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Happy New Year, it’s time for some scattered thoughts I had while I was trying to relax in between holidays.
Carlos Correa’s whole deal
Carlos Correa nearly signed a 13-year, $350 million deal with the Giants, until it was scuttled when they didn’t like what they saw in his physical. The Mets went out and snatched him to play third base for 12 years and $315 million, but that deal also hasn’t become official yet thanks to the physical he took with them. All indications are that a deal will be completed and Correa will play third base for the Mets rather than shortstop since Francisco Lindor is already around, but it just hasn’t happened yet.
A couple of pieces have fallen into place that shed some light on the holdup. KNBR 680 apparently reported that Mets’ owner Steve Cohen was trying to get both MLB and the Players Association to approve some “unique” clauses in the deal, and since this is the holidays, progress is slow on that front. Now that we’re coming out of that, though, and everyone will be back in their offices, whatever these clauses are will surely be made clearer to the rest of us, or, at least quietly approved or rejected.
Exactly what the clauses are is unknown, but I’d imagine they relate to how the contract can be insured to guard the Mets against whatever is popping up in these physicals that now has two teams a bit spooked. Whether it has to do with actually getting more of the deal insured, or how money and guarantees shift around based on the concerns, that I don’t know: this is just a guess.
The thing of interest from my point of view is that the clauses require MLBPA approval: presumably Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, has already given the OK on including them in the contract if Cohen is reaching out to the league and the Players Association, so I can’t imagine the clauses are anything that would cause a potential problem or reduce earnings for other Boras clients in a similar situation down the road. So… what could the clauses be, exactly? And what makes them unique? I’m sure Mets fans just want to know if Correa will be on their team next season, but I’m thinking about the potential labor implications here.
Minor-league collective bargaining
There was a ton of noise a few months back when minor-league players finally organized and joined the MLBPA as a sub-unit under the union’s now larger umbrella, but it’s been pretty quiet since. The only real update we’ve received since is that collective bargaining has started, with the two sides exchanging their opening proposals of what they’re hoping to get out of these talks. The silence is good, in one respect, since it means MLB isn’t trying to win this thing through leaks and swaying public opinion — or, at least, they’re not ready to start playing that game quite yet. But after the rush of details in the last round of big-league collective bargaining, it’s kind of easy to forget that the current talks are even happening.
The time will come when there are updates to be had, however. It’s hard to believe that MLB would keep silent throughout, especially given how hard they’ve worked on keeping minor-league players paid poverty-level wages and completely under the control of the league. But maybe the Senate Judiciary Committee poking around the antitrust exemption in conjunction with what has been growing pro-player sentiment since word of their pay, working, and living conditions became more public knowledge has them concerned they’ll only make things worse for themselves if they speak up before they absolutely believe it’s imperative they do. That would be a rare moment of self-awareness from MLB, but hey, they did voluntarily recognize the PA’s representation of these players, and did so quickly, so maybe taking a few on the chin the last couple of years has them in retreat while they figure out how to claw back some of these gains being made at two levels.
Now the Royals are begging for stadium money
Tired of the Rays and A’s always being the ones popping up in the news every couple of months with some annoying taxpayer-funded stadium scheme? Don’t worry, the Royals are here to change things up and add to the annoyance. Neil deMause has been following along with that story, which as of now is mostly the Royals and their owner John Sherman telling anyone who will listen about how great it would be if they got $2 billion to get a shiny new stadium in a different place than the current one. Which means we’re in the early stages, which in turn means we’re going to hear so much about this for such a long time. It beats cities just giving in, sure, but also, why does every one of these end up being an entire saga?
Oh, not to be outdone, the city of Tampa shared some renderings of a new $1 billion domed ballpark in mid-December: don’t worry, it looks like shit, so the Rays would feel right at home.
Considering the free agent frenzy that’s behind us and the subdued bargaining, it’s a good time of year for mailbag questions. So, send them by replying to the email version of this newsletter, if that’s how you read it, or drop me a question at @Marc_Normandin on Twitter.
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