Selig Calls Singleton-Astros Deal "Different," Wants More Time To Look Into The Situation
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig on Thursday said he needed more time to study the ramifications of the Astros’ recent deal with 1B Jonathan Singleton. The contract has been hotly debated across the game, with some execs arguing a $10M guarantee before his big-league debut is unwarranted, and some MLBPA members arguing he left substantial money on the table and damaged his future earnings potential. Selig said, "It’s very interesting, but I really need to think about that. It’s different" (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said Singleton's deal "has ignited the ire of major leaguers" like Orioles P Bud Norris and free agent P Mark Mulder, "who say Singleton has given away his first chance for free agency for cash on hand." ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "You can criticize if you want. If this kid's career goes bust and he can’t make that money, are you going to give it to him, Mark Mulder?" Wilbon: "Financial matters are private. Unless all of these people criticizing him knows what this guy has in his family and what his family (situation is) ... then shut up." Kornheiser said "baseball players always want to go by the union rule. They want to get you to free agency as quickly as possible. Those same people will say to you when you ask them any question about what they've done in their careers, 'This is a business. We're in a business here.' Singleton has obviously made a business decision." Wilbon said the MLBPA "has been the most successful of the professional sports unions because of that peer pressure and it is straight-up gangsta peer pressure" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/4).
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: The Astros last night selected high school P Brady Aiken with the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft. It was the third straight year that the team had the top pick, and MLB Network’s Brian Kenny said it is "not an accident" that Astros GM Jeff Luhnow "has come in and three straight years they get the No. 1 (pick) and all the money that goes with it.” MLB Network’s Joel Sherman: “I have no problem with the Astros using the system. ... It's up to the Players Association and commissioner's office to change rules that are helping teams tank. ... It's wrong that a team can be this bad consistently and keep getting rewarded.” Kenny asked, “Do you think we ever get to a time where baseball goes the way of the NBA?” MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo: “I don't see that happening. It is an imperfect system, but for baseball, it works. Remember you are not taking guys from the amateur game and they aren’t going straight to the highest level.” Kenny: “Luhnow has gone drastic on this, but it is grand strategy. He doesn’t want to lose. He wants to build a solid foundation to a powerhouse" (“MLB Now,” MLB Network, 6/4).