MLBPA's Clark: Players Have Major Concerns Regarding System
MLBPA Exec Dir Tony Clark said that recent comments from Cardinals P Adam Wainwright about a possible strike in '21 are "in line with widespread concern he hears from his members about a free-agent market they claim has become dysfunctional," according to Jay Cohen of the AP. Clark said that he "isn't drawing conclusions about the market" based on the Padres' 10-year, $300M deal with 3B Manny Machado. Clark: "We're curious as to why it took as long as it did. And we're also still concerned about the players that are out there that their phone isn't ringing." He added that the union has "heard from players who have been contacted by multiple teams in a small window of time after going a long period without hearing from any clubs." Clark: "That there is radio silence for as long as it is and then suddenly the phone rings, all in one day and that rings from multiple teams, is something we're interested in looking into." Clark said that players will honor the current CBA, which runs through the '21 season, but that he also "understood Wainwright's perspective" (AP, 2/21). More Clark: "You see things happening in the industry that we haven't seen before. Every level of our membership is being affected as a result of what we're seeing" (USA TODAY, 2/22).
PLAYERS REACT TO SITUATION: Cardinals P Andrew Miller noted there is a long time until the current CBA expires and is hopeful the two sides "can sort it out." However, he said, "Last year we were basically told flat-out by the MLB side that that free agent class wasn't as good as this year's class. ... So it was -- 'Wait 'til this year, wait 'til this year.' And then this year comes, and it's kind of more of the same." Miller: "Things aren't functioning the way we expected them to" (STLTODAY.com, 2/20). Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado said the current state of the free-agent market is "sad." He said, "There are some really good baseball players out there, and it is crazy to think some of these teams don't need them. ... It just shows that there are teams that are not trying to win" (AP, 2/21). Phillies RF Andrew McCutchen: "You see that one side is making this much money, and the numbers continue to go up. I need to know what my value is. You're trying to figure that out. That's why there's a halt. That's why guys haven't signed. Guys figuring they're worth this much, and the other side saying, 'You're not.' It used to not be like that" (USA TODAY, 2/22).