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How to avoid a strike-a modest proposal

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  • How to avoid a strike-a modest proposal

    Was chatting with a buddy today. He is convinced there will be a strike next year because both sides are too stubborn to work out an agreement. I told him there has to be a solution to the main sticking point: Service Time. Work out the service time issue and everything else will fall in place.

    I came up with an idea that gives the players and the owners something they want.

    After a player has spent a set number of years in the minors without any callups (the number would be more than two years), a player can declare himself a Free Agent at the end of the season. If he is not signed by another team by February 15th the next year (start of Spring Training), he remains with his team. If another team makes an offer, the player's current team has 48 hours to match the offer or lose the player.

    The service time clock starts when the player is called up unless it is after September 1st, then the clock is delayed until a season when he is called up. The player would still be eligible to claim Free Agency if he meets the minimum number of minor league time.

    Here is how the players get a win: the only free agents who will get offers are the guys who are ready for The Show. Otherwise, they become a very expensive gamble. This allows a Kris Bryant, for example, to play a full season at The Show if he is ready. If Bryant had declared himself a FA at the end of the season before he made his debut, he would have most likely received an offer because he was ready to move up.

    Here is how the owners get a win: The players who have some really good qualities, but still need some polish will most likely stay in place or receive modest contract offers that are easy to match. The team can keep this player at AAA legitimately to develop his skills.

    The Sept. 1st deadline is the key. It would be very difficult for a team to keep a stud prospect down that long who is obviously ready until it is too late to make a difference for the season. Such a prospect would get a ton of attention at the trade deadline from teams ready to insert him into the 26 man roster anyway.

    Okay, rip me a new one for a dumb idea.

  • #2
    I don't see how an agreement that lowers the guaranteed cost controlled years a draft investment has on a squad from 6 major league seasons after a maximum of 5 minor league seasons to 2 minor league seasons is going to fly.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by vegandork View Post
      I don't see how an agreement that lowers the guaranteed cost controlled years a draft investment has on a squad from 6 major league seasons after a maximum of 5 minor league seasons to 2 minor league seasons is going to fly.
      1. It does not for all prospects. Only those who are MLB ready quickly.
      2. There will not be a free-for-all signing of the FAs because the minor league rosters are limited more than ever given the reduction in affiliates.
      3. Another feature to the plan could be that teams are limited in how many of these FAs they sign in an off-season.
      Last edited by Dumpjerry; 06-28-2020, 05:11 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dumpjerry View Post
        1. It does not for all prospects. Only those who are MLB ready quickly.
        2. There will not be a free-for-all signing of the FAs because the minor league rosters are limited more than ever given the reduction in affiliates.
        3. Another feature to the plan could be that teams are limited in how many of these FAs they sign in an off-season.
        I think you're discounting how many losing teams will stash prospects on the roster. If I'm a team, and I spent millions of dollars to draft a high schooler only to have to match bids to keep him two years into development, when he's clearly not ready, I'm going to be pretty angry. You don't think the Marlins or Orioles or Pirates wouldn't do this? If you're going to be bad, why wouldn't you load up your roster with the best guys from other systems? It's still less than competing.

        Limiting might help, but 2 years seems extreme given the number is currently 5 for players drafted after 18 years of age (when they'd be rule 5 eligible.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by vegandork View Post

          I think you're discounting how many losing teams will stash prospects on the roster. If I'm a team, and I spent millions of dollars to draft a high schooler only to have to match bids to keep him two years into development, when he's clearly not ready, I'm going to be pretty angry. You don't think the Marlins or Orioles or Pirates wouldn't do this? If you're going to be bad, why wouldn't you load up your roster with the best guys from other systems? It's still less than competing.

          Limiting might help, but 2 years seems extreme given the number is currently 5 for players drafted after 18 years of age (when they'd be rule 5 eligible.
          Right. As an example, Sox just signed Kelly to a $3M bonus. Odds are slim he'll be on the MLB team in 2 years. Other teams could simply bid on him at that time if the Sox don't promote him.

          Why risk it on a young prospect anymore? Just wait and see if he's any good and then bid for him in two years.
          Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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          • #6
            Lengthy team control = a better MLB product

            Lengthy team control allows entertaining teams like the 2017 Houston Astros or (groan) 2016 Chicago Cubs to be created. Lengthy team control gives hope to fans of crappy teams like the 2017 White Sox, who can look forward to keeping the top prospects their team is drafting for a long time. Lengthy team control minimizes the need for teams big and small to spend $$$ on free agents and thus reduces the risk that a ton of payroll is going to a player who produces little to no entertainment value, like an elderly Adam Dunn or Pablo Sandoval. Lengthy team control leads to superstars who are synonymous with a particular city and keeps fan favorites around longer.

            I would not want to see team control reduced. Instead, I hope that the eventual solution is additional arbitration years.

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            • #7
              I would just propose a “2-3-2-3” plan (2 pre-40-man years, 3 option years, 2 pre-arb years, 3 arb years). A decade of control is long enough. Five years in the minors is long enough as well.

              Replace the current “Super Two“ arb year with a “Super Four” system that allows that top 22% to get that last fractional year of service time rounded up. In other words, the top 22% of each “4-plus” service-time class can file for free agency. Since the cutoff would not be determined until that final year, it would be more difficult to manipulate the system.

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