Tony vs Rob

We are one week away from Spring Training. This should be an exciting time for all of baseball. Everyone should be talking about which team has the best pitching or the best offense, but no, baseball is imploding and we are all watching it happen right in front of us.

Tony Clark, who is head of The Players Union, put out a message where he said, ” This year a significant number of teams are engaged in a race to the bottom.” Really Tony? You are actually going to sit there and tell all of us that you believe that every team wants to lose? What about the players that actually have signed contracts this offseason? You are suppose to represent every player in baseball, not just the higher paid ones. By putting this statement out you are telling them that they were stupid for taking the offers they accepted and they should have held out for more. You have failed the players you claim you represent and should resign from your position.

A little bit after Tony Clark put his statement out, MLB answered with their own. Rob Manfred, MLB commissioner, says, “It is the responsibility of players’ agents to value their clients in a constantly changing free agent market based on factors such as positional demand, advanced analytics, and the impact of the new Basic Agreement.”

I love this response from MLB, partly because I wrote the same thing yesterday in a blog. The agents misread the market. Things have changed in baseball and the agents chose not to recognize it. Instead they and the Players Union have decided to attack the owners and their teams and now baseball is headed for something they have worked so hard for years to avoid. It will be really interesting to see what will come of all of this.


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The Streak Is Over

6 years, 3 months, and 24 days. That’s how many days that Theo Epstein has been President of Baseball operation with the Cubs. Through that time we have seen it all from him and his regime. From a total tear down, to a complete rebuild of the farm system, to the Cubs first World Series Championship in 108 years, Theo and Company have done everything that you could imagine with the Cubs. Well almost everything.

In the whole time Theo has been in charge of the on-field baseball operations he has never gone to an arbitration hearing with a player. The two parties have always agreed on a deal to avoid arbitration.  That streak has come to an end.

According to reports the Cubs and relief pitcher Justin Grimm could not agree to a deal and are going to head to an arbitration hearing. Jesse Rogers, of ESPN Chicago, reports on Twitter that Grimm is seeking $2.475 million for the 2018 season. The Cubs countered with $2.2 million for 2018.

Grimm, who was a huge part of the Cubs championship run in 2016 and had a career year in 2015, with a 1.99 ERA, struggled mightily in 2017, when he posted a 5.53 ERA in 55.1 innings pitched.

Grimm has been a very important pitcher for the Cubs the last few years, but he just seemed lost on the mound last year. He is not the same pitcher he was in 2015, and I don’t believe we will ever see that pitcher again.

This Cub’s regime should be coming out as winners during their first arbitration hearing , but realistically are there any winners?


Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune