The attention paid to Kris Bryant's service time foreshadows the major issues facing owners and players in the next CBA negotiations.
As with the old axioms about offensive linemen, umpires and prophylactics, when CBA rules are working properly you never hear about them. Yet here we are, with Kris Bryant’s predicament perhaps the major story of spring training: The Cubs can’t bring him north without burning a year of club control (in 2021), and they can’t send him to Triple-A Iowa without incurring the wrath of Baseball Twitter’s moral majority. It’s a conundrum many teams have faced over the past few years, some in March (to potentially push back free agents), others in May and June (to stall arbitration raises by a year). Each creates a legitimate dilemma, and there’s no wrong answer, given the needlessly complicated rules in place. Which is the point: We’re talking about this because the rules have broken down.
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Our first look inside the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
This is Part 1 of a multi-part series on the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement
On November 22 of last year, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA did something that the NFL and the NBA could not: reached a new labor agreement without a work stoppage. For those that follow baseball’s labor history, it has become a miraculous run. By the time the current five-year Basic Agreement (read here) expires on December 1, 2016, it will have been 21 years of uninterrupted labor peace.
It might not be first time an international player's age was disputed, but that doesn't mean the case of Jairo Beras is typical.
The news broke this morning, and the firestorm didn't take very long to follow. When it was first reported that the Rangers had signed Dominican outfielder JairoBeras to a $4.5 million contract, the first reaction was confusion; he was generally seen as one of the top prospects, if not the top prospect for the upcoming international signing period that begins on July 2. Teams were not shocked as much as confused about how the deal could be consummated in February.
Now that we've had some time to reflect on the new CBA's rules about the amateur draft, does it still seem like death to small-market teams?
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Dustin Palmateer once played division III junior college baseball, finishing with a career batting average below the Mendoza Line. He now writes about the game. You can reach him via email.
The growing movement could be in a direction that's not as promising as many may suppose.
From the bottom falling out of the economy (and later, the free-agent market), to the dog-chasing-its-own-tail Manny Ramirez negotiations, Yuri Sucart's newfound celebrity, and the masochistic calls for a salary cap-it's been a very odd winter. And you can add to that list the story of 23-year-old Carlos Daniel Alvarez Lugo, who up until recently had been 19-year-old Esmailyn Gonzalez. Lugo is at the center of the scandal that took down Nationals GM Jim Bowden and special assistant Jose Rijo, and is causing a new wave of support for a worldwide draft.
Clearly, there are still abuses to the international free-agent system, but from the teams' perspective, cases like these have actually become few and far between since 9/11 (when MLB set up an office in the Dominican Republic to make sure that these things wouldn't happen anymore). Perhaps refusing to let a crisis go to waste, the teams are beginning to use the Gonzalez case as a political rallying cry. Conventional wisdom says that a worldwide draft would help boost competitive balance, eliminate bidding wars, and lower acquisition costs for the teams. Assuming that these things are actually true, it's no wonder that MLB's Rob Manfred says there is a "much stronger consensus in favor of the worldwide draft than there was five years ago."
Boston's VP of player personnel discusses the club's approach to the draft and the international market.
Ben Cherington has spent over a decade with the Red Sox in various capacities, beginning as an area scout, and later working in international scouting. Now the vice president of player personnel for Boston, Cherington has been a major force in the Red Sox' success at acquiring and developing young talent. I spoke to Ben this week about a variety of subjects revolving around the Red Sox system and Boston's approach to the draft and player development, and today we cover the draft and this year's international market.
In the first of a series, Rany examines 15 years' worth of draft data to establish some basic rules.
Sexy, it's not. Neither is it all that telegenic, although it certainly could be if MLB ditched the conference call for an amphitheatre with good lighting and tried to make a production out of it. There's no denying its importance, though. There is no source of talent that comes close to matching what's available in what is officially called the Rule 4 Draft. Moreover, there is almost no way to build a successful ballclub without some measure of success in the draft. (The Yankees are trying to prove that last sentence incorrect. They are not succeeding.)