those numbers weren’t exactly a secret after being leaked to the media by various sources, likely from both the agent and team side of the equation in various cases, it was nonetheless surprising to see the league stating those numbers in a factual manner (even if it was merely in reference to media reports; it’s not clear which was the case in this instance)."

 

I don't buy it.  

 

I take everything Boras says with a grain of salt.It's like picking sides in a divorce court.You have to realize the bias of both sides and that Boras is one voice on the side of the premier free agents who will fetch top dollar and ohhh he gets rich in the process. 

 

As a fan i'm more interested in a competitive league and not squabbling owners and players who get rich off me the fan.

Edited by laloesch, 07 February 2018 - 01:31 PM.

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#40 sthpstm

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:32 PM

The current CBA lasts through the 2021 season, correct?

It seems like we should expect big changes, or at least that we all would generally agree some changes are needed, like higher pay for players pre-arb and during arb. If I'm a team I'd be concerned about having too many players signed at a high salary for 2022 or beyond if I also expect little production from them. Could this have any impact on not offering guys longer deals?