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Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting

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Posted: 3/10/2014 12:36 PM

Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


From The Toronto Star:

GRIFFIN: Jays chances of signing Santana takes a hit after Jimenez signs with O’s

What happened? Why is the free-agent compensation system not working for the players? It wasn’t just Santana. Others like shortstop Stephen Drew and first-baseman Kendrys Morales are still seeking employment, while premium free agents like outfielder Nelson Cruz and right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez only were able to find work after spring training had already started. So why?

Make no mistake about it, this system of free-agent compensation will be revisited and changed when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated in 2016. When he passed through Dunedin in late February, the seventh of his scheduled 30 camp visits, the MLBPA union chief Tony Clark emphasized that anything to do with baseball’s important joint drug agreement can be re-visited and re-opened at any time, but that it is nigh on impossible with the terms of free agency.

“At the end of the day, the player and the agent need to make the best decision they can with respect to where they are in their career, where the club is,” Clark said.

Clark is right, but the fact is the onus for the failure of the new free-agent system seemingly not working for players has been placed squarely on the shoulders of the clubs, with an ugly word like “collusion” once again rearing its ugly head, albeit under the collective breath of agents.

Basically, here’s how free agency now works. Every qualified six-year free agent declares himself in the several days after the World Series. There is another group of released or non-tendered free agents that are not in this same defined category.

A team can then make a “qualifying offer” to its own free agent, a figure mandated by MLB, equal to the average of the Top 125 contracts from the season just played. For this crop of free agents the qualifier was $14.1 million. But the kicker is that it’s just a one-year deal and, normally, primo free agents are looking for the gold at the end of the rainbow.

The part of the qualifying offer that the owners made sure of, and that has become a severe bone of contention, is that if a player refuses the qualifier and signs elsewhere, the new signing club loses its first-round draft pick and the former team will receive a compensation pick between the first and second round. A team’s first rounder is protected if they were horrible and are picking 1-10 in June.

Talented free agents like Santana, Drew and Morales this year and Kyle Lohse, Adam LaRoche and Michael Bourn last season may feel like they were cheated by ownership when nobody came knocking offering what they believed they were worth. But in the two years of the system, not one player among nine in 2013 and the 13 in 2014 has ever accepted the qualifying offer. And the refusals have come almost immediately. Is that a concerted move by agents and the union? Maybe. They all went for the knockout.

“There’s no doubt about it, with that offer, there’s a decision that those guys have to make,” Clark said. “But to the extent that no player has accepted it, at this point, no player has. You’re starting to hear rumblings and concerns in general about time frames and when guys might sign. Yes we’re paying attention to all of it. Does that mean in the short term guys may make different decisions going forward? Perhaps. All I do know is that we have quality baseball players at home and that’s not good for the player and that’s not good for the clubs.”

I suggest Blue Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos may have delivered a strong message stolen and adapted from that true Santana superstar — Carlos — and his breakthrough hit, Evil Ways.

“You’ve got to change your evil ways, Ervin, before I stop loving you and every word that I say, it’s true. You’ve got me running and hiding all over town. You’ve got me sneaking and peeping and running you down. This can’t go on. Lord knows you’ve got to change your evil ways.”

 

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Posted: 3/11/2014 9:00 AM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


I can't tell you how much I hate the economics of pro sport--while most the rest of us struggle just to make ends meet from month to month. Gee $14.1 million just isn't enough...poor babies. One year? Awwwww. Anyone here not willing to figure out how long $14.1 million would last in the real world.

Collusion? Shucks guys. Its an unfair world isn't it?

but hey,here in NY, our esteemed governor wants the taxpayers to fund college educations for prisoners. The world is nuts.

I have zero sympathy for any of these athletes. When is enough, enough????
All this does is drive ticket prices (and everything else associated with the 'game' up and up and up. And they do it shamelessly.
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Posted: 3/11/2014 11:10 AM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


Well as former NBA star Latrell Sprewell advised the Minnesota Timberwolves late in his career ...

I told you I needed to feed my family. They offered me 3 years at $21 million. That’s not going to cut it. And I’m not going to sit here and continue to give my children food while this front office takes money out of my pocket. If Mr. Taylor wants to see my family fed, he better cough up some money. Otherwise, you’re going to see these kids in one of those Sally Struthers commercials soon.

So obviously no contract is ever large enough for professional athletes, baseball players included.
I dream of 1966, 1970, and 1983. I would also take 1969, 1971, and 1979. But 1973, 1974, 1996, 1997, and 2012 were okay. Toss in 1960, 1968, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1989, and 1994 too.
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  • dlotter
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Posted: 3/11/2014 2:26 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


It's what made our economic system great....rational self interest.  You can say that whining about $14 million is not rational but it is if its potentially leaving millions on the table because of a quirky and inefficient rule.  Financial struggles can occur in peoples lives for many reasons, but baseball players getting paid multi-million dollar contracts has nothing to do with it.  They're uniquely talented people that provide a needed service (entertainment) and are compensated like they should be based on the revenue they bring in.  Do you complain about how much Elvis made or the Beatles?  If people don't like how much they get paid, then go to the gym, workout, hire a personal coach and give it a shot, if you don't make it then you get how impressive these people are.
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Posted: 3/11/2014 10:52 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


Respectfully--I'm not buying any of this. Yes they may unique talents...but not 'necessary' talents. They bring in revenue in part because owners continue to screw the general public with outrageous ticket prices. And outrageous prices for gear, and food and parking and down the line. You have the greedy NFL, blacking out games in stadiums that have been funded by taxpayer dollars (Buffalo). You have morons like the above mentioned Sprewell who can't feed his family on the paltry gazillions he gets paid, in his case to be nothing more than a thug in uniform.
Elvis and the Beatles did not make proportionately as much as these guys are making. The gap between what entertainers get vs what the rest of us get widens every year. If they want to pay a ballplayer $14 mill a year (when a couple decades ago they were overjoyed with $500,000) then my wife who works at a hospital (a necessary job) should be getting raises to at least come close to the importance of her job. Drug companies gouge us all with way overpriced drugs...insurance companies gouge us....yet our salaries don't come close to reflecting our worth.

Big business subsidizes the cost of many tickets to these games. When you have to spend nearly $100 to watch one baseball game in May...thats just nuts. WE all love entertainment..but the cost is ridiculous.
When an entertainer whines about making only $14 million...what the hell does he or she do with it? How much goes up his nose, or into his veins?
Look around...there are many 'uniquely talented' individuals in this world..in many fields and they don't command even a microscopic share of the pie. And they do their work 365 days a year.
There are CEO's robbing us; politicians robbing us....
Its OK to make money...but the whole system is whacked way out of control...especially when these zillionaires have the audacity to complain about not making enough zillions.blah2
the system is broke and unfixable. And since we are all addicts to entertainment...I guess it won't ever change.noidea

But that doesn;t make it right, or justifiable to reasonable people.

Last edited 3/12/2014 8:58 AM by insagt1

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Posted: 3/12/2014 9:39 AM

Re: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


Insagt

Well said.
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Posted: 3/12/2014 12:28 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


Thank you very much. Sometimes I do wonder if folks today totally comprehend all of this.
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  • dlotter
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Posted: 3/12/2014 1:40 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


The owners are the ones that create revenues through ticket pricing, tv contracts, concessions etc...  Players salaries go up because of revenue increases, its not prices go up because of player salary increases.  So imo if fingers need to be pointed outwardly it should be pointed at the owners.  If players didn't "whine" for more money do you believe owners would lower ticket prices and concessions so their profit margin wouldn't be embarrassingly high? Heck no, it would just mean more money in their pockets.  They'll charge the maximum allowable price that the market will bare.  So if we keep paying it they'll keep raising it! I find it interesting that players (millionaires) get most of the public's scorn where the owners (billionaires) almost get a free pass.  Maybe the system is broken but the consumer ultimately has the ability to repair it.

With all that being said i agree the Sprewell comment was ridiculous and has single handedly become the public's rallying cry against player salaries.  When he made that comment (Ty Law I remember made a similar one) all owners rejoiced because players became the bad guys.

Edit:  I just read your second post a little more thoroughly and you blame owners as well so fingers not pointed at you insagt, just a commentary.

Last edited 3/12/2014 1:44 PM by dlotter

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Posted: 3/12/2014 3:10 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


It is a big circle...no one knows how to get off. Owners most definitely must share the blame. One problem is that the public goes to watch the players, not the owners. Players are the visible manifestation of this nonsense..so when the public reads about the outrageous money they make (and lets not leave out the equally as greedy agents), and then they hear some of them actually complain that $14 mill is not enough, its pretty easy to see the upset.

If owners would stop giving these totally ridiculous 8 and 10 year contracts, that would be a good start. But they won't. And if they suddenly did, enter the 3rd leg of this crappy stool...the players union...and the cry would be 'collusion'.

This is why I feel the problem is a runaway train...unfixable until one day one of these sports is going to implode.

there is enough blame to go around the world more than once...

That being said, I'm still very glad to be living in a minor league city where great baseball can still be enjoyed for $5.50 a seat. Grab a beer, a dog and a nice summer evening...and its practically like the good old days!!!
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Posted: 3/12/2014 4:03 PM

Re: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


Clearly all parties have a share of the "blame" in this runaway train.

1. The owners for charging such silly prices to watch a game.
2. TV for giving the owners such silly amounts of money to televise a game.
3. Players who at least in baseball have no risk and make insane amounts of money. I say no risk because of their guaranteed contracts.
4. Fans because ultimately as pointed out we are the ONLY ones who can stop this insanity. If we stopped going to games then it would correct itself, including the TV money. If attendance starts to drop then the networks will see that as interest is dropping and they will pay less for the product.  Problem is fans are not going to stop going to games. Just isn't going to happen UNTIL the prices are truly too high and the whole thing collapses.
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Posted: 3/14/2014 4:55 PM

Re: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 



ifsteve wrote: Clearly all parties have a share of the "blame" in this runaway train.

1. The owners for charging such silly prices to watch a game.
2. TV for giving the owners such silly amounts of money to televise a game.
3. Players who at least in baseball have no risk and make insane amounts of money. I say no risk because of their guaranteed contracts.
4. Fans because ultimately as pointed out we are the ONLY ones who can stop this insanity. If we stopped going to games then it would correct itself, including the TV money. If attendance starts to drop then the networks will see that as interest is dropping and they will pay less for the product.  Problem is fans are not going to stop going to games. Just isn't going to happen UNTIL the prices are truly too high and the whole thing collapses.

Agreed! The same can be said about politicians and voters or the entertainment field as a whole. To pay an actor/actress millions for one movie seems ridiculous IMHO and then to have that same actor/actress or sport player turn around and tell the general population how they should think or react is even more ridiculous. I'll stop before I get on my soapbox.





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Posted: 3/14/2014 5:55 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


no--go right ahead and ascend the box. this whole thing is a complete immoral disgrace. TV has gotten the NFL so wrapped up in its tentacles its almost impossible to enjoy watching a game on TV...time out after time out...commercial on top of commercial. There is absolutely no flow to the games. YET, we the public eat it up like there is no tomorrow. TV knows this. Pretty soon there will be commercials every time the ball is turned over. Its nuts.
The 'TV timeouts' in hockey...3 per period. There was a time when there was revolution if the game was stopped for such things. Baseball games are waay too long and again advertising plays a major part in that too.

Its all money and greed. fueled by several million 'addicts' who just can't get enough of this.
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Posted: 3/15/2014 9:57 AM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


Can you make a QO to a guy multiple years in a row?

I'd like to see MLB go more like the NFL system (in numerous ways)

but I do like the idea of a 'franchise tag' 

... and a salary cap, comp picks vs losing picks, etc
...and don't call me Shirley
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Posted: 3/15/2014 11:50 AM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


A salary cap is long overdue in MLB but may never happen due to fears of repeating the 1994-95 strike. The qualifying offer seems to be similar to restricted free agency.
I dream of 1966, 1970, and 1983. I would also take 1969, 1971, and 1979. But 1973, 1974, 1996, 1997, and 2012 were okay. Toss in 1960, 1968, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1989, and 1994 too.
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Posted: 3/15/2014 5:15 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


the union and the agents are so petrified of losing their millions...poor poor babies. And of course the owners who make it all worse by handing out unreasonable contracts.
the answer to all of this? Why lockouts and strikes of course!!! Its the American Way.
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Posted: 3/21/2014 4:17 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


It can and will only change if the American public takes back control and quit following the herd.  I mean MLB is paying millions to VERY marginal players. Owners are taking millions, politicians act like they are above the voting public, the news DOES NOT report the news but just what they want the public to hear. It's out of control.
If an owner refuse to pay he millions demanded, the fans get upset but as long as we pay at the gate, watch the TV broadcast, buy from the advertisers, believe the media and vote without thinking or putting term limits on Congress, think movie stars, sports heroes and media personalities know more than us the public, nothing is going to change! All just MHO!!!




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Posted: 3/21/2014 5:28 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 



DrBNic wrote: It can and will only change if the American public takes back control and quit following the herd.  I mean MLB is paying millions to VERY marginal players. Owners are taking millions, politicians act like they are above the voting public, the news DOES NOT report the news but just what they want the public to hear. It's out of control.
If an owner refuse to pay he millions demanded, the fans get upset but as long as we pay at the gate, watch the TV broadcast, buy from the advertisers, believe the media and vote without thinking or putting term limits on Congress, think movie stars, sports heroes and media personalities know more than us the public, nothing is going to change! All just MHO!!!
Totally correct.  Now I will point out that to be fair the owners do take a risk. There is no guaranteed contract that they WILL make money. Yes they do make mega millions. But they can also loose money. MLB players with their guaranteed contracts have no risk (yeah I get they have injuries and short careers).

In 2013 the average American household earnings were $50K.  That means that if a players spends one year in the MLB that at a minimum he makes what the average household (and remember this counts households where there are two wage earners) earns in 10 FREAKING Years.
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Posted: 3/22/2014 3:21 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 



DrBNic wrote: It can and will only change if the American public takes back control and quit following the herd.  I mean MLB is paying millions to VERY marginal players. Owners are taking millions, politicians act like they are above the voting public, the news DOES NOT report the news but just what they want the public to hear. It's out of control.
If an owner refuse to pay he millions demanded, the fans get upset but as long as we pay at the gate, watch the TV broadcast, buy from the advertisers, believe the media and vote without thinking or putting term limits on Congress, think movie stars, sports heroes and media personalities know more than us the public, nothing is going to change! All just MHO!!!
yes indeed! It will change only when one of the huge sports implodes. I can't wait for the 4 hour NFL game..because TV controls the whole operation. There will be more and longer commercials..further killing any momentum the sport has.
And the contracts will continue to out of sight; and there will still be people who honestly think this is absolutely OK.
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Posted: 3/22/2014 5:07 PM

Re: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


If you look at the demographics of the audiences for pro sports they are targeting the 25-35 year old crowd.  And that is exactly why things will only get worse not better from an overall cost standpoint. Those fans were never blessed with seeing games that actually flowed and didnt' stop all the time for STUPID tv timeouts. Its not their fault really. They don't know the difference. So they think the way it is today is just fine so they will continue to buy tickets, buy gear/apparel, and support the TV advertisers.

Just the way it is. However, I really do believe that the cost of the sports are rising much faster than the rest of the real world and someday down the road one of the major sports is going to have a real eye opener and the dominoes will fall.
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Posted: 3/23/2014 7:18 PM

RE: Current Free Agent Rules - Interesting 


yep! There are fewer and fewer today who remember when there were NO TV timeouts in hockey. When there was no obnoxious pre-recorded music blaring every second. When baseball games didn't endure 2 minute commercial breaks between innings. When NFL games actually continued after a TD.
I don't like basketball...so when it takes 25 minutes to play the last 60 seconds, I only smile wryly.
Today's fan puts up with it.

I can't stand it.
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