Podcast: MLB Lockout Lacking Urgency

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In light of recent reports from Jeff Passan of ESPN, and Max Scherzer answering questions for the LA Times, Josh and Jim recap the latest regarding the MLB Lockout. Why is there no urgency from the league to meet with the MLBPA? What is the central concern for the MLBPA? Is there an easy path to a new CBA? 

Plus, their thoughts on Ken Rosenthal leaving MLB Network and Alex Rodriquez possibly getting his own “Manningcast” type show.

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Trading draft picks should absolutely happen.


I like the idea of trading picks. But I am skeptical it’ll have the effect Jim suggested. Unless I misunderstood, I took him to say that trading draft picks would accelerate, therefore shorten, rebuilds. But wouldn’t it have the exact opposite effect? Jim cited the Kimbrel-for-Madrigal deal, suggesting it could have been Kimbrel-for-draft pick. But doesn’t Nick Madrigal get the Cubs a whole lot closer to contention than a 2022 draft pick? Or, take the White Sox rebuild as an example. If they stockpiled 2017 picks instead of prospects (Moncada, Kopech, Giolito, Jimenez, Cease, etc.), they aren’t even close to contending today. Even with the benefit of hindsight, I can’t pick five or six ’17 draft picks that get the Sox to contention today.

Furthermore, I’d expect longer rebuilds because mid-market (or middle-payroll) teams have the greatest incentive to trade draft picks when near contention. The ’20-’22 White Sox might unload future draft picks to maximize winning now. But what happens if, in 2025, the window is closed and the Sox system is bare? I mean *really* bare. It could take a decade to recover.

I do agree that trading draft picks should happen, but I don’t think it helps rebuilding teams. If the new CBA allows the trading of draft picks, then I hope they offset it with other anti-tanking measures—like expanded playoffs, baby!


All your points are valid.

I like trading draft picks because it gives teams options: options for rebuilding, options for going for it. You’re right, though. It carries significant risks, too.

Trooper Galactus

If they implemented a salary floor along with it, I could see the Pirates unloading top draft picks for good players on one year deals or blocked prospects in the high minors. This would save them from spending money in the draft on top picks, and then they would just spend to the salary floor on short-term contracts every year and trade every one they could in season (for prospects, naturally) to avoid paying the full season’s cost, thus functionally spending to roughly half the actual salary floor if they could jettison enough veterans. They could blatantly avoid fielding a competitive team (like, even more so than now) and still not be in violation of any rules. Not a single fan would come through the turnstiles and they wouldn’t give a shit because they’d be pocketing all the revenue sharing money while the TV deal basically covered their payroll.


I love the idea of having a separate A-Rod broadcast. Then I won’t ever have to listen to him again. By all means make it happen!

Jim Margalus

It’d be great if they didn’t allow guests. Just A-Rod, Party of One.


What if the baseball Manning-cast is Rodriguez paired with Bob Nightengale in order to lure the charismatic Jerry Reinsdorf onto national television?

My concern about the Ravitch-Perez-Cone booth is what it means for the future of the Statcast games. I think they’ll still have them, but one of the many joys of those telecasts is the chemistry between Perez, Benetti, and Petriello. The numbers are secondary to the joy those three voices have reveling in their love of the game..

Maybe Benetti and Petriello can recreate that chemistry with another retired player. (Benetti famously seems to have a rapport with any human in front of a microphone.) But that trio is a delight that I will miss.

Last edited 2 years ago by asinwreck
To Err is Herrmann

Baseball fans should have a union. I am mostly with the players on most of these issues, but I do have compassion for the small market teams. I don’t want to see any team of this era break the 1962 New York Mets record of 40-120-1 merely by tanking. The Mets were at least trying, and they deserve the distinction. But, overall, I am kind of fed up with both sides as I think neither side is really thinking about the long-term health of the game and how to bring in young fans. Also, at least one pitcher on every team should be allowed to throw a spitball legally for their entire career. That rule should have never changed.


Baseball fan union! Let’s “cap” ticket and concession prices!


I won’t rehash the defense of expanded playoffs I gave in a comment on a previous post, but I’d expect expanded playoffs to make the middle ground more competitive, not less. Suppose there’s something like a $70m salary floor and a 14-team playoff. The competition for those 9-14 slots would be fierce. I’d expect, under those conditions, 25+ teams to put a competitive team on the field. So, if you’re projected to be in that 9-14 range, you can’t just coast in. You better make your team better, because there’s all of a sudden a large pool of teams legitimately in the playoff hunt. Depending on division configuration, of course, there could still be teams that could coast into a 14-team playoff. But most teams are going to find that those 9-14 playoff spots are going to be a fight.