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The Collective Bargaining Agreement won’t be changed until it expires

Mar 8, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

Kendrys Morales AP

Yesterday, Brewers starter Kyle Lohse criticized the qualifying offer system. Lohse rejected a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals after the 2012 season, hoping to get a lucrative deal in free agency. He ended up jobless well into march until the Brewers jumped in and signed him to a three-year, $33 million deal. This season, Ubaldo Jimenez, Nelson Cruz, Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew, and Kendrys Morales were jobless when spring training began in mid-February. Only recently have Jimenez and Cruz signed; Santana is rumored to be signing with a team soon, while Drew and Morales are in limbo.

Lohse isn’t the only one to criticize the system. Drew criticized it several weeks ago, as did players union chief Tony Clark.

Brad Ziegler, Diamondbacks pitcher and member of the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee, says the CBA won’t be changed until it expires in December 2016. Via Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY:

“The CBA won’t be reopened,” Ziegler, a member of the players’ association’s executive subcommitee, told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday. “There’s no way it’s a big enough deal to do that right now. I haven’t heard any rumblings that’s even realistic.”

  1. arizonagrit - Mar 8, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Most of the free agents tied to draft pick compensation overestimate their value and still make millions. I’m not a fan of the rule, but waiting until 2016 doesn’t seem to hurt the truly deserving. They either get extended early or are big time free agents where a draft pick is silly to worry about losing.

    • clydeserra - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:12 PM

      no they don’t. their value is diminished because a team that sign him has to give up a draft pick worth millions.

      • thebadguyswon - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        Oh Boo freaking Hoo. They signed the agreement. Now they can live with it.

      • jeffbbf - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        and how often does that happen?

      • arizonagrit - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        Yes and players like Stephen Drew should be bitching. Sorry,

      • Glenn - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        They are complaining because their value is greatly diminished and it is kind of random. Players of similar ability and service time don’t have the same drags on their income as they do. That ballplayers make a lot of money is a different issue.

        Just wondering – why are my friends who are big on the “free market” are also the ones who are against players getting what they should on an open market?

    • bfunk1978 - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      All ya gotta do is take the 14M bucks for a year and next time you’ll get out of town without the draft compensation attached.

      • bolweevils2 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Exactly. Their value may indeed have diminished because of the draft pick, but they don’t seem to be doing a very good job of adjusting to that idea. You’d think the borderline guys would have learned by now and started taking the former team up on the qualifying offer, which in turn would discourage teams from making qualifying offers for borderline guys in the future.

        I was really hoping Beltran took the Cards qualifying offer after they made it and then went public with their “I don’t see playing time for him so he’d better not take it” proclamation just to burn them on it. But it wouldn’t have been in Beltran’s best interest, since he did better on the open market. And it cost the Yankees a draft pick, so it wasn’t a total loss anyway.

      • bfunk1978 - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        The difference is that Beltran produced at a high level for the Cardinals for 2 straight years after doing great with the Mets/Giants after a knee injury.

        Contrast that with Ervin Santana who in those 2 years had ERA+ of 74 and 127 respectively (up and down consistently through his career) and Stephen Drew who still hasn’t played 125 games a year since 2010.

  2. chill1184 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    I really have no sympathy for the QO rule, it’s not like this was hidden from the players union and sprung up at the last minute. They made the bed, now they have to sleep in it.

  3. Old Gator - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Badguys: I agree. The time to have anticipated this was back when the current agreement was being negotiated. Ziegler clearly understands that there’s nothing that realistically can be done about it now anyway. On the other hand, there have been enough “rumblings” about it that you have to wonder if some of the owners aren’t already growing concerned that they’ve overplayed their hand with this provision and jeopardized the comparatively smooth labor relations they’ve enjoyed since the last work stoppage. By the same token, the executives of the MLBPA should be thinking ahead about what they’re willing to muletrade to delete or soften this provision when it comes time to set down and chat a spell with the owners.

  4. campcouch - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    Man,just the idea of making 5 mil a year after taxes,working 30 days a year for an hour and a half each…I can’t feel his pain.

    • js20011041 - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:27 AM


    • 18thstreet - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      And it’s so easy!

      That’s why every boy in America dreams of being a baseball player and just gives up at age 12. If I had only known that it was so well-paid, I would have kept playing and today, I’d be rich.

      Or, perhaps, these are the best 300 baseball players on a planet with 7 billion people on it and are paid accordingly for their talents.

      • Old Gator - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:16 AM

        No, I believe that, living in an old refrigerator carton somewhere on the outskirts of a sprawling third world city is a derelict who, given a chance to play, would have been far greater than all of them. Instead, he lives like he’s being paid by Scrooge McLoria. The gods must be crazy.

    • jeffbbf - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Exactly. Just like in football, where a running back “works” only 11 minutes a week for only 16 weeks a year. That’s less than 3 hours a year! The outrage! dolt.

  5. American of African Descent - Mar 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    The trick is that MLB does not really have a free market labor system. Players looking to enter the league are forced into a draft system. Then they’re tied to one team for the first two years of their career, limiting their wages in their chosen profession. Then, for the next two or three years, they have some leverage to negotiate a salary with one team only.

    Want to start complaining about the lack of a free market? Let’s start with the draft, league minimum for the first two years, and arbitration before we pick at the Q.O. Or, put it another way, let’s worry about the sucking chest wound in the free enterprise system before worrying about the paper cut.

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