Tying up some loose ends from the last few days…
*The White Sox announced the signing of Carlos Rodón to a one-year, $3 million contract. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, they designated Emilio Vargas for assignment.
If you missed Vargas being on the roster in the first place, the Sox added him at the same time they protected three prospects from the Rule 5 draft. We’ll now see if he sneaks through waivers, although it seems like pitchers are harder to retain than position players.
There was no accompanying statement or Zoom call regarding Rodón, although it’s possibly because he and his wife were occupied with the birth of their second child.
*The MLBPA rejected Major League Baseball’s proposal for a delayed season …
… to which Major League Baseball petulantly accepted the terms, complaining about the lack of a counterproposal.
If you’re wondering why the MLBPA didn’t counter, labor lawyer Eugene Freedman explains in this Twitter thread that the union would have to reopen the entire agreement, which would then require a duty to bargain on terms they already prefer. Players have already been preparing for a Feb. 17 start date, they’re guaranteed full pay, the schedule is protected, they get more days off, etc., etc. There’s really no incentive to risk what they already hold for smaller perks that are also in the league’s interest (universal DH), just to give the league what it really wants (the expanded postseason). That’s the kind of stuff that should be saved for a larger CBA negotiation, which there will be after the season. A contentious one at that.
*A fortnight and a day until pitchers and catchers report, Jayson Stark says nearly 150 free agents remain unsigned. A couple of facts that jumped out to me:
- Liam Hendriks’ deal with the White Sox is the only pitcher contract that’s longer than two years.
- Ross Detwiler is one of two left-handed non-starter/non-closers to find a home.
The inaction around the league puts the White Sox’s stilted winter in a more favorable context, unless you maintain that it’s all the more reason to go for the throat.
(Photo by Arturo Pardavila III)