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Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Shifting Service Time

byron buxton tommy john players union
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#21 big dog

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 04:48 AM


Nobody watches a game to see the owner sit in his private box. The players are the game so I don't get people complaining about them getting paid. It's a very small percentage of players that do get PAID well. It's very difficult to be a major league player and even harder to be a very good one. The people that own teams don't need more money, to most it's a hobby.

I hope I never complain about players getting paid.

I'm not complaining about the salaries as much as not caring about the final number for the players who make free agency.I want more players to get paid more at the minor league level, rather than the individual superstars to individually earn more.


When Calvin Griffith owned the Twins, and the early days of Carl Pohlad, salaries were shameful.I remember a very young Gaetti talking about how it was hard to stay in condition over the winter as a young player because he was bagging groceries all winter to pay the rent.That's just shameful.The major league minimum salary at that time was a joke for what players went through.That's a big problem, especially in the minors today, compared to the difference between a really good player making $25 million per year or having to settle for $10-15 million.


So I'm not complaining about their salaries, but I don't feel sorry for them if they have to delay free agency a year.An awful lot of players never qualify for that anyway.Let's take care of the rest of the players.

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#22 gil4


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 09:46 AM


I hope that in the next CBA the players have the dignity to insist that minor league players get paid better. And yes, I know that minor league players are not paying dues.


It's a shame that no team has stepped up and increased MiLB wages on their own.

The bigger problem I have is the fact that the minor league players are bound by the terms of the CBA, yet are not eligible to be members of the union. They just have to trust the MLBPA to look out for their interests, and it's definitely not a priority.

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#23 gil4


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 10:51 AM

I dislike about what is done now:

1. Time on the disabled list counts toward service time.

2. A year of service equates to a full-calendar MLB

Maybe instead of getting of getting full credit for DL time, they could work out a formula based on total time accumulated and time credited over the past MLB year.Maybe the initial 10-day period counts, then additional time counts at the percentage of the higher of the time spent on the MLB roster the past year or the total time/3 service years


IIRC, the service year isn't quite a full year, but it's ridiculously close (171/183 days?).I'd like to see something closer to 120 in a single year or 150 over any combo of years that didn't reach that threshold.


I haven't given it a great deal of thought or played around with the math to figure out loopholes. Maybe any two consecutive years that add up to 270 count as two years (to be fair to the guy who was on the roster for 100 + 180 - that might discourage holding off calling a guy up until there are 119 days left.

#24 Riverbrian


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 10:54 AM

The CBA was negotiated by big boys staring across the table at each other. 


The CBA is an Acronym for:

Collective - A group representation.

Bargaining - Terms and Conditions were negotiated. 

Agreement - Both Parties AGREED on the terms. 


Once the agreement is in place, the two parties will utilize the agreement to guide their future decisions.


If there was an oversight or mistake made by either party during the negotiation and agreement. It is not the job of the other party to go back to table and say... I'm sorry we have a clear advantage and we would like to give that advantage back in the name of fairness. 


If you read the actual CBA... Service Time Management is tacitly encouraged. The "Good Faith" covenant is all they got and it seems to be working (a little) because JT Realmuto wasn't sent down to the New Orleans Baby Cakes to gain the extra year while the Marlins are clearly out of it. 


The Owners clearly won the negotiation and the MLBPA failed to predict the result of analytics taking over every front office. 


The biggest issue is going to be peak value and years of control. 


Once the front offices decided not to give out long term contracts to decline phase players and they collectively did that this off season, in my opinion, this was a paradigm shift that will lead to the MLBPA to insist on players reaching free agency at peak value, therefore at a younger age. The Owners won't want to give that up and I'm prepared for a strike or lockout or something that will ruin my summer. 


The radical solution is this:


No first year player draft at all. 


Just like I can choose to work wherever I'd like as long as someone will hire me.


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#25 Loosey


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 11:22 AM

I obviously don't have the full answer, but one thing I would try for if I was a player or the MLBPA is to eliminate the 172 day cap.If you are up the full year, you get the full 183 days.The cap essentially can give teams 11 days of to tinker with Service time each season which can add up to an extra year if they do it right, ala Buxton.

#26 jtkoupal


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 12:11 PM

Maybe the answer could be to change the rules with options.


Maybe its 2 option years instead of 3. Maybe you give them a finite number of options instead of option years. Maybe you can't option them if they have been on the active 25-man roster for X number of consecutive days.


Not much deep thought, but just a couple ideas I jotted down on the spot.

#27 mikelink45


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 04:24 PM

My solution which will not be popular with anyone is to start the six year clock after two years of service to the team - minor league and major league.I do not care how old they were when they signed - do they have different rules for high schoolers going in to the NBA?Sign them, develop them, get them in MLB as quick as possible.There will be other adjustments and I do not want to spend pages talking about career minor leaguers (although they would benefit from this) of slow developing players - contracts can adjust for this.But right now it is a joke and our FO is the one that spoke up and pulled the cover off the travesty.

#28 Eris


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 05:21 PM

Team control based on age when the player signs, with the goal that players will be free agents at age 28. Replace the last 4 years of arbitration with restricted free agency (like in football) giving the controlling team the right to match the contract.

#29 notoriousgod71


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 08:05 PM

Simple solution: Bring back the Reserve clause.


Wishful thinking on my part. I'd be a bigger fan of free agency if my team ever used it to their advantage.

#30 caninatl04


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 09:22 PM

Why are baseball and professional sports unions different than most other unions.If you have a carpenter crew, they all get paid the same unless you are an apprentice.So a player's first year is at a fixed rate as a rookie/apprentice.After that, the league takes 50% of the revenue and divides by the number of players.Everybody gets paid the same.Build in some type of bonuses for doing X, Y and Z.Maybe the bonuses can double or even triple your annual return.  
That's how the trade unions do it, or at least did back when I was building things.Why not baseball?

Another reason is that trade unions negotiate such that each member makes the same (or similar amount. I'm probably wrong, but maybe the WNBA, the XFL, and the CFL have collective bargaining agreements with less dispersion in salaries.

I'm sure that if the MLBPA decided to go that route-- where each and every player received (and I'm making these numbers up) $10,000,000 / 162 (or $62 -$63 K) per game, something could be worked out. But, I'm not sure how that would go over. And the allocation of players would be tricky.

My point is simple-- its not just the employer that determines the salary structure, but the employees as well.

#31 caninatl04


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 09:35 PM

By the way, there will not be a labor stoppage because the Montreal Expos won't be leading the NL East. As any Quebecois(e) will tell you, the last two labor stoppages corresponded with the only two years the Expos were leading their division.

#32 Rosterman


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Posted 14 September 2018 - 09:51 PM

The pain of the current system also means you have to make decisions on players...take Trevor Plouffe, for example. Not worth his arbitration salary, yet the Twins might've kept him if they could've signed him for what Oakland signed him for. So in that way, the system works against both the team AND the player.


You can argue how much time a team should have control of a player before overpaying, so to speak. Is six years outrageous (or more if you have parts of seasons). If the player does produce, they make big bucks. If they don't, they go into a limbo...sometimes having an okay years (see Escobar this year) which results in some riches.


Sometimes you do forget the up front money some of these guys do make now in the draft.



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#33 jorgenswest


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Posted 15 September 2018 - 03:08 PM

If players are generally hitting free agency around 28...

What factor should competitive balance play in any restructuring?

Should there be a concern that the large market teams will have the majority of the best players in their peak seasons?

Two kinds of players might populate the mid market teams. They might have good prospects in their initial struggling years with a good season or two prior free agency. The others might be players in their decline in their 30s. These might be guys originally signed by a large market team but traded off for the last one or two years of their contract or players they signed as free agents at 28 who were near average in their primes but mediocre in their early 30s (and the last few years of their contracts).

I don’t think they can fix the service years without also addressing the current lack of competitive balance that could become more imbalanced.

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