Mailbag: The length of a CBA

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one. Sign up to receive articles like this one in your inbox here.

As we’re in the midst of a lockout, there are surely questions that need to be answered about the state of labor negotiations and the processes involved. I’m happy to answer what I can, so please, if you have something in mind, ask away: you can send me an email at marcnormandin at gmail, respond to this newsletter email if that’s the format you’re reading it in, or ping me on Twitter.

Today’s question is on the length of collective bargaining agreements, courtesy @DJSloppyJoeM on Twitter. Let’s get to it:

Continue reading “Mailbag: The length of a CBA”

MLB, MLBPA met for first time since before the lockout

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one. Sign up to receive articles like this one in your inbox here.

On Monday, I wrote about how MLB was still working on an economic proposal for the union, well after a month of lockout is already behind us. They finished up and presented this proposal on Thursday, and from the sounds of it, it is, like basically everything else MLB has proposed during the economic portion of bargaining, generally a waste of everyone’s time.

That’s not to say nothing was accomplished or agreed to — for instance, Susan Slusser reported that MLB proposed a universal DH on Thursday, and that, so long as it’s not “tied to something else as a bargaining chip,” it should be accepted — but otherwise, MLB didn’t address many of the union’s concerns, and presented non-starter solutions for others.

Continue reading “MLB, MLBPA met for first time since before the lockout”

Don’t expect a quick resolution to the MLB lockout

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one. Sign up to receive articles like this one in your inbox here.

“When will the lockout end?” is kind of an open question at this point. There was very little reason for it to end quickly after MLB’s owners enacted it, no matter how much optimism commissioner Rob Manfred might have publicly displayed in a lockout being a path to a quick resolution of the issues between the clubs and the players. Considering the MLBPA’s reaction to the lockout was basically “this is only going to make us angrier with you, you know” and a bunch of rolled eyes at Manfred’s letter, well, there is even less reason to believe that things are going to be smoothed out in a hurry.

Which is fine, of course, these things should take all the time they need to take in order to sort themselves out, but it is worth noting that we’re in for a long winter. The chances of this being resolved by springtime aren’t necessarily high, and I’m talking the seasonal date there, not the spring training one.

Continue reading “Don’t expect a quick resolution to the MLB lockout”

MLBPA rep Ian Happ spoke on MLB’s inaction before the CBA expired

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one. Sign up to receive articles like this one in your inbox here.

The players haven’t said much with regards to specifics about the collective bargaining sessions with Major League Baseball, but we got a little bit of insight on the pre-lockout process from Cubs’ union representative, Ian Happ. The Chicago outfielder explained to 670 The Score how negotiations went in Dallas in the final days before the lockout began, and it all serves as further evidence that MLB had no intention of actually attempting to work things out before the previous CBA expired.

Continue reading “MLBPA rep Ian Happ spoke on MLB’s inaction before the CBA expired”

You still can’t trust MLB, because they still don’t deserve trust

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one. Sign up to receive articles like this one in your inbox here.

It turns out that MLB used two different baseballs during the 2021 season, and didn’t tell, well, anyone about that decision. You can and should read the entire piece on the issue written by Bradford William Davis, but I don’t want to simply reiterate what was said within here. No, instead, this thing everyone is talking about is going to be used as a hook to discuss something else everyone is talking about. I hope you enjoyed this peek behind the curtain of the writing process.

The point we need to take from Davis’ piece, for our purposes here, anyway, is that MLB remains completely untrustworthy, and undeserving of trust, as well. That’s not a new concept, of course, but the timing of a reminder could not be better, considering we’re mere hours away from the start of a lockout of the players that doesn’t need to even happen once the current collective bargaining agreement expires, but will happen just the same. How are you supposed to believe MLB is competent, or acting in good faith, or any other positive you can ascribe to them in bargaining when they seemingly go out of their way to act in the worst possible ways? Or, if they aren’t purposefully lying and hiding the truth of things and so on, are so incompetent about how they go about their business that you can’t tell the difference in the results, anyway?

Continue reading “You still can’t trust MLB, because they still don’t deserve trust”

In CBA talks, all that matters is what’s said behind closed doors

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one. Sign up to receive articles like this one in your inbox here.

My latest for Baseball Prospectus took a look at the growing whispers around the ongoing collective bargaining occurring between Major League Baseball and the Players Association. It’s behind BP’s paywall for subscribers, but I can give you the gist of it and a quote before we dive in a little further:

Continue reading “In CBA talks, all that matters is what’s said behind closed doors”

On the proposed MLB salary floor and messaging

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one. Sign up to receive articles like this one in your inbox here.

Surprised that MLB’s owners proposed a salary floor all on their own during the current collective bargaining sessions with the Players Association? I was a little taken aback, too, but as I wrote on Friday for Baseball Prospectus, just because the owners proposed a salary floor doesn’t mean they actually want one. What they do want is for you — fans, media, etc. — to believe that they do want one, and that it’s necessary. Which it is, of course, but not in the way MLB is proposing.

Continue reading “On the proposed MLB salary floor and messaging”

A set free agency age won’t fix service time, or the obsession with cheap players

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.​

Earlier this week, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wrote about a service time solution presented to him by an anonymous team executive. The idea is a set age for free agency for all players: “Make all players who celebrate their 28th birthday by a specified date eligible for free agency at the end of that season.” Rosenthal discusses some pros and cons of the plan, and ends on the idea that both MLB and the Players Association should be focusing on making sure service time considerations are no longer the impetus for whether a prospect is ready to reach the bigs.

I’d like to go in a little further on the issues with this kind of system, though, separate from the concerns Rosenthal raised. Primarily, I don’t think it even solves the problem it supposedly seeks to address. The idea is that, knowing a player might reach free agency sooner than six years (or seven years) after reaching the majors, a team would promote them to the bigs sooner. The more likely scenario, given what we know about how teams operate and view players, is that we’d just see more of a churn through players to ensure the roster was always stocked full of young-enough pre-arbitration players. So, an exacerbation of a pre-existing problem.

Continue reading “A set free agency age won’t fix service time, or the obsession with cheap players”