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Rob Manfred* to Tony Clark: “lighten up, Francis”

Apr 11, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT

Rob Manfred

MLBPA director Tony Clark wants Major League Baseball to investigate anonymous quotes from executives regarding Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales. Baseball’s Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred tells him not to hold his breath:

“Over the years, I have learned that it is a waste of time to pay attention to anonymous quotes which may or may not be genuine.  Given that the regular season is well under way, it is hard to imagine that anonymous comments would have any effect whatsoever on the market for any individual player.  There are many other factors that better explain the current situation faced by a very small number of free agents.”

Better factors: those two not taking qualifying offers, the MLBPA miscalculating how teams would value draft picks when agreeing to the qualifying offer system, etc.


*This post originally had it as Bud Selig issuing the statement, not Manfred. Apologies. It’s Friday at 5:30. I’m pretty much over reading my email all that closely for the week.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    When you’re not one of the 100 best players in baseball but someone offers to pay you as though you were for 1 season…..I don’t feel bad for you missing out on the season because you wanted more money.

    Go out and outperform the contract you don’t necessarily deserve. Make yourself more valuable.

    Tony Clark should be talking to the players and agents, not complaining about the executives.

    • raysfan1 - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      Clearly more player should be taking the qualifying offers. Of course that requires honest insight into one’s own market value.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:16 PM

        Of course.

        If they fall into the gap between worth $14.1 million and not worth giving up a draft pick for they should DEFINITELY be taking the $14.1 million.

        And then really focusing on making themselves worth a team giving up that draft pick.

        There will be guys in that gap every season no matter how you cut it. A good agent who isn’t just kissing your ass will be able to forecast that and prepare you for it. “Hey, bad news is we can’t get you much security but good news is you’re going to be paid twice what you’re worth this upcoming season.”

        Boras may do a good job with players who are going to make astronomical dollars anyway….but he fails a lot of his clients too.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        When I first saw the rule after the CBA was published, I called it “the Boras rule”–I still think he’s why the owners worked to get this system.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        And he’s great for the guys who are bank-breakers.

        And he’s also good for guys with big question marks but a lot of potential that usually end up being albatrosses.

        But he is terrible for guys who think they are in the first category but really aren’t even in the second.

      • billybawl - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:37 PM

        The thing to keep in mind with Boras, or any agent for that matter, is that we have no idea what he is telling his client in private. For all we know, Boras read the market correctly, advised his clients of the risks, and the clients made informed decisions against Boras’ advice. They’re both veterans and probably not as deferential to Boras as a prospect new to the pro game. Neither has fired Boras. So I wouldn’t be so quick to say he’d failed them. Also, we don’t know how this will end up for Morales and Drew. Maybe it will go down as a black mark on Boras, but I think it’s premature to jump to that conclusion. A lot of people thought he dropped the ball with Kyle Lohse, and that turned out pretty well.

        I was looking for an article about clients that Boras has failed or times he cost his clients money. I can’t find one. I’m not being snarky, just genuinely curious. Maybe someone at HBT should take that on.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        There is no way a team signs either of these guys to a contract better than $14.1 million for the remainder of this season.

        No matter how you look at it, they have lost money.

        And even if his position was correct, that the $14.1 million was the best they could do, by not convincing them of that he has failed them as an agent.

        If a guy goes against his advice, he has failed. Whether that means leaving money on the table to take a bad deal, or not taking a good deal because they personally expect a better one.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        Actually, this is kind of funny….Drew was considered to have something of a bounce-back year last year (playoffs notwithstanding when he was completely worthless and probably cost himself a good deal of interest)….

        He was almost completely on his career averages (not counting his rookie year) in ever category:
        Games Players 124 (avg 125) 501 PA (avg 527) AB 442 (avg 472) R 57 (avg 63) H 112 (avg 123) 2B 29 (avg 28) 3B 8 (avg 8) HRs 13 (avg 12) RBI 67 (avg 56) SB 6 (avg 5) CS 0 (avg 2) BB 54 (avg 48) SO 124 (avg 97) BA .253 (avg .260) OBP .333 (avg .327) SLG .443 (avg .429)

        So he hit all his career norms almost on the nose, and still no one is interested. That seems like an any case to sell if your demands are reasonable.

      • Reflex - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:50 PM

        I really don’t get how if he told them to take the money and they declined that means Boras failed them. If he keeps arguing the point they are likely to simply fire him. Its not his job to get fired, and in the current position I still think he is likely the best person to get them something resembling a good deal going forward.

        I also don’t know that I agree that he has cost them money at this point. Its probable that they will earn less this season. But if he gets them say, $8 mil/year but over 3 years he will have made them money beyond the QO.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

        If you are someone’s ADVISER and you can’t get them to listen to your ADVICE which they are paying you for, then you are failing at your job.

        And no, $24,000,000 over 3 years isn’t really more than $14,100,000 over one year, unless you are factoring in a high likelihood of injury, because very few players especially 30 year old ones, can expect to lose more than 60% of their value from one season to the next, and for that to be their prevailing value going forward.

        You are better off making $14,100,000 this year and taking your chances than taking 57% of that per season over 3 years unless you really expect to be terrible.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:20 PM

        Just to expand on this a bit more, if you take $14.1 million and invest it at 5% interest over the first 2 years that would would earn $16,000,000 in your suggested contract you would actually end up with more than $15.5 million depending on when it’s invested and whatever…..

        So basically you would be playing the second season of your contract for $500,000.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        We could also put things another way…
        Say Drew had taken the $14.1M, and had another good year. This coming offseason, the Red Sox would have to make another decision on him. They could offer him a big enough multi-year deal that he signs, and thus Drew overall comes out ahead. They could give him another qualifying offer, probably will mean another year around $14.5M–which he could then sign and thus be at the equivalent of signing a two year deal this year for over $28M. They could let him walk, and his market would be much better than it was this year with the draft pick dragging his value down. If he signed the QO and had a good year for him, his next contract opportunities are win-win-win.

        Instead he has no team and his best hope is a pro-rated contract that let’s him be a true free agent next winter. That makes it a certainty he will earn less money than if he had signed the QO.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM

        The biggest problem I have with people complaining about the QO is that they are projecting the fact that they want to be paid for past performances that they don’t have confidence that they can live up to. Kyle Lohse’s recent grousing about this exemplifies that.

        So Drew would rather turn down $14.1 million for a contract like, let’s just say, Lohse’s 3 year $33 million deal.

        So instead of going into the year expecting to perform at least as well as he did the past season, and earning another qualifying offer and ended up making $29.1 million over two years, he’s willing to take $22 million over those same two years. Basically saying “I want you to carry the risk because I don’t think I can live up to these expectations but I’ve been worth that money over my career so it’s worth it. Right?”

        Why would anyone gamble on a borderline player with that attitude? These are not front-line players we’re talking about. No one is balking at losing a draft pick to sign a Miguel Cabrera. If a team needs a shortstop and says “We’d really rather stick with this mediocre utility player and keep our first round pick who, if they even pan out, it won’t be for at least 3 years, than sign you to an “undervalued” contract” that says more about the available players than it does about the system.

        TL:DNR Version: Be better players with more confidence in yourself and you may not find yourself out of work.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        I agree, and those who gripe about the QO system had best get used to it. The owners like it, and I doubt the MLBPA picks this as a fall-on-your-sword issue when the CBA gets renegotiated when it has only “hurt” 1-2 players each winter.

    • kindasporty - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:45 PM

      I’ll start off by saying that I don’t have sympathy for a guy making millions turning down 14.1 million dollars. But if I’m in that situation, maybe I know I’m one injury away from not being worth anything. So even if I’m aware that I’m not really worth the 14.1 million, I might still turn it down if I think I can get 30 million over 3 years. So honestly I don’t feel bad for the players, but I do understand.

      As for Clark, I think his best bet is to be a better union leader, and not complain about irrelevant things.

      • dcarroll73 - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:02 AM

        In what way were the things he complained about irrelevant? Collusion and violation of the CBA are not relevant to his responsibilities as a union leader? I think you need some remedial education.

  2. garypagetwo - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    wow. NBC hires the worst people for this website

    • bigharold - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      Brilliant analysis. Having nothing to do with the subject at hand but otherwise brilliant!

  3. brandonmauk - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    “Over the years, I have learned that it is a waste of time to pay attention to anonymous quotes which may or may not be genuine”

    Rich comments from a guy who led an investigation assisted by evidence that was stolen and sold in a bag in a restaurant in Miami

    • raysfan1 - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      True but I happen to agree with him this time anyway

    • dcarroll73 - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:06 AM

      I think this is another statement that requires a translator; maybe it would be something like “I have learned it is a waste of time to do anything that does not serve my purpose as a tool of feelthy rich owners.”

  4. DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    What the hell is wrong with everyone? No one posted the obvious??

  5. mvd513 - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Done readint email at 5:30 on Friday… Then quit slacking. Your job isn’t hard.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      Was this English?

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