Feb
21

Possible sign-and-trade mini-rant

By

In what could be the first step in an NBA-esque sign-and-trade move, the Twins made an offer to free agent reliever Juan Cruz late last night. Cruz, like The Orlandos (Cabrera & Hudson), has been having a devil of a time trying to find a job this winter because teams are unwilling to part with their first round pick to sign him, and now that Spring Training is underway his agent is really starting to feel the heat. You probably remember seeing the blurb earlier this week in which MLB basically said it would be willing to look the other way as teams try to circumvent the free agent draft pick compensation rules, and it’s looking more and more like this might actually happen.

Forget A-Rod and all the PED nonsense. If baseball is willing to essentially amend it’s rules with almost zero advance notice to the benefit of only some teams, then that’s the game’s biggest problem. The Yankees played by the rules and coughed up the draft picks needed to sign free agents this winter, ditto the Mets, Angels, and Dodgers, and now you’re telling me that other teams have a chance to operate under a completely different set of rules? Sorry, but that’s just not fair. If Juan Cruz wants to get paid, then he should have accepted arbitration. There’s a reason David Weathers and Darren Oliver have contracts for 2009 right now and he doesn’t. He doesn’t get to be above the system because his agent misread the economic climate. Life doesn’t work like that.

I swear, the Yanks (and the Mets, Halos and Dodgers as well) better raise some frickin’ hell if this is allowed to go down.

Categories : Rants
  • Joe R

    While it is completely bullshit, can anything really be done to stop it once the MLB decides to let it go through?

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

    You know that if the Yankees were the team to sign Cruz and trade him Selig would throw a hissy fit.

    • mustang

      Damn right.

  • Jason

    You mean, the same system that is screwing the Indians and Jays out of 1st round pick compensatory picks? The Yanks should just sign Cruz and surrender the 4th round pick and milk the system.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      What do the Indians have to do with anything? CC Sabathia entered the free-agent market as a Milwaukee Brewer.

    • mustang

      Then fix the system next season. I’m tired of the Yankees being blame for or in this case paying for MLB’s short comings. Luxury tax and now talks of a salary cap are all things basically directed at one team the
      New York Yankees. I’m sick of the double standard.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    If it’s not the Yankees doing it, it’s allowed!

    If it’s not a Yankee player doing it, it’s no big deal!

    If you’re one of the “other” names on the list, and you don’t wear pinstripes, knock yourself out! Your secrets are safe with us!

    If any team in the MLB whose name does not start with a Y and end in ees wants to do anything at all, well go right ahead!

    The media and MLB finds no one else out of line ever. So just play ball other clubs! We’re focusing on the Yankees and their every move. So you have a free pass. Go do anything you like!

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    Don’t forget the Phils as well, no? If this shit happens, the Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Braves, and Dodgers should form the “Team With the Balls to Play by the Rules” coalition and sue somebody. Can they do that?

    • steve (different one)

      you are right about the Phillies, but i can’t generate any sympathy for that move. they deserve to lose all of their picks for that stupidity.

      then again, replacing a superior RH hitter with an inferior LH hitter, when your lineup is LH heavy already, and forfeiting your 1st round pick in the process, gets you the #1 offseason according the Heyman….

  • dan l

    Baseball needs to do many things and ending compensation for free agents losses should be first!

    Expand the active roster to 26 from 25 to add another position player to the teams. With 5 starting pitchers instead of 4 an additional position player is needed in today’s game.

    Limit contract length to 4 years max so it’s easier for smaller market teams to risk. Signing a player for 4 years instead of 7 or 8 at high salaries might be a more acceptable to some teams.

    Limit no trade and partial no trade clauses. No trade to only be allow for the first 2 years of a contract. Partial no trade for only the third year and all players trade able in the final year of all deals.

  • AndrewYF

    I don’t really understand the outrage. You really think Toronto and New York would be willing to do a sign-and-trade of Burnett? That would have been bad for the Yankees, anyway, since Toronto would have wanted a second-round quality player, plus a supplemental round quality player. I don’t think the Yankees would want to give that up, and I don’t think Toronto would want to take anything less than that.

    • whozat

      The outrage is because the rules are being selectively applied.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Reduce the draft from 50 to 45 rounds and just have comp picks based on a ratings system. A type A gets a comp pick between the 1st and 2nd round and 2nd and 3rd round, a type B gets a sandwich pick between rounds 2 and 3, and every other free agent gets a sandwich pick between rounds 3 and 4. No team loses picks they just gain picks.

  • Richard

    This doesn’t really concern the yankees, Cruz is a marginal player otherwise teams wouldn’t hesitate on giving him a contract and giving up a draft pick. The players the yankees signed would have been signed regardless so there was no room to compromise. likewise if there were more teams willing to give cruz a contract and pay the compensation cost the deal wouldn’t be necessary.

    Dan: Limiting the contracts wouldn’t really help the small market teams. The longer contracts allow security for the player and allow the team to get a discount towards the end of the deal (e.g. Evan Longoria)

    • Michael

      Actually, it very much concerns the Yankees.

      While I don’t mean to comment on whether the proposed sign-and-trades would violate any MLB rule (I think HCM has made a good argument on that point), such a transaction could have a direct effect on whether the Yankees second compensatory pick in the upcoming June draft (#75A for not signing Scott Bittle) moves ahead of Boston’s natural second round pick. As it stands now – with Orlando Hudson landing with the Dodgers – 3 more type A/B free agents have to sign with new teams in order for the Yankees pick to move ahead of Boston’s in the second round. Considering that high-profile, talented players tend to drop in the first couple rounds, it is a very real problem that Boston picks ahead of the Yankees consdidering the possibility that someone drops because they are looking for huge over slot money. Such an obstacle wouldn’t prevent the Sox from taking such a player before he could get to the Yankees slot.

  • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Hold on… I have a question… People are talking about this as if MLB is either not enforcing a rule or is selectively changing the rules, but I’m not sure that’s what’s happening here. Just for example, Mike said : “…you’re telling me that other teams have a chance to operate under a completely different set of rules?” and whozat said: “The outrage is because the rules are being selectively applied.” Are either of those statements true, though? It seems to me that these teams would be doing something that is NOT prohibited by the rules, and it’s an idea that’s been kicked around on various blogs this offseason as an option for any team to try. They may be trying to circumvent the rules. But if that’s the case and MLB doesn’t like it, MLB should change the rules in response to a loophole being exposed. Wouldn’t it be wrong for MLB to change the rules in order to stop a transaction that would have been allowable at any point during the offseason? I think maybe we’re getting a little confused because the reaction to this circumvention idea mostly consisted of “MLB wouldn’t allow this,” but that reaction assumes the Commissioner would use his “powers in the best interest of the game” to disallow a transaction that goes against the intent of the rules. But just because we all assumed, with no evidence, that a team like the Yankees would not be allowed to make this sort of transaction, does not mean another team is being treated differently or preferentially if they make this sort of transaction and it is, in fact, allowed.

    I don’t intend this comment to be snarky, if my understanding of the situation is flawed please correct me.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      PS: I would share everyone’s outrage if, say, MLB suspended the draft-pick compensation rules just so that a guy like Juan Cruz could sign with a team. That would be completely unfair to every team to which those rules applied this offseason, and in that case one team would be treated differently than every other team. But in the case cited in this post, no rules are being selectively suspended (for one player or team’s benefit), a team is just exploiting a not very particularly well-hidden loophole in the system. MLB isn’t giving a team a break, a team is playing by the rules and finding a loophole.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        You’re right. And imagine the outrage of all the players that get the contract they imagined: Burrell. Hudson, Cabrera etc.

      • whozat

        The reason sign-and-trades aren’t done all the time is that MLB has made it clear that they would not approve such transactions. Now, they’re letting the word out that they’ve decided to let these things through.

        That’s ok with you? It’s not like these teams are being clever. It’s that other teams who might have wanted to do this have been told “We’re not going to let that go through; you sign him, you’re stuck with him.”

        And now that’s no longer the case. The Twins and DBacks are doing this because MLB has told them “Yeah, it’s cool…Cruz is having a hard time signing, and the union would love us to help him out, so we’re going to let this happen.”

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          But hold on… The whole point of my post is that we’re assuming that MLB wouldn’t approve of such transactions… But what proof do we have? It’s an assumption. Can you provide a link to an article saying that MLB has actually told teams: “We’re not going to let that go through; you sign him, you’re stuck with him.”

          My point is that nobody is actually being treated any differently here than others (players/teams) have been treated in the past. Obviously my opinion changes if there is actually a change in a rule, as I stated above. But I think you’re assuming there’s a change in a rule going on here, but I’m not sure that’s actually true.

          • Mike Pop

            Maybe this helps, a bit?

            http://mlb.mlb.com/news/print......mentWidget

            Teams can’t normally trade a newly signed free agent until after June 15 of the following season, unless the player gives written consent.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Ok… But that still has nothing to do with MLB allowing the transaction, it just has to do with the player allowing it, right? There’s no “changing” of a rule here. I don’t see evidence that MLB told one team they couldn’t do this type of transaction and is now telling another team than go ahead with it.

              “We do think it’s possible to effectuate a sign-and-trade consistent with the Basic Agreement,” said Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president of labor relations and human resources. “The player would have to give an advance waiver of the right not to be traded.”

              • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                …and is now telling another team than they can go ahead with it.

                (my bad)

  • Mike Pop

    Yanks should sign Manny, Cruz, and O-Cab. Improve the farm baby!

  • Richard

    The Honorable Congressman Mondesi: I completely agree

    • ceciguante

      seconded.

  • teixeira is the man

    socialism at its finest, heh?

    • steve (different one)

      impossible, that would mean RAB would support it.

      this is a socialist blog.

  • mike

    Just like when the Sox signed the Japanese pitcher earlier this year….now that baseball is a billion dollar collusional industry run by MBA’s rather than an old-boys club of rich guys who also happened to own baseball teams, the informal operating structure and all other facets of the game will be challenged moreso than ever before.

    There was such objectionable nonsense in the past- Independent League players were incorrectly handled (like Keller in the 1930’s) or how the Yanks and A’s used to trade players among themselves, the Yanks holding the mortgage on Fenway etc.,- nevermind the continuing charade of International players being handled outside the regular draft.

    However, now instead of a few teams getting mad at eachother appealing to a strong comissioner, or a strong comissioner stepping in ( like Kuhn did with Fingers, Rudi and Blue in the mid-70’s, Bonus-Baby provisions to punnish wealthy teams in the 1950’s etc.) when something was wrong, we have a puppet whose sole goal is to harmonize the leagues and blur any differences between franchises to made a universal business model of a “team” controlled by a salary structure which he can sell as a per-packaged model to other interested locales around the world.

    Wonderful.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I agree with the point about the Commissioner. In my opinion it’s a complete farce that Bud Selig is the Commissioner of MLB. I think it’s a farce without even addressing the question of his competence in the position. The Commissioner of MLB is supposed to be an independent entity in place to act as the arbiter and decision-maker between (and more powerful than) the players and the owners. Bud Selig’s tenure as the Commissioner of MLB is a perversion of the intended role of that position. Since Selig became Commissioner we, as fans, and the media, have been told he’s a good Commissioner because MLB is making money, etc. But that’s not the Commissioner’s intended role. The Commissioner is not supposed to make money for the owners, he’s supposed to act in the best interest of the game.

      MLB needs to hire an independent Commissioner who is not beholden to either the owners or the players, but who is beholden to acting in the best interest of baseball.

      (And yes, clearly I don’t always necessarily consider making money to be the “best interest of baseball.” If you disagree with that premise, then Selig’s a fine choice.)

    • Whitey14

      Ha ha, he called Bowie Kuhn a Strong Commissioner. That’s awesome! I needed a good laugh.

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Whether you like(d) Kuhn or not is irrelevant. The context clearly shows he was discussing management style (strong vs. passive, etc.), and in that context his statement about Kuhn being “strong” is perfectly valid.

        And if you really found that funny, go rent season 1 of Sunny or something. Seriously.

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    Crede to the Twins for a guaranteed 2.5 mil, 7.5 mil possible in incentives, speaking of free agents.

    • Mike Pop

      Good deal for them. Brings in solid defense and a guy who can hit the long ball. If he stays healthy, he helps that team alot in my opinion.

      • mike

        Bad back on turf……..lets see how this works out. But, in this market not a bad sign.

        I still think Abreu, for a little more money, would have been a better sign for their team

  • JM

    So… U think I can find some relation with this and the whole government scheme. Government wants to bail out (which never works) banks and other companies for giving loans and stuff to people who couldn’t pay it back. Now, because some guys misread the market, they can get “bailed out” by getting signed and traded to get their money. ANYONE ELSE SEE THIS CONNECTION?

    • Rich

      That some markets, like Minnesota, are too small to be allowed to fail?

      (I’ll forbear on discussing the economics of gov’t bailouts.)

    • mike

      Yes – but realize that each of these teams are dependent upon eachother, because without them the other teams have no one to play – its very simplistic, but if your neighbor’s house is in foreclosure, you can still live in your house if the value goes down, while in baseball not only with the “house” ( team value, overall value of package to advertisers etc) drop in value, but you might actually lose your house too.

      BTW this whole bailout is complete nonsense, as is every scheme from the Left and Right about to get out of the mess they created – have any of them ever had a real job and know about budgeting??

  • Drew

    Grab a Hanky! I’m sure Small Stein will raise some hell.

  • Back to Glory

    this is one of the most rediculous posts on this site. Quoting johnny damon on what couldv’e been worse? Come on, its obvious murder is worse but we are talking about CHEATING. Remember we are watching a competitive sport here that we are all fans of? The reason why this is a big deal is because he is the best player in baseball, he is an athlete and there are a lot of records at stake. If he was some shmuck playing beerleauge softball then you can say this is all “not a big deal” as you were implying. I personally will stand with those who take the moral high ground and are going to stop apologizing for these players who have taken steroids. Johnny damon and everyone who thinks like him should shut thier mouths because it reminds people who believe in GOOD and RIGHT that we are sliding down the slippery slope very fast here.

    • J-Gao

      Ummm…wrong one.

    • steve (different one)

      actually, YOU are on the slippery slope.

      the people who wound up seizing the 2003 drug tests, including A-Rod’s, did NOT have a subpoena to do so.

      the subpoena was ONLY for Bonds’ test.

      but the government went in and grabbed every single thing they could, regardless of whether or not they had the legal right to do so.

      YOU seem to think that was ok, b/c “there are a lot of records at stake”, even though it was not legal. that is the definition of a slippery slope.

      A-Rod was wrong, and he WILL pay for his sins against baseball, but the people that seized his test results and subsequently leaked his name DID do something worse than A-Rod.

      just a different perspective, but an important one. remember, baseball is just a game. civil rights are a little more important in my book.

      you can’t always let the ends justify the means.

      ps. you are in the wrong thread.

    • Drew

      Its not cheating if there is no rule against it. What, it was illegal? No, so sorry, illegal in the USA is not illegal everywhere. MLB is an international sport.

      • Johnny

        drew and different steven make perfect sense. I don’t think taking steroids is a good thing and I don’t condone MLB players using them. However, the past is the past. For example:

        In 2003 I was addicted to cocaine and destroying more of my life every day. Not records, not some bullshit concept of integrity, nothing less than my life was in danger.

        fast forward

        after a lot of hard work I have achieved a lot of success in my life, and it’s only getting better.

        Should I have to have to answer every day for past mistakes?

        more directly to Back to glory’s point, should my friends and family be denouncing me as a monster to anybody who finds out about my less than perfect past?

        Regular people rarely recover from mistakes without the support of the people close to them, so why wouldn’t Damon, or anybody else for that matter, support A-ROD?

        Oh right, because that would be an affront to the purity of the SPORT. I love baseball…but seriously it’s a SPORT, not life or death.

  • Whitey14

    If the Diamondbacks sign Cruz, and he waives his rights to not be traded before June 15th (Which ANY free agent can do, or could have done), and the Diamondbacks and Twins agree on a deal, there is no rule breaking happening.

    It always intrigues me that Yankee fans feel everybody and every rule is against them and everybody else thinks that every rule and everybody is pro-Yankee. Somebody’s wrong…..

    • Whitey14

      Sorry, many Yankee fans, not all Yankees fans…and many non-Yankee fans, not all non-Yankee fans

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “If the Diamondbacks sign Cruz, and he waives his rights to not be traded before June 15th (Which ANY free agent can do, or could have done), and the Diamondbacks and Twins agree on a deal, there is no rule breaking happening.”

        That argument was made above, by Yankees fans.

        “It always intrigues me that Yankee fans feel everybody and every rule is against them and everybody else thinks that every rule and everybody is pro-Yankee. Somebody’s wrong…..
        Sorry, many Yankee fans, not all Yankees fans…and many non-Yankee fans, not all non-Yankee fans”

        Methinks you’re confusing yourself with your own generalizations. You mean certain groups of fans think some rules are unfair and their favorite teams get screwed sometimes? That’s groundbreaking.

        • Whitey14

          No, I mean it seems that many of you think the Yankees are at some sort of disadvantage and have to fight against the world to accomplish anything and many people who are not Yankee fans think it’s always been the opposite going back to the Yankee “farm teams” in Kansas City and St. Louis. The current system totally supports the Yankee philosophy of “if you can’t build it, buy it” so there doesn’t seem to be much in their way. Is that clearer for you?

          And sorry not to use the reply to comment link, but above when I chastized Bowie Kuhn and you decided to step in and defend Mike’s context for whatever reason, you clearly showed you don’t know much about Bowie Kuhn. He was Walter O’Malley’s lap dog. He wasn’t a strong leader, which is precisely why the owners kept him around, he routinely undermined the owners during labor negotiations helping to strengthen the Player’s Association, and he stuck his face in where it wasn’t needed, always citing “the best interests of baseball” whether it applied or not. He was not a strong leader and didn’t have a strong leadership style. I’d suggest a copy of “Lords of the Realm” for some inside dope on the real history of baseball.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            “No, I mean it seems that many of you think the Yankees are at some sort of disadvantage and have to fight against the world to accomplish anything and many people who are not Yankee fans think it’s always been the opposite going back to the Yankee “farm teams” in Kansas City and St. Louis. The current system totally supports the Yankee philosophy of “if you can’t build it, buy it” so there doesn’t seem to be much in their way. Is that clearer for you?”

            More clear. No more persuasive nor intelligent, but the inanity of your comments is more clear, thanks.

            “And sorry not to use the reply to comment link, but above when I chastized Bowie Kuhn and you decided to step in and defend Mike’s context for whatever reason, you clearly showed you don’t know much about Bowie Kuhn.”

            “For whatever reason?” So the context of the comment doesn’t matter? I even prefaced my comment by stating that analysis of Kuhn’s competence/effectiveness/worth is irrelevant. It was a statement about passivity/proactivity. The context of the statement is of the utmost relevance. You are wrong. Good day sir.

            • Whitey14

              You stayed up all night and all you could come up with was that? No wonder TSJC is continually taking you to task.

              Proactivity does not make one strong, especially if they’re normally wrong when they make decisions. You clearly didn’t live through the 70’s when Kuhn was at his worst so it’s pointless to try to help you understand how incredibly wrong you are.

              • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                “You stayed up all night and all you could come up with was that?”

                Yes, I stayed up all night pondering how to respond to you. Harsh burn. You’re mean.

                “No wonder TSJC is continually taking you to task.”

                It’s cute that you like TSJC so much that you use his likes/dislikes as your argument. And he can obviously correct me if I’m wrong about this, but I’m pretty sure you’re wrong about him “taking me to task.” I think maybe you take jokes about Raul Mondesi’s waistline a little too seriously.

                “Proactivity does not make one strong, especially if they’re normally wrong when they make decisions.”

                Semantics. He used the word “strong” and pretty clearly meant “proactive.” The rightness/wrongness of the decisions wasn’t the point, it was a point about proactivity versus passivity.

                “You clearly didn’t live through the 70’s when Kuhn was at his worst so it’s pointless to try to help you understand how incredibly wrong you are.”

                I feel like I’ve heard this kind of talk before… Hmmmmmmm. Nope, can’t seem to place it.

                Agree to disagree. This couldn’t be much less interesting.

  • Michael

    For a good analysis of why this matters very much (regardless of whether it breaks any MLB rules), check out the nomaas draft blog – http://www.nomaas.org/draft/

    Basically, if 3 more Type A/B free agents sign with new teams before the June draft, the Yankees second round compensatory pick (from not signing Bittle) moves ahead of Boston’s natural second round pick.

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    I’m with HMC. I don’t understand where the outrage is coming from. The article in question makes it look like this is a perfectly legal transaction that the union typically has tried to strong-arm teams and players out of, without much of a leg to stand on. And now they say they’ll back down. If there’s an outrage, it’s that people weren’t doing this all along, since the ‘without the player’s consent’ phrase makes it explicitly legal. What am I missing?

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      HCM! I didn’t spend 6 years in Honorable Congressman Mondesi school to be called Honorable Mondesi Congressman, thank you very much.

      Otherwise, quite enlightened.

      • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

        Fair enough. But I do fear that higher education is getting far too specialized.

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