Open Discussion: Week of January 30, 2022

Day 61 of Mister Manfred’s lockout.  The two sides met Monday and Tuesday.   

Just to recap, MLB offered the following at the December meeting –

  • MLB offered to revamp its system for compensating Super Two players.  (This new system is similar to what the players rejected as a replacement for arbitration.)
  • MLB offered to address service time manipulation by rewarding teams that promoted prospects from MLB’s Top 100 who won ROY or finished in the top 3 for CY Young or MVP in his first three seasons.  (The flaw here is that the lists and awards are arbitrarily voted for by baseball writers.) (This is very flawed as the same boobs voting for the HOF would now be expected to be impartial in a voting process that directly affects players getting bonuses.)
  • MLB offered an international draft.
  • MLB offered to address tanking by offering a draft lottery for the three worst teams.  (The union wants a more realistic eight-team lottery.)
  • MLB continued to push for a 14-team playoff.
  • MLB proposed a universal designated hitter.

The offer did not address core economic issues like –

  • raising the minimum salary,
  • earlier arbitration,
  • earlier free agency,
  • changes to revenue sharing, and
  • a fairly large increase to the competitive balance threshold.

Monday, the MLBPA responded –

  • MLBPA withdrew its request for age-based free agency (one of the three major topics that MLB did not want to discuss anyway).
  • MLBPA revised its proposal on how the teams share revenue, lowering the amount considerably (from $100M to $30M).

Outstanding issues –

  • arbitration after two years,
  • minimum salaries,
  • draft order,
  • CBT levels.

Tuesday, MLB countered –

  • MLB agreed to accept parameters of a pre-arbitration bonus pool for the top 30 WAR. MLBPA seeking a pool of $105M. League offered $10M.
  • MLB offered to raise the minimum salary to $615K. MLBPA wants $775K.
  • MLB withdrew its offer to change the arbitration structure.

MLB on Tuesday did not address –

  • CBT thresholds,
  • draft order.

While there seems to be little movement, the fact that there is any is significant.

The MLBPA withdrew a proposal that they knew was a non-starter, and was the least likely of the three core economic topics to be agreed to in their favor.  MLB withdrew proposals that would have eliminated the salary arbitration process for players who already have a right to go through it, proposals that weren’t likely to be settled in their favor.

MLB’s willingness to discuss a bonus pool for pre-arb players is significant.  Their $10M pool is not.

MLB had proposed a tiered payroll structure for players with less than 3 years of service time – $600K for 0 to 1 year, $650K for 1 to 2 years, and $700K for 2 to 3 years.  Tuesday they offered to raise the $600K to $615K for the youngest group.  But in true MLB fashion, The MLB chose to restrict the teams from paying more than each level’s assigned amounts (except for contract extensions and/or any bonus pool money).  As you know, currently teams are allowed to pay a player who hasn’t reached arbitration more than the league minimum.

The talks were at times heated, as one would expect.  There were, however, two incidents reported from Monday’s session.

  1. Deputy Commissioner Dan Harlen is reported to have said that MLB is willing to lose games over some of the outstanding issues.  It is not known if that was a statement of fact or a threat.  It’s also not known if it was made before the association withdrew a proposal or if any of the movement Tuesday alleviated anything.
  2. More interesting was that policy committee chair, Rockies owner Dick Monfort stated that “the difficulty at least some owners have affording teams, and the ancillary costs of ownership such as security and COVID-19 measures”.  If you took my advice and followed Eugene Freedman, he had this to say.  Essentially, stating that some teams “can’t afford” could shift the requirement of proof from basic financial information to maybe having to open the books.  Monfort was not in attendance Tuesday.

It appears to me that as the “non-starter” topics are dropped, there should be no reason why an agreement couldn’t be reached.  They are at least talking about most things.  It should only be a matter of negotiating the points where they differ.

I’m not in favor of revenue sharing, but it seems to me that if the “richer” owners want to share some of their owners’ revenue with the “poorer” owners, that’s their prerogative.  Personally, I’d be damned if I’d share some of my team’s money with the cheap owners.  But, I don’t see how that can be the players’ business.  (That drops another topic.  We’re one more step closer

The Caribbean Series started Friday and will run through Thursday.  After games on Monday and Tuesday, the semifinals will be held on Wednesday and the final on Thursday.  You can watch it on ESPN Deportes, if you have that as part of your cable package.  Maybe MLB will televise the evening games if there aren’t too many major league players on the rosters.  Nah, they’ll probably continue their ineffectual programming due to the lockout.

The standings after 3 days are –

  1. 3-0   Dominican Republic
  2. 2-1   Columbia
  3. 2-1   Venezuela
  4. 1-2   Panama
  5. 1-2   Mexico
  6. 0-3   Puerto Rico

Information and game write-ups for the first 3 days can be found here.

This is the courtesy thread for comments and discussion about the Phillies and other BASEBALL topics.

Rosters and Stuff

Key Dates:

  • December 1, 2021: CBA expires
  • December 2, 2021: Manfred locks out players
  • January 15, 2022 – Start of the 2021-22 international signing period
  • January 28, 2022: Caribbean Series
  • TBA: Minor League spring training reporting date (probably mid-to-late February)
  • April 5, 2022: Lehigh Valley season opener at home v. Columbus
  • April 8, 2022:  Clearwater season opener at home v. Fort Myers
  • April 8, 2022:  Jersey Shore season opener at home v. Aberdeen
  • April 8, 2022:  Reading season opener at home v. Somerset



75 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 30, 2022

  1. from above: “MLB offered to address service time manipulation by rewarding teams that promoted prospects from MLB’s Top 100 who won ROY or finished in the top 3 for CY Young or MVP in his first three seasons. (The flaw here is that the lists and awards are arbitrarily voted for by baseball writers.)” Might a far more serious problem be that the players who really need rely on service time-related compensation are the marginal players along with the rank and file – not the ones who are in the top 100 and thus able to command high salaries in the first place? Or am I just misunderstanding?

  2. The league’s threat to lose games early in the season is like the despondent man standing on the high rise window ledge threatening to jump with no intent on doing so other than to provoke a desperate response. When does it ever work? As fans, we dare you. Please. Suicides are seldom committed by people who give advance warning. Just another lame posture by a few empty suit corporate hacks.

  3. I reviewed the Caribbean games and recognized Christian Bettencourt and Robinson Cano’ playing; are there any Phillies in the games?

  4. KLaw has his Top 100 out, and Stott is 66 and Mick Abel 91. He’s entitled to his opinion, and, of course, I think he ranked them too low. However, the notable part, for me, was he made zero mention that Stott has to move off SS. I thought that was good news.

    1. I think it is a mistake to turn a promising SS like Stott into something else. Haven’t the Phillies learned from what has happened to Scot Kingery, once a promising 2b. In moving him from position to position, he apparently lost his bearings.

      1. The one factor in determining Stott’s final destination is what becomes of Luis Garcia.
        If he stays in the org…..and continues to progress as he did last season, and right now it appears he will be in Reading at some point this year…he may be the one that could be their future shortstop.
        And that could move Stott off of short and to 2B

        1. Luis Garcia IMO has a higher ceiling than Stott. And I think Stott has All Star potential in the majors. Stott had a great year all the way up to AFL and his good eye at the plate says to me that he will be a good hitter. I don’t know enough of whether he can move to 2B or 3B but I think he has enough arm and glove for both. Garcia seems to be better in the field where he can be the complete package at SS. (Rojas IMO has huge upside).
          Sad part of a lockout is Luis Garcia is on 40 man roster so he won’t be able to play if one occurs. Stott and Rojas and most of the minor leaguers are not so they will not miss development time in the spring.

          1. Garcia is an exciting player to dream on, but at this point only a breakout 2022 will put him on my phutures map. Otherwise he’s a solid utility player ala Freddy Galvis.

    2. One name that jumped out to me was Curtis Mead at 94. Yep. Klentak threw away a top 100 prospect. Here is an important paragraph from KLaw’s writeup on Mead:

      “He might end up with a 60 or better hit tool, hitting .300ish with 40 doubles in a full major-league season, and that would make him a regular at third or even in right.”

      1. So happy Klentak is gone. This is what bad organizations do (or, here, did, since MK is no longer around doing damage), giving away their birthright for a bag of beans which, let’s face it, is precisely what we have in Sanchez. He’s not even a top 30 prospect.

  5. Both of you are correct. I brought it up because I had believed Stott was docked a few ranking points for no being able to stay at SS. I was pleasantly surprised that KLaw made no mention of it. I still think he is ranked too low, but if he hits, and Garcia proved to be a stud SS, and Stott, eventually moves to 2B, then that is good news for us. I just don’t want him moved all over now. Garcia may never make the Majors, although I hope he does.

  6. MLB Trade Rumors has an update on the negotiations… Well an update might mislead people that there has been some progress between the two sides since they last met over a week ago. MLB says their willing to lose games… I agree with Mark8:29, a smokescreen. Although I’m starting to think all the pre-lockout bravado from MLBPLA attorneys was also a smokescreen. Last week a Tweet from someone in the Yankees organization claimed the framework for an agreement was in place but the i’s needed to be dotted and t’s crossed.. LOL..An optimist I guess..The MLB Trade Rumors article all but says ST is going to be delayed with a target for March 1st. We shall see.

    It’s been one helluva a NFL playoffs. WOW..

  7. Nice video of Stott talking about a swing adjustment he made with the AA batting coach which helped him be on time more. Nice to see a good example of player development

    1. Once they get going again…it will be exciting to see how he does.
      However, I need to try to curb my enthusiasm right now.

      1. No, it’s okay to be excited by Stott. He is a self-made prospect. He has worked hard to make himself the player he has become. Take a look at his college and minor league history. He started his college career as a very pedestrian player and slowly, but surely, he got better every year and then made his way into professional ball and did the same thing. I have such a good feeling about him. I think he’s going to blow away the expectations over the next few years. Take that number 67 ranking and throw it in the trash – in 3 years, we’ll probably look back and laugh at it, just as we laughed the rankings for guys like Chase Utley. This guy is going to turn into a player.

  8. Romus we are to get a huge ice and snowstorm here in Indiana Thursday and Friday.
    I need to curb my enthusiasm as well. Hope you are doing well. Almost February.
    Baseball is not too far down the horizon. Hopefully.

  9. I spend five months each season in West Palm Beach less than three miles on the same road from where the Astros and Nationals train in the spring. While billionaires and millionaires argue and threaten how much money they are going to make, the workers at the stadium who man the box office, concession stands, security and those who work as ushers (for paltry amounts of pay) are stuck holding the bag. Don’t they realize that when they try to put more money in their own pockets that they are taking money from people who need it so badly?

    Baseball is my favorite sport to follow and I am a die hard Phillies fan since 1963 but I get so disgusted every five years when these contract talks come around. I honestly believe that the owners and the players don’t give two hoots about the people who keep them in business. The fans are taken for granted. Salaries go up (some are making $30-35M a year) and the fans foot the bill. The owners don’t care because when salaries go up, they just charge more for tickets, parking, concessions, etc., etc. It all just annoys me to no end. Sorry to rant but…

    1. Ciada – I second your rant – I too, go to FL every winter solely for ST. Got my tickets today – 16 games – wonder if I will even use them ? Frankly – I find no reason(s) worth stopping play and hitting the economies of small communities – we live in too competitive a world – if there is no baseball, that time will be filled with other distractions and ultimately land another blow to our former American pastime which will have to work even harder to win those “eyes” back. Both sides don’t care about the game nor those that make it function. Sad.

    2. The One Percenters only care that you’re hungry enough to come back for more, be it baseball or any other commodity. They don’t care how fed up we get with their greed. They control everything. Whatever they “concede” to the players union only strengthens their grip on who, what, where, when and how the game’s off the field interests are met, and how the real beneficiaries benefit financially. (You and I are NOT the beneficiaries. Ask PT Barnum.) Those in power get to use it to not only make more money but to ensure that only those whom they sanction (control) play the game by their rules, creating only the perception that they are adversaries. The players, their agents and union reps aren’t the enemy of the owners. They are simply “lesser” or junior partners in the 100 billion dollar pie where even a small slice of it is worth the wheeling and dealing and haggling over what we’re not invested in as fans. We want to be entertained by the game we used to love. That ship sailed long ago. That train left the station and won’t be returning. Everything we see and hear (or think we see and hear) is little more than a rich man’s trick to create an illusion we suspect isn’t real, but we’re powerless to change unless we simply stop buying the product and services. When’s that ever going to happen?

      1. What baseball needs most is a team max and team min salary. The gap between 260m Dodgers and several 50-60m teams is beyond ludicrous. But no one is even discussing a team min.

        The players Union is hyper focused on the top 1%. Their top concern is always what their highest salaried players can earn. Its what they talk about for CBA and every year in between.

        One of their disagreements now with the owners is for a much higher luxury tax threshold. So instead of promoting competitive balance and instead of pushing so many lower salaried teams to have to spend a lot more, they just want the highest spending few teams to be able to spend even more. Raising that bar doesn’t guarantee more spending. But raising the team min would ensure more money is paid to players! And that would help players at all levels.

        But alas, the players Union continues to fight the wrong fight focusing on THEIR top 1%. The PU is pathetic.

        1. JohnK….I do think that was brought up…a ‘floor’ for small market teams ….thought I saw $100M as one proposal.
          Just four years ago MLBPA filed a lawsuit against teams that took the rev-shared money and did not put it to their teams competitive product on the field …which in turn led to the ‘floor ‘ proposal for specifically small market teams.

  10. Gosh I haven’t been here in forever it feels like. This place and you cohorts were always my place to get away from it all. Whatever real life issues I had it was here that I escaped it.

    I’m worried that I’m in a dark place. That baseball no longer matters. And that I may never enjoy it the way i used to.

    Time will tell perhaps but I needed to pop in just to see if I could get a spark back. All this labor strife will get resolved later than sooner and baseball will be played again. I hope I still care LOL

    I am glad to see you all are still here key stroking away. Leave a light on for me just in case!

    1. DMAR….you and rocco have gone into seclusion…..welcome back, if only briefly.
      And I can understand your current state of mind when it comes to major league baseball. It seems, every work stoppage over the last few decades…..planned or unplanned (Pandemic) is slowly smoldering the wick

  11. Always good to hear from you, DMAR! It’s really frustrating to be a fan and watch both sides whack up billions, snd do a poor job of that, and also do nothing about making the game better. I wish there were those on either side I had any faith in, but. I really don’t.

  12. The Phanatic saw his shadow this morning and unfortunately that means 6 more weeks without (Major League) baseball. Fortunately the minor leaguers can play.

  13. Editorial Comment

    The current state of affairs can be laid at the feet of the owners, and only the owners.

    To be more clear, the CBA negotiations should have had zero effect on the start of spring training or the regular season.

    Those are in jeopardy solely because the owners chose to enforce a lockout.

    Had there been no lockout, the players would have been contractually required to continue under the terms of the previous CBA for as long as negotiations continued.

    I can’t make this any clearer.

    I have opinions on why the owners opted to lock out the players and on the pace of the negotiations that I’ll keep to myself for now. They have no bearing on the facts above.

    1. Yes, Jim, while it’s true that the owners initiated the work stoppage and that’s all on them (it certainly is), I think you need to put why they did that in a broader context, so I’ll try to do that.

      Now let me say that I have no dog in this fight other than wanting to watch my team play and going to games. It’s the billionaire owners versus the very powerful millionaire players. The MLBPA is, by far, the most powerful sports union in professional sports in North America (I simply cannot speak to what the situation is outside of North America with other sports, such as soccer), although it seems the union is pretty powerful in the NBA too. Neither the owners nor the union are thinking about you, the fan. The revenue we fans pour into the game directly and indirectly is almost taken for granted and, worst of all, neither side seems to be focused on things that help keep fans at the park and watching on TV (such as not having games go on for over 3 hours on a consistent basis, which is outrageous). They are also not focused on the abhorrent treatment of most minor leaguers, include foreign players, which is shameful. So, yeah, I am not a fan of either side, really.

      But putting aside who is right and who is wrong, the owners (and actually the fans) cannot afford a repeat of 1994, which is the last year that the owners foolishly allowed a season to begin and continue even though there was no CBA. The problems simply festered, nothing was resolved, and the union gained more and more and more leverage as the year went on and it was clear the union could declare a strike at any time and screw up the rest of the season. And that’s what happened and there is a useless, incomplete season on the books – 1994 – where there was no champion and the strike lingered on into the early part of 1995, delaying that season too. It took a good 5 years or so before baseball was able to begin repairing that damage.

      It is better for baseball and the fans for the owners and everyone except the players perhaps (although it might be better for them too), for these issues to be teed up now, before the season begins so that everyone is laser focused on getting this done and so you don’t have another 1994, where there was no season and no champion. Even if the season has to be shortened, it far better than repeating the disaster of 1994.

      1. Catch, I agree. Both sides are missing the point. They are arguing over money that comes from the fans, one way or another. I’m not tooting my horn, but if all the fans stopped watching, going to games … and say got into another sport. Good luck having the stances they have now. The mlb is fighting a trend, it better be aware. They have competition. Younger kids have been into X games, video game tournaments, alll while the nfl, nba, and nhl grew in popularity. Well, maybe not the nhl. The point is, it may not get the same revenue from these tv contracts once some of us go to the other side. They need to fight for 90% of the profits between them, and reinvest 10% back into the fans … every year –

        Improve the parks, seats, food … make it cheaper for us to watch games live< create VR simulators of teams famous moments. So much more can be done than to watch these fat cats get richer. They should wake up, a lot of peoples mindsets are very different since the pandemic.

  14. Happy Belated Birthday National League:

    On February 2, 1876, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, which comes to be more commonly known as the National League (NL), is formed. The American League (AL) was established in 1901 and in 1903, the first World Series was held.

    The first official game of baseball in the United States took place in June 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey. In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became America’s first professional baseball club. In 1871, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players was established as the sport’s first “major league.” Five years later, in 1876, Chicago businessman William Hulbert formed the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs to replace the National Association, which he believed was mismanaged and corrupt. The National League had eight original members: the Boston Red Stockings (now the Atlanta Braves), Chicago White Stockings (now the Chicago Cubs), Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Louisville Grays, Mutual of New York, Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Brown Stockings.

    1. …and first World Series…best of nine games….set a record, more or less, 17 ground-rule TRIPLES in the series …all, when played in the Pittsburgh stadium….there were no outfield fences, but ropes.

      1. Hey, what goes around, Romus…DO AWAY WITH FENCES!….some nimrod non-baseball pencil pusher may eventually come up with such an idea. Reconstructing the game is a growing trend. One day it’ll be unrecognizable, hopefully not before we’re gone.

        1. Yeah, we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

          Baseball’s problem isn’t that they are changing things, it’s that they are far too slow to change things. Rules changes occur all the time in major sports. In basketball, there’s a 24 second clock, 3 second violations in basketball on offense and now on defense, the 3 point line was instituted – all these are the result of NBA rules changes over the years. The NFL changes rules all the time too – including on penalties, instant replay, kickoffs – there are always new rules. These rule changes are done to make the game safer, more exciting and more fan friendly and none of them makes their sports unrecognizable.

          In baseball, the league, due in part to the power the MLBPA has, is way too slow to address problems in the current game. Due to pitching changes and ridiculously slow pitching, games are now averaging 3 hours and 10 minutes and so much of that is taken up with non-activity on the field. When I was a kid, games were about an hour shorter. Not all that long ago they were about 2:30-2:40, which is fine and where they need to be again.

          So while you long to keep the rules the same I desperately want them to change so the games are faster and less boring and, by the way, I can’t wait until the DH is in the NL. Watching pitchers hit and the strategy around that is less interesting than a DH to me.

          1. I’m not sure either of us really know what we’re “agreeing to disagree” about, but when throughout history has the “smartest men in the room” Illuminati ever made things better?

            1. I think we disagree about making changes in the game, but maybe you agree with me that the game requires serious rule changes so we don’t have 3 and a half hour boring snooze-fests with 40 seconds between pitches and too many pitching changes. I don’t think you need to be the smartest guy in the room to see that baseball is falling behind the other sports and needs to make changes, but that’s just me.

  15. Looking like Casey Martin will crack the top 40 on the voting thread. While he’s dropped significantly in the eyes of the Phuture Phillies phamily, he may be of interest to clubs like Tampa or LAD in a trade. Toolsy player without the requisite discipline to ascend the ranks here. An organization with a better track record for development might be able to tap into his skill set.

  16. Those minor leaguers on the 40-man rosters are they banned from ST? I’m guessing so since they can’t enter the complex or communicate with the coaching staff… This going to stink for guys like Crouse..

    1. All players on the 40-man roster have been prevented from using team facilities since the lockout was enforced. Even those in rehab. Since a lockout is in effect, major league spring training can not start until it is lifted. Minor league spring training will start soon. Minor leaguers who are on the 40-man roster will not be able to attend since they, as members of the MLBPA, are banned from team facilities. However, and this is ironic, non-roster invitees to major league spring training are allowed to attend minor league spring training since they are not on the 40-man roster and have a reasonable expectation, however slim, to be on a minor league roster at the end of camp. So, yeah, young guys like Crouse and Garcia and Ortiz (and others) are getting screwed out of important development time.

      1. Agreed – minor leaguers on the 40-man are getting the worst of both worlds. No direct benefit from the strike and inability to continue their development.

  17. The Phillies are at #23. That’s up four spots from last year. Only the Rockies, Brewers, Nationals, A’s, Astros, Angels, and ChiSox had worse farm systems. Others of note:

    1 Mariners
    2 Rays
    3 Pirates
    8 Dodgers
    11 BoSox
    13 Yankees
    16 Mets
    20 Marlins
    22 Braves

  18. What jumps out is the Dodgers, who spend a ton on the Major Leagues, and have had a good deal of success, although less than they hoped, still have the #8 ranked team. Yes, it’s BA’s opinion, and that is not always gospel, but that they do a much better job than us is indisputable. I hope we have a few that make big jumps this year, but the previous regime gets matching Ds for their Major League success and for their farm system accomplishments.

    1. matt13…so correct about a team like the Dodgers… farm systems each year, and West division leaders for the past decade….and yet one ring to show for it.
      Phillies had something almost as similar from 2005 thru 2011 at the MLB level (average 92 wins a season)…one ring to show for it.
      The Dodgers are at a cross roads now…..Friedman knows he needs quality starters to maintain their dominance in the West.

  19. MLBTR just posted an interesting piece on why the Reds should either trade or extend LF Jesse Winker. A lefty bat like his – one of MLB’s elite bats versus RHPs, by the way – would fit nicely (including financially) on the Phillies roster even if only as a platoon with Matt Vierling. Winker is under control through 2023. He’s projected to make $6.8M in ’22….the Reds are reportedly looking to shed salary, not add it. So what might Cinci be looking for in a package? The money that Dombrowski saves by not having to lay out for a Bryant, or even a Schwarber, over two years instead of 5 or 6 years while in WIN NOW mode, is worth exploring.

  20. Jeff Passan reports that MLB is requesting to have a federal mediator to intervene in CBA talks…no word on whether the MLBPA is interested or not.

  21. CBS….Mike Axisa…Phillies to sign Correa

    ” I don’t understand it, but the Yankees seem unwilling to spend big on a shortstop, so I’m ruling them out. The Red Sox (Chaim Bloom) and Astros (James Click) didn’t hire executives away from the Rays because ownership wants to spend money, so they’re out too. I’m going to say Story lands with the Twins, who badly need a shortstop and can move top prospects Royce Lewis and Austin Martin to other positions given their versatility. As for Correa, I’ll say he goes to the Phillies. They’ve shown they’ll spend big on the right players, they have a good amount of money coming off the books after this season, and shortstop is a black hole. I wouldn’t let top prospect Bryson Stott stop me from signing Correa. You can easily find a way to get both in the lineup.”

    1. I think Mike Axisa needs a wake up call.

      I don’t care what he says. I don’t see this happening if for no other reason than he is going to collect such a large salary that it would make it virtually impossible for the team to address its many other needs. I doubt they’ll be giving anyone a contract with an AAV that exceeds the low $20 million threshold (well less than he will be paid) and it might not even be that much.

  22. I think he is making stuff up, Romus, to fill this Baseball void. I think Story goes to the Astros, and our FA expenditure is on an OF. Maybe Bryant, maybe Conforto, I don’t know, but I think he is way off on us with Correa. I think they view Stott as the future SS, and either Didi or a veteran stopgap, or Stott, plays SS for us Opening Day;.

    1. matt13……yeah, looking for ‘click-bait’….he is throwing things up on the wall hoping for something to stick.

  23. I don’t understand the request for a federal mediator? That would seem to be something the MLBPA would ask for, doesn’t it? The Owners are looking for a better deal than the last CBA, and while the mediator may propose something we would mostly consider “fair”, I didn’t think that was the point of this whole thing. What doe you guys think?

    1. matt13…basically, all he does is listen to both sides and make suggestions…nothing he suggests can be binding.
      When it gets to an arbitrator….then we will have a resolution

    2. Matt, A mediator is brought in when the negotiations reach an impasse. A legal impasse not the impasse that writers use to sound smart. If the players decline, this is a tactic that could allow the owners to unilaterally implement their last “fair” offer. And, probably a strike by the players. If the players accept, a federal negotiator can’t impose a fair offer. He can only hope to move both sides to a middle ground that both sides can accept. Mediation is not arbitration.

      For a better and more complete explanation follow Eugene Freedman for the best in labor relations explanations.

      Opinion: One of the sides has declared they will not move on certain subjects. I think mediation will fail. An impasse will be reached. The owners will implement their last offer. And, the end result will once again be a strike. I think the owners want the players to strike sooner rather than later. That way the players can’t get 4 months of salary before striking in August and affecting the playoffs, the bulk of which TV money goes to the owners.

    1. You’re welcome. Freedman explains it much better than I.

      And, the final paragraph is my cynical pessimism taking over. I realize that I’ve swung wildly from a sad outcome to a happy outcome the past several weeks. I’m so happy that minor league spring training is opening this month and I can back burner all things MLB.

      1. Chase Utley’s ne’er do well cousin. . . . Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Low hanging fruit.

  24. I bet you are excited to actually be watching players, Jim! Thank You for the reports. I read in one of the off season reports that someone feels O’Hoppe may turn out to be our #1 Prospect.

    1. Thanks for the real time reports. These are great and I’m jealous I can’t see what’s going on in person myself.

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