Following up: Negotiations drag through weekend; a top-100 prospect sighting

Because Major League Baseball has turned negotiations with the MLBPA into a game of Whack-a-Mole, the league and union agreed to a five-option limit for players over the course of the season on Friday. MLB had offered it before, then took it off the table at the same time it withdrew a highly unpopular request to potentially reduce the amount of minor league jobs.

As we discussed on Friday, it’s something baseball wanted, but because the players also wanted it (they asked for a four-option limit), the owners felt compelled to act as though it was a major concession on their part.

PERTINENT: Negotiating isn’t an option for MLB, even over options

Agreements continue to have string attached. While the MLBPA significantly adjusted its aims downward by reducing the Super Two pool from 75 percent of players with 2-3 years of service time to 35 percent, MLB refuses to budge off 22 percent. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is trying to hitch a draft lottery (which I don’t think it really cares about) to a 14-team postseason (which it really wants, and is the union’s biggest chit).

And the adjustments to the competitive-balance tax threshold remain laughably small, while the penalties remain significantly harsher.

The two sides are meeting again today, after which one day remains before the deadline imposed by Rob Manfred, after which he maintains regular-season games must be missed. At this point, it’s hard to think it’s more than both sides keeping up appearances with regards to any subsequent accusations of bad faith.

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The various top 100 prospects lists have more or less drifted past my attention because the White Sox don’t have any, nor are they in the position of acquiring one. That said, the top 100 list produced by Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS system caught my eye, not just because Dan’s a friend of the show, and not just because it’s the only one to incorporate a White Sox prospect.

Beyond those two elements, it produced the the specific prospect I seem to be more bullish about than the other lists published thus far. That’s Bryan Ramos, who’s coming in at No. 20.

Then there’s Bryan Ramos. ZiPS absolutely loved Ramos’ season and thought he was even unlucky from a BABIP standpoint. A .244/.345/.415 line for a 19-year-old infielder in a full-season league is solid, and his comps are a who’s who of interesting-ish prospects who developed power, like Jose Valentin and Dan Uggla. I’m not saying that he’s a slam-dunk — ZiPS also loved Arismendy Alcántara — but don’t completely forget his name. Especially since the White Sox didn’t do so well here otherwise.

I had Ramos at No. 7 on my list of the top White Sox prospects for 2022, which you can read if you support Sox Machine on Patreon. I also wrote him up in my post about prospects who were young for their levels, and that one is free for everybody.

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Another top White Sox prospect is staying ready here in Nashville — but not with the Vanderbilt products who are staying ready for the season here in Nashville. It turns out that there are a lot of MLB players who hang out here in Nashville.

Here’s your Jake Burger update:

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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As Cirensica

Hey Jim, I am having all sort of problems lately with the site. It’s been like that for various days. I was hoping it will go away. Cleared cache, history, restart browser, logout, log in, etc. I get page the is unresponsive. It is also slow to load, I can’t get rid of the advertisements, and I can’t find where to edit my profile to unlink/link my patreon account. Sorry to sound whiny.

As Cirensica

Thank you Jim. It didn’t work. Ads still showing up.

The button for doing so is about halfway down the profile page.

Where do I find my profile page though? It used to be on the top right side of the page, but it is not there anymore.

As Cirensica

Thank you Jim. I found my profile page but I have no clue how to link it to my patreon acct. Very sorry to be a nuisance. Things look changed and I am a bit lost.

I see a menu with various links such as orders, downloads, addresses, payment method, etc…I clicked jn all of them to not avail. Scrolling down, I see a button to become a Patron but when I click there it takes me to my Patreon account. Does not link it.

It’s probably in front of me but I can’t see it.

As Cirensica

This is a good thread about certain facets of the baseball industry that could be the key explanation why owner are so unwilling to budge.

And my take:

Owners have been shifting baseball revenues into other profitable ventures (that can’t exist w/o baseball) which leaves teams to “actually” lose money. These loses are probably being accumulated into deferred tax assets that can’t be used and with an expiring date.

Probably, teams are getting loans/equity to feed working capital they are so adamant to increase. It’s the “satellite” ventures that make money, not the “team” per se. Owners are probably “parking” these revenues in these ventures for tax purposes while teams starve for cash.

I guess this is one of the main reasons owners are stubborn to negotiate. They organized their baseball business to straitjacket the team itself. Probably to increae profits, for tax planning, and whatnot. Now they find themselves in troubles to increase working capital.

Last edited 5 months ago by As Cirensica

Off topic not starting a new thread – did anyone hear Blackjack McDowell’s interview with Parkins/Spiegel?

Wild stuff – he’s a dinosaur in the Hawk TWTW mode. One thing though – does he have a point with analytics driving organizations to truncate their minor league systems?

Last edited 5 months ago by tommytwonines

I found it hard to listen to him. I turned it off actually after they intentionally asked a question that had nothing to do with analytics and he ignored the question and just started another rant about it.

Came off as an old man yelling at the clouds. I see some value in not turning everything into raw numbers and equations but to completely discount them is idiotic.


He also has Jose Rodriguez at # 87 on his list!