Players Association Not As Strong As They Think

As much as blaming the Mets is the popular thing to do, I can’t in the case of Michael Bourn signing with Cleveland. The Mets made it clear they coveted their first-round (11th overall) pick rather then surrender it as compensation.

Make no mistake, there is no true free-agency in baseball with compensation picks. A team is giving up something and it does limit a player’s option. In this case, Bourn’s desire to play for the Mets. That’s all part of the collective bargaining agreement. The Players Association used to be exceedingly powerful and undefeated in court, but not any more.

Nonetheless, it has slowly given away things they once refused to cave on. Things such as revenue sharing and the soon-to-be-coming stringent luxury tax which is akin to a salary cap. The revenues have proven to be so large, and Major League Baseball’s willingness to share a greater slice of the pie have proven to make the two real partners.

Both have the common goal as money, and there’s too much of it now to squabble.

In the end, the Mets get to keep their pick and are saved from paying nearly $50 million for a .270 hitter. The Mets are building for the future and have made strides, but they are still not where they need to be. And, Bourn wasn’t going to take them there.

Nobody knows who will be that 11th pick, so we can’t justify claiming the Mets blew it. As far as Bourn goes, maybe he preferred the Mets, but with $48 million, he can visit New York any time he wants.

13 thoughts on “Players Association Not As Strong As They Think

  1. In today’s world $12M is not a lot. It is good money But we gave Ollie – a pitcher with no track record only hope that after a decade pitching he will actually be good – $12.

    Baseball wants parity. You take money from the rich teams and give it to the poor owners. I think the visiting team shares in the gate. Half the teams get into the post season. The post season lasts till Christmas because the season is long and they want each series to be a best of 20. In fact let us play until spring training starts. That is sure to bring in more money.

  2. The contract includes one of Omar’s favorite’s – vesting option. For the 5th year. The Mets reportedly would not go for that. And good for them for not being willing to include it. Those things come back to bite them more than they help.
    Tejada can put up similar numbers at leadoff, and probably post a better OBP.

    • What exactly did Omar win? One NL East title?
      Do not presume to think you know me or what I care about. I’ve been a fan of this team since the late 70′s, so I have seen some winning and a lot of losing. Bourn was not going to make this team a contender this year, or the year after. You on the other hand are a short sighted fan who looks for signings that create the appearance of doing something, forgetting the overall impact to the team beyond one year.
      BTW, Omar inherited Wright and Reyes, two keys to the “winning” teams that Omar oversaw, not to mention Piazza. Omar used Fred’s checkbook to get Pedro and Beltran (both signings I applauded btw, though you are probably one of those fans that complain about Beltran) and traded for Delgado. But you forget about all the wastes he signed, like Alou, Valentin, Easley, Shawn Green. The bad trades for JJ Putz. The signings of Bay and K-Rod and Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. And let’s not forget the wonderful job he did as GM of the Expos prior to coming back to the Mets.

      I don’t know why I bother replying to you, as you think you know it all, when in truth your baseball knowledge could fit in a thimble.

      • Exactly John. Do not overpay just to give the appearance to critics that you are doing something.

  3. I think the real story is the mets were involved in a big ticket free agent. Even though they lost out its a good sign that the mets can spend money and will be able to. What is interesting is before mets fans knew the mets were pursuing Bourn mets fans were screaming for a right handed hitting outfielder. It gets out that the mets are interested in signing Bourn and mets fans are screaming to sign him. I think mets fans just want the mets to sign anyone. If you do please wait for Omar Minaya to become a GM again and root for that team. Maybe we can sign 53 year old Julio Franco to a two year contract and fans will be happy

    • Got it wrong. MLPA made major strides in eliminating most of the restrictions. Last deal there were many free agents who would ge part of compensation packages. Have you forgotten the typ A and B free agents already? Have you forgotten how some really average guys were hurt because of the old system? Now a team has to make an offer of very large proportions to get that compensation. It was over 13 mil this year. You totally got this one wrong.

      • Ask Kyle Lohse how the new CBA is helping him find a new team. If anything, the players lost a lot with the new system, as fewer players were offered arbitration as opposed to prior years.

        I suggest reading MLB.com sometime, you might learn something useful:

        “Under the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the structure has changed. The old Type A and Type B designations are gone. When a player reaches free agency, his former team may make him what is known as a qualifying offer, worth the average amount of the previous season’s top 125 salaries — $13.3 million this offseason.”

        “As Wren noted, the new system has reduced the number of players who end up subject to compensation. Players who might make much less than $13.3 million were often offered arbitration. Last winter, 37 players (13 Type A and 24 Type B) were offered arbitration. The year before, it was 35 (14 Type A and 21 Type B).

        By comparison, nine players received qualifying offers this winter: Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Hiroki Kuroda, Adam LaRoche, Lohse, David Ortiz, Soriano, Nick Swisher and B.J. Upton. Lohse remains unsigned. Kuroda, LaRoche and Ortiz re-signed with their 2012 teams, while Bourn, Hamilton, Soriano, Swisher and Upton changed teams. Swisher and Bourn both agreed to deals with the Indians, who had a protected first-round pick. The signings will cost Cleveland its next two picks.

        Additionally, as of this year, a player traded during the season before he reaches free agency cannot receive a qualifying offer. A team can no longer trade for a player during a season and be compensated with a Draft pick if he signs with another team.”

        • Ed: Thanks for your input. Once the MLBPA started giving back they never had a chance to be as strong as they once were. There’s labor peace now, but how long will that last. Indefinitely, as long as the pie keeps growing. But, once it stops the owners will want to cut back and there will be friction again.-JD

    • I would want the team to sign a few bodies who can play. One or two year cheapo deals. But players who are actually ok. Not the throw away marginal MLB players we signed.

      We have a weak farm system so in the next two years we will not have the OF patrolled by local talent. In the next few years we will have to sign outside players.

    • Glen: The cynic in me suggests the only reason the Mets went after Bourn is because they had no real shot in getting him. Just something to mull over.-JD