Tuesday, 22 November 2011

CBA Outrage, plus some AL MVP Backlash

The details of the new CBA are entirely released, and I, for one, am shocked that the players union agreed to this.  It just goes to show that the players' union doesn't really give a shit about anybody who isn't in the union yet.

Basically, I pointed out most of the changes yesterday, but something that wasn't released until today was the specifics on the caps placed on the draft and international signing bonuses.  From MLBTR:
Teams that spend more than 5% over-slot on the draft will face a 75% tax, according to [Yahoo Sports' Jeff] Passan. Teams that go over slot by 5-10% face a 75% tax and the loss of a first rounder. Teams that go over slot by 10-15% face a 100% tax and the loss of a first and second rounder. Teams that exceed slot by 15% or more face a 100% tax and the loss of two first rounders. MLB wanted the top players to be selected in order of talent, according to Passan. This set of rules will also reduce draft spending significantly, a bonus for owners.
Now, don't get me wrong, there was a pretty silly system of college students demanding $15MM before ever playing a game in the MLB, but these owners are all fucking insanely rich already; they own a fucking baseball team, they don't need to save another million or two on draft signings.

Furthermore, the entire point of going "over slot" is to ensure that a player signs, rather than heads back to college and play football or basketball instead of becoming a professional baseball player.  Now, without being able to go over slot by their own choice, teams are losing the option to ensure that one more athlete comes to professional baseball.

Teams will now have a certain budget that can go towards drafting, and a separate budget that can go towards international signings, which Jeff Passan has heard can actually be used in trades, which is about as close as we're going to come to trading draft picks any time soon.  Still, teams who don't have MLB salaries in the $100+MM range were focusing elsewhere to find talent, whether that be spending more on the draft, or international scouting.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs pretty much hits it on the head:
With a flat cap for the upcoming year, any advantage [lower payroll teams who can't spend $100+MM on their MLB roster] have has been completely removed, and teams will now all be submitting remarkably similar offers to the best international talents, causing these players to choose which organization to join based on factors beyond signing bonus. No longer will teams be able to create systematic advantages in international scouting, as they simply won’t have the resources available to bring in more than one or two additional significant talents per year.
Basically, to Dave (and I agree wholeheartedly), these changes are going to make spending at the major league level the best way to build a winner, which should basically limit small-market teams heavily.
Congratulations, Major League Baseball, you just screwed every team that doesn’t have the capability of running out a $100+ million payroll, and you just made winning a lot more about Major League payroll size than anything else.
At least one positive from this new CBA: it seems as though instant replay will be expanded to fair/foul balls, as well as catch/trap situations, which is obviously a step in the right direction.  Now all we need are the robot umps behind homeplate.

Something that still doesn't really make any sense to me, mostly because nobody has gotten someone who both knows the answer, and has a twitter account to answer it, is the question about all just who will be worth free agent compensation this year in the free agent market/draft.  Since some of the Type-A relievers have lost their compensation status, combined with all the rumors about Type-B compensation being eliminated, I seriously don't know if the Jays are going to get picks for Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Shawn Camp, Jose Molina, or Kelly Johnson.  It would seem unfair for Type-A relievers to lose their compensation, but for Type-B's to maintain it.

[Funny I should say that:  Looky here for Type-A changes]


Well everybody who knows how to spell has written at least a little sumpin' sumpin' about the non-votes for Jose Bautista as MVP.  As result, there is absolutely no chance that I'm writing anything more about how wrong everyone is about Justin Verlander winning, though I did really enjoy a few pieces about the subject, even after getting tired of the subject.

Drew at Getting Blanked compares the 2011 seasons of Cliff Lee and Justin Verlander, exclaiming the power of the narrative.  Really well-written.

Mike Cormack of Sportsnet.ca has an interview with Jose Bautista with his opinions about the MVP loss.

Elsewhere, Kevin Gray, prospect guy extraordinaire and writer for the New Hampshire Fishercats (The Jays AA team) reviews the Jays top-10 prospects, being literally the only person in the entire world who has Nestor Molina as the Jays top up-and-comer.  Keith Law, for example, thinks Molina will peak as a #3/4 starter.

Ryan Braun somehow beat out Matt Kemp to win the NL MVP, despite not winning a triple crown or being a pitcher or something.

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