A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Inexorable Oppression?

Some people just do not get it. This is not about young players getting their piece of the pie. This is about the current system that is in place that was decided upon by the players union. There are no salary caps and players get guaranteed contracts. Basically, this process that is in place which grants teams control of a player for 2 to 3 years followed by arbitration years is the only bone the teams get thrown. This is the only time they have leverage and it does not last all that long. Let us also not forget this is designed to keep the majority of the money flowing to vets.

This is a necessary part of the game in regards to small market teams competing and teams being able to keep fiscal flexibility. Also, teams spend a lot of money on drafting and scouting. If these young guys start getting paid insane amounts of money earlier, their cost basis for developing young big league talent skyrockets. Something has to give and maybe it gives in scouting for some teams or perhaps just giving up on players and trading them earlier and earlier. Buster has been more wrong than right these days, but he is dead on here.

Nick Markakis became the latest young star to have his contract renewed, following Jeff Francoeur, Prince Fielder and others. In two years, this situation might become a full-fledged crisis for mid-market and small-market teams, because it is clear the young players will be looking to cash in (as is their absolute right) at the very high level established by Ryan Howard's $10 million arbitration victory, rather than sign a nice, tidy, modest long-term deal.

What this means is that within two years you might see these same players dangled on the trade market. Consider the plight of the Brewers, who have three rising stars in Fielder, Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks and cannot possibly afford to pay all of them $10 million to $15 million a year in 2011.

We've been through this before. Yes, the CBA laid out these rules. Yes, it is wise for teams to treat their young guys right. However, when you have control of a player for six years, there is plenty of time to get it 'right'. The fact of the matter is, it is sound business to not sign everyone who has two good years willy nilly. A team could opt to lock someone up earlier in an effort to save money while assuming some sizeable risk. Or, teams can wait longer and pay up a bit more later and assume less risk because they took it slower.

These days, players are complaining earlier and earlier about things. A player has the right to be upset, but they act like some great injustice has been done and they are truly offended. They want to get paid free market price, or close it, after not earning it. You earn that right by playing for six years which should not be a shock. People actually think teams should give into these players demands so they do not get upset. Maybe I missed where money does not ultimately do all the talking? These guys will be ok when teams are ready to show them the cash. Common misconception:

All these non-arb-eligible players sounding off about having their contracts renewed unilaterally -- has to be an orchestrated union ploy to draw attention to the inarguably unfair salary suppression of the system. Who cares if these young players make a lot more than you do? The fact is, they are uniquely talented and drastically underpaid relative to their peers. The more teams irritate their young charges, the less likely it is that those players will look for under-market, long-term deals buying out their arbitration-eligible years, and will instead go the Ryan Howard route and hope for MASSIVE paydays at arbitration.

They 100% deserve to get paid relative to their peers. However, this is where a lot of people go awry. Their peers are other players with like service time.

No, they are paid exactly the same other players of only 1-2 years experience, unless a player signed a long term deal. You are falling into the fallacy that Pap's peer is Mariano Rivera. Pap's peer is actually the 2005 version of K-rod (or anyone else at 2 years service time), who made exactly 440K in his 3rd year. K-rod was also better than Pap is at this the same stage. Well, at least from a production stand point (since you could say Pap's peripherals are better), since K-rod had many more innings in his 2003 and 2004 years than has Pap so far while compiling similar ERAs.

I'm not bitching because they make more than me. I am aware they do and have no specific issue with that. However, they are crying like some great injustice is going on. They may prefer a different outcome than what has befallen them, but how can you get upset when you are fully aware of the system in place? Your first three years used to be locks to make below $1,000,000 and typically way below. After that, you go to arb if you cannot find common ground and get to make way over $1,000,000 and get to perform for your paycheck. Once you have done your six years of service and have proven yourself, you can establish your value on the free agent market and let the magic of a free market take place.

They can seriously stop acting shocked now as no one really wants to hear it. Perhaps baseball should hold a quick intro to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and explain to these players how they system works. If they have a problem with it, they can certainly look for another line of work after getting the low down. I do agree with the commenter above in that something smells rotten. It seems like union is behind this, but wouldn't that classify as collusion though? I thought they were against that or something.

* * *

  • It looks like the Reds are stepping up their International efforts.

  • I used to be part of the 'not worrying camp', but this is getting crazy. Beltran's comments, Alou going down before the season starts, Delgado not doing much of anything besides groundballs and some swings, Church still feeling woozy, the Mets 4th outfielder down, Sanchez still out with a sore shoulder, the Mets 1st and 2nd string second basemen down, etc., etc. Wow.

  • The Duque has a new windup and should be taking the mound soon.

  • Pedro is set to make his first appearance of the spring. There are just too many key guys who have not played an inning yet.

  • Blah, blah, blah... Can everyone get off the Milledge non-story?

  • Rosenthal has something to say about the Thames rumors and makes it seem like it probably is not going to happen.
  • Labels:


    Anonymous ossy said...

    this milledge thing is annoying the crap out of me. players get traded all the fucking time. he's not even half the player kazmir is and he has 5x's the fucking press.

    im tired of alou and el duque. i would be 100% without seeing them make a start. this year. i have no confidence in them being on them when its crunch time.

    the mlb vets should step in and do something bc the young guys are gonna steal their $$ and jobs if the kids have their way. mlb service times means something. papelbon is fucking retarded for comparing himself to anyone. howard is a fluke. he won an mvp in his first full year.

    what is barry bonds doin? LF is open!

    11:59 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    RE: Milledge

    Exactly. And if they keep asking him questions, he is going to keep answering them and then fans are still going to get their panties in a bundle, which is just silly.

    That is exactly why The Duque cannot start. He cannot be counted on and you simply cannot have a starter go down at the end of the season and then have Pelfrey get his feet wet or start scrambling. Why bother? Fix the hole now. The Duque had a chance to prove he was healthy and he is not and did not remove that bunion.

    I actually had the same thought about Bonds man. Scary. I would rather be overprepared than under.

    12:27 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    you imagine wright/beltran batting in front of bonds? that shit would be sweet. it would suck having 45 articles written about him everyday but it would be a wise baseball move

    1:34 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Luckily, Bonds does not care what anyone thinks, types, or says.

    I cannot see how this move is possible, but it is veeery interesting to think about. Church can play center when Beltran's hammies start crying again and the Mets are covered.

    1:38 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    That is not good. I think I hate him more than Willie. Dusty Baker really pisses me off.
    Some quotes:
    Reds manager Dusty Baker has already decided he doesn't like Joey Votto's approach at the plate.
    "I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren't the only criteria. I'd like to see him more aggressive." Baker doesn't want Votto, Adam Dunn or anyone else taking called third strikes. "I really, really hate the called third strike," Baker said. "I hate that. You're guess and you ain't ready to hit."

    Well considering he has Corey Patterson competing for CF says alot.

    "One thing that makes us a little wary is he’s had this a couple of times," Baker said. "At 20 years old, we’ve got to find a way to stop this. It’s rare that you have them this young, which makes you a little apprehensive about him as the center fielder. That’s a lot of running."

    When you look at Bruce's career, he's only missed about 5 or 6 games total!
    "Way to stop this"? What the hell is this guy talking about?
    What is his problem?

    The thing is, thier raises from year to year range from 100%-500% its fucking amazing! What job in the entire world can consistantly do that year to year?
    I've always made it clear that people should always make as much money as they could. The more they could make, the better. But I think the idea of them complaining is ridiculous.

    I used to be part of the 'not worrying camp', but this is getting crazy. Beltran's comments, Alou going down before the season starts, Delgado not doing much of anything besides groundballs and some swings, Church still feeling woozy, the Mets 4th outfielder down, Sanchez still out with a sore shoulder, the Mets 1st and 2nd string second basemen down, etc., etc. Wow.

    Well atleast Angel Pagan is hitting the shit out of the ball.

    Manny Acta is a great manager. That man knows what he's doing.

    Bonds on the Mets will never happen although that move would be BALLS! The most impactful bat in the entire major leagues. The one player that can make ANY team a contender. But it won't be on the Mets.

    3:42 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benny, it is all very comical. I can see those things coming out of Willie's mouth as well.

    Both of those things are like nails on a chalkboard. He seems narrowminded.

    Pagan is actually pretty decent. He'll be capable for a period of time. Not much pop, but he won't embarass the hell out of himself.

    What about Andy Phillips?

    Acta > Willie....at least I think. I have not seen enough of Acta.

    3:47 PM

    Anonymous Pavan said...

    Do you think Minaya has the balls to sign bonds? With everything relating to chemistry, I doubt it. It would be freaking sweet though. I'm thinking it's more likely we'd get a Kevin Millar for a backup first base and maybe an emergency right fielder.

    Dude, Acta is vastly superior to Willie... Random Manny Acta Quote:

    "It's been proven to me that a guy at first base with no outs has a better chance to score than a guy at second base with one out. That has been proven to me with millions of at-bats. I don't like moving guys over from first to second unless the pitcher is up or it is real late in the game."

    I read somewhere that he reads Baseball Prospectus too.

    Came across this again today... oldie but goodie:


    not sure how to link it up.

    Get ready for the draft fools! Hopefully, I'll actually make it this time.

    7:45 PM

    Anonymous Pavan said...

    Mike, do you have any idea why I can't seem to load your blog off my phone off the AT&T network? The few times I have been able to, it states that I have flagged this site as offensive (which I definitely did not). Usually it just says "the requested page cannot be displayed."

    No other blogs give me this problem though, and it works on my phone if I connect through a Wi-Fi network... it's really strange.

    8:09 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Minaya has the balls, but it's too weird of a fit. If everyone is healthy, who sits? I guess Church...the upside is they become an AL team and can field 9 good hitters. Nice!!!

    Awesome Acta quote. I love it! Didn't Willie do that in the playoffs in '06 in game 7?

    I think everyone is going to make the draft this time. I mean, I guess that what midnight on Sunday does. Everyone is home.

    I've loaded it on my BlackBerry from the VZW network. You should be able to load it as well. Are you using a smartphone, or regular mobile web? I'd all AT&T and demand they fix it!!!

    10:00 PM

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