This is the final wrap-up of Hot Stove Slow Burn
A few good reasons the Mets didn’t land Trevor Bauer
1) Dodgers offered better money in the first two years. He’s opting out after that.
2) Dodgers are a winning organization, and more scientifically driven.
3) On Thursday evening, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that Bauer had agreed to a deal with the Mets. Six minutes later, Mark Feinsand refutes that report.
4) On Friday, the Mets defeated J.D. Davis in salary arbitration, paying him $2.1 million rather than $2,475,000. That SCREAMS cheap-ass management & ownership.
5) On Friday morning , the Mets set a noon ET deadline for Bauer to make his decision on their contract offer, according to a report from MLB Network insider Joel Sherman, claiming, “they didn’t want to be used to help Bauer gain leverage with the Dodgers.”
6) On Friday afternoon, with their self-imposed deadline expired and still no word, the Mets tune changes. “They are waiting on Bauer’s free-agent decision, but it’s unclear if they’ve given the right-hander a deadline.”
I was wrong about no more big MLB trades this winter, after the SDP acquired RHP Joe Musgrove from PIT. Last week, 3B Nolan Arenado was sent to STL from COL, who eats $51M on a deal they inked with their franchise player only two years ago. Rockies got no serious prospects in return, so this was a straight salary dump. STL jumps to the top of a weak NL Central.
What I said about a lot of free agents returning to their old teams, or having to accept minor league deals, or getting frozen out completely, has happened. The latest reunion is Marcell Ozuna back to ATL at 4/$65M. Once again, it’s because OF/DH Ozuna has more value to ATL than any other team that is spending money. Same with DH Nelson Cruz, who resigned with MIN at 1/$13M, and 2B Cesar Hernandez who re-signed with CLE at 1/$5M.
MIL signed 2B Kolten Wong at 2/$18M to solidify their infield defense. I’m assuming the LAD will re-sign 3B Justin Turner, and that STL will re-sign C Yadier Molina. That means CF Jackie Bradley Jr is the only significant position player remaining in FA. What’s left (that matters) is pitching, and that’s a crapshoot, for sure.
Remaining starters: Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Jake Odorizzi, Rick Porcello, Matt Shoemaker, Rich Hill, Brett Anderson, Jake Arrieta, Cole Hamels, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey, Aníbal Sánchez and Mike Fiers.
Righty relievers: Mark Melancon, Trevor Rosenthal, Tyler Clippard, Trevor Cahill, Jeremy Jeffress, Tommy Hunter, Shane Greene, Yusmeiro Petit, and Sergio Romo.
Lefties relievers: Oliver Pérez, Justin Wilson, Jake McGee, José Álvarez, T.J. McFarland, Mike Montgomery, Chasen Shreve, and Tony Watson.
MLB salaries have decreased for the past 3 years, for the first time since their union starting keeping track in 1967. The current CBA is set to expire December 1, 2021. MLB players haven’t been happy with this deal since the free agency season of 2017-18, when 2nd-tier free agents saw their value collapse, due to increased use of advanced metrics by GM’s, which proves these players aren’t worth the big contracts they’ve been used to.
The International draft is now the free agent talent hot-spot, because these players are young & cheap. Young players (generally) play better defense, which is valued more accurately now. The International draft reduces the need for traditional free agency in filling roster voids. 1B Jose Abreu of the CWS is a great example of this.
This free agent freeze-out has been compared to “collusion” of an earlier era (1985-87), and technically it is, as all the GM’s agree (pretty much) on player valuation. But it’s not criminal collusion, because it’s out in the open. The fans know it too, and debate it in blogs, chat forums & social media. The smarter players also know it.
Therefore the MLBPA has no grievance of collusion here. This is stupidity in leadership to accept this rotten deal, with no understanding of the direction the game was going. Leadership is supposed to know better than anyone, but instead it’s the furthest behind. Now there’s a coronavirus pandemic on top of all this, and its unprecedented challenges, for which Tony Clark & Company are completely ill-prepared.
The players should fire all their union leadership, and organize amongst themselves, electing leaders of their own, with the ability to recall & replace them at any time, if they fail to serve the interests of the players as a whole. All CBA negotiations need to be open & transparent, with time for all players to debate & understand its meaning & full ramifications.
This needs to include the minor leagues, developmental sites, & international professional leagues, such as those in Japan, Korea & Mexico. With players being posted & signed as free agents from all parts of the world, any MLB players’ labor organization needs to have international representation & an internationalist perspective.