The QO and the current CBA

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Mighty Joe Young

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JakeRae said:
Drew is getting screwed by a fundamentally unfair system and has every right to complain about it. Just because his loss is relative to a baseline that is pretty awesome doesn't mean his loss isn't real.
But why is it a "fundamentally unfair system" ? This was bargained by the union .. Just because it has a detrimental affect on maybe 3 or 4 guys every year doesn't mean it's an unfair system. Unfair to whom? Far few players are subject to compensation effects than under the old system.

It seems to me that the major difference to years past, that is pre Qualifying Offer - is the affect the loss of a pick has on the draft signing pool. Teams have been losing picks for decades and it was never much of a big deal. But losing 3 or 4 million out of your pool IS a big deal.

This will shake out over time. Players will start accepting QOs who's only purpose was to insure a pick - resulting in fewer QOs
 

JakeRae

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
But why is it a "fundamentally unfair system" ? This was bargained by the union .. Just because it has a detrimental affect on maybe 3 or 4 guys every year doesn't mean it's an unfair system. Unfair to whom? Far few players are subject to compensation effects than under the old system.

It seems to me that the major difference to years past, that is pre Qualifying Offer - is the affect the loss of a pick has on the draft signing pool. Teams have been losing picks for decades and it was never much of a big deal. But losing 3 or 4 million out of your pool IS a big deal.

This will shake out over time. Players will start accepting QOs who's only purpose was to insure a pick - resulting in fewer QOs
The system is fundamentally unfair because it attaches a cost to signing some players that does not exist for the signing of others. The fact that it was collectively bargained does not impact that analysis. Collective bargaining represents the interests of the class of players as a whole, not each individual. A collectively bargained deal will almost always be unfair to some employees it covers. That isn't a criticism of unions or collective bargaining since the benefits to the whole can outweigh, sometimes dramatically, the unfairness. But, it is a reason why collective bargaining can't be looked to as a basis for judging a system fair.

Similarly, the fact that the old system hurt more players is not a valid justification of the fairness of the current system. It may be more fair and it may be better, but that does not make it fair or optimal. One could argue that it is optimal, but there really is no argument that it is fair to those who are offered QOs.

Lastly, the more limited impact, on total players, of the current system may be exacerbating its impact on those it does affect. More likely, it has just shifted the class of players by changing the margin line at which the decision to sacrifice a draft pick is relevant. This is basically an opportunity cost issue. If all FA starting caliber SS are subject to compensation, none will have difficulty signing. If only one is, they very well might.

None of this is to say that players are not better off under the new system. Part of the inflation of the last couple years may be reflective of this improved position in FA. But, Drew remains a clear loser in the current system and it strikes me as reasonable, although possibly not prudent, that he would voice his frustration with the process.
 

smastroyin

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There is probably an interesting discussion to be hard talking about the CBA and QOs in general.  Let's not keep the Drew thread alive to have that discussion.
 

Rasputin

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JakeRae said:
The system is fundamentally unfair because it attaches a cost to signing some players that does not exist for the signing of others. 
 
Fair is pretty much a useless concept here. Drew was in the players association when the deal was negotiated and signed. He knew what the deal meant, and unless he's an utter moron, he had to know that he's exactly the kind of player affected.
 
The problem with the whole thing is that the owners are trying to use the CBA with the players to enforce some sort of competitive balance and that's just a horseshit way to do things. Why should the players foot the bill for the owners' inability to police themselves?
 

finnVT

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Rasputin said:
 
Fair is pretty much a useless concept here. Drew was in the players association when the deal was negotiated and signed. He knew what the deal meant, and unless he's an utter moron, he had to know that he's exactly the kind of player affected.
 
Was the CBA approved unanimously?  Hypothetically, if Drew had objected at the time, but it passed anyway (the few dozen players potentially impacted by this wouldn't necessarily be enough to stop it passing, correct?), would that change your opinion?
 

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finnVT said:
Was the CBA approved unanimously?  Hypothetically, if Drew had objected at the time, but it passed anyway (the few dozen players potentially impacted by this wouldn't necessarily be enough to stop it passing, correct?), would that change your opinion?
 
I dunno, maybe. Is there any particular reason to believe this is the case?
 

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I think the more pertinent point is that Drew and Boras knew when they turned down the QO that any team signing him would have to surrender a first (or its highest available) pick, and should have appreciated the possible consequences.
 
Everyone makes mistakes but questioning the system now conveniently deflects attention from the fact that he made his decision with his eyes wide open.
 
I do feel a little badly for Drew.  He's a likable guy who is caught up in a terrible bind.
 

Rasputin

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TheoShmeo said:
Everyone makes mistakes but questioning the system now conveniently deflects attention from the fact that he made his decision with his eyes wide open.
 
And despite the fact that Nick Cafardo agrees with me, I'm still not convinced it was a bad decision.
 
 
TheoShmeo said:
I do feel a little badly for Drew.  He's a likable guy who is caught up in a terrible bind.
 
Leaving aside the fact that he could retire now and his grandchildren would sill be set for life, if he didn't want to play hardball with pretty much everyone, he wouldn't have hired Boras as his agent. I rather suspect that Drew doesn't feel caught up in a terrible bind.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Rasputin said:
 
Fair is pretty much a useless concept here. Drew was in the players association when the deal was negotiated and signed. He knew what the deal meant, and unless he's an utter moron, he had to know that he's exactly the kind of player affected.
 
I don't think "fair" is a useless concept.
 
It is true that this deal was collectively bargained, negotiated, and signed.  In the sense that all parties agreed to the restrictions, the deal is fair.
 
That doesn't mean that the deal doesn't screw a small group of players, as this deal does.  I don't think the deal was intended to screw them, but sometimes the effects of a new CBA can't be predicted ahead of time.  (See, for example, the draft: I don't there was widespread agreement when the CBA was signed that teams would obviously draft "signability" guys in the first round and "nearly free" guys in rounds 6-10 in order to reserve more cap room for rounds 2-5 and 10+ but that is clearly what most teams are doing.)
 
Anyway, there is a simple fix that would make the current system "more fair" to players in Drew's situation: remove the one week deadline for accepting the qualifying offer.  In other words, the Sox make the qualifying offer to Drew and it stays on the table until they choose to withdraw the offer - which they are free to do at any time.  However, if they withdraw the offer they are no longer eligible to receive compensation.  
 
Another possible fix: every qualifying offer must include a one year player option.  
 

finnVT

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Rasputin said:
 
I dunno, maybe. Is there any particular reason to believe this is the case?
It's not clear to me he'd even have gotten to vote on it... isn't the cba negotiated and ratified by the mlbpa executive board?
 

snowmanny

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Eddie Jurak said:
 
I don't think "fair" is a useless concept.
 
It is true that this deal was collectively bargained, negotiated, and signed.  In the sense that all parties agreed to the restrictions, the deal is fair.
 
That doesn't mean that the deal doesn't screw a small group of players, as this deal does.  I don't think the deal was intended to screw them, but sometimes the effects of a new CBA can't be predicted ahead of time.  (See, for example, the draft: I don't there was widespread agreement when the CBA was signed that teams would obviously draft "signability" guys in the first round and "nearly free" guys in rounds 6-10 in order to reserve more cap room for rounds 2-5 and 10+ but that is clearly what most teams are doing.)
 
Anyway, there is a simple fix that would make the current system "more fair" to players in Drew's situation: remove the one week deadline for accepting the qualifying offer.  In other words, the Sox make the qualifying offer to Drew and it stays on the table until they choose to withdraw the offer - which they are free to do at any time.  However, if they withdraw the offer they are no longer eligible to receive compensation.  
 
Another possible fix: every qualifying offer must include a one year player option.  
The problem is that the entire deal was collectively bargained, so you can't really "fix" one part of the deal for the benefit of a few players because that comes at some cost to the owners.  If Stephen Drew and Nelson Cruz and Ervin Santana would have made an extra $100,000,000 in guaranteed money under your "fix" that is not necessarily what the owners would want.  There may be some fundamental piece of the CBA that seems "unfair" to three or four owners (e.g. what if you were the Brewers and your pick wasn't protected and the Mets pick was even though you had the same record?) so really there is nothing to be done until the whole CBA gets renegotiated.
 

Rasputin

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Eddie Jurak said:
 
I don't think "fair" is a useless concept.
 
It is true that this deal was collectively bargained, negotiated, and signed.  In the sense that all parties agreed to the restrictions, the deal is fair.
 
That doesn't mean that the deal doesn't screw a small group of players, as this deal does.  
 
I think the thing that is screwing these players is that teams are vastly overvaluing a single draft pick. The Pirates and Reds both made the wild card game with shortstops who just can't hit. Having Drew for the next three or four years is almost certainly going to be worth more than a first round draft pick. 
 
 
Eddie Jurak said:
 (See, for example, the draft: I don't there was widespread agreement when the CBA was signed that teams would obviously draft "signability" guys in the first round and "nearly free" guys in rounds 6-10 in order to reserve more cap room for rounds 2-5 and 10+ but that is clearly what most teams are doing.)
 
I remember hearing people talk about that strategy before the deal was signed. I want to say Keith Law was the one that went on a bit of a rant about it on some podcast or other.
 
 
Eddie Jurak said:
Anyway, there is a simple fix that would make the current system "more fair" to players in Drew's situation: remove the one week deadline for accepting the qualifying offer.  In other words, the Sox make the qualifying offer to Drew and it stays on the table until they choose to withdraw the offer - which they are free to do at any time.  However, if they withdraw the offer they are no longer eligible to receive compensation.  
 
Another possible fix: every qualifying offer must include a one year player option.  
 
How about a team can only make the QO if the player played for them for four years? Or perhaps only if the player played two or more pre-free agency years with that team? Or perhaps a team can only make one or two QO's in a single offseason?
 
Or perhaps the owners could realize that sharing revenues isn't fucking unamerician socialist pinko commie bullshit, but the business strategy that made the NFL what it is.
 
I mean, seriously, share the revenues, shitcan all the owners who think making money is more awesome than winning, and go to fucking town.
 

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It seems to me that there are two easy fixes to the issues that have arisen.

First, teams should not be entitled to draft pick compensation for a player that they had also signed as a free agent. It is absurd that in the interests of "competitive balance" a large market team like the Red Sox stand to gain a high draft pick for "losing" a player who they only had for one year and who they could certainly resign at market rates if they wanted to have him back.

Second, instead of making the QO a one year contract at the $14 million figure, which is too high for a team like Pittsburgh, make it a 3 year contract at a fixed $10 million per year, or maybe a 2 year, $12/per baseline. This would further limit the QO to players teams want a multiyear investment in.

Looking at the players who have been impacted, those two changes would probably have left them all free of the QO baggage.
 

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Eddie Jurak said:
Eddie Jurak, on 23 Feb 2014 - 10:02 AM, said:

 
I don't think "fair" is a useless concept.
 
It is true that this deal was collectively bargained, negotiated, and signed.  In the sense that all parties agreed to the restrictions, the deal is fair.
 
That doesn't mean that the deal doesn't  screw a small group of players, as this deal does.  I don't think the deal was intended to screw them, but sometimes the effects of a new CBA can't be predicted ahead of time.  (See, for example, the draft: I don't there was widespread agreement when the CBA was signed that teams would obviously draft "signability" guys in the first round and "nearly free" guys in rounds 6-10 in order to reserve more cap room for rounds 2-5 and 10+ but that is clearly what most teams are doing.)
 
Anyway, there is a simple fix that would make the current system "more fair" to players in Drew's situation: remove the one week deadline for accepting the qualifying offer.  In other words, the Sox make the qualifying offer to Drew and it stays on the table until they choose to withdraw the offer - which they are free to do at any time.  However, if they withdraw the offer they are no longer eligible to receive compensation.  
 
Another possible fix: every qualifying offer must include a one year player option.  
 
 The CBA didn't "screw" Drew over. In fact until the season actually starts no one has been "screwed". And I have a really hard time finding the CBA at fault when a player and his agent turn down a guaranteed $14m dollar deal in hopes of more. That isn't being screwed it's taking a risk and to date being wrong about the market for your services. I'm unsure why it's in the interest of the owners to give up a single thing when 14m is a more than adequate salary, and likely an overpayment for any player still stuck in this self created limbo. You are either in demand enough to warrant far more (i.e. Ellsbury etc.) or you're not. Let's not pretend this is a CBA manufactured problem. This clearly falls on the shoulders of the Agent/Player.   
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Fair is a useless concept here because it was one of the chips negotiated for the league to accept the deal in whole.  While it is true it slightly depresses value of those who do not accept by a few million dollars, who is to say that is not a fair price to be paid for removing the entire Type A and Type B system, which arguably depressed (though by far lesser amounts) many more players.
 
Drew can get signed by whomever he wants whenever he wants if he were to play for less money.  I'm not sure whether that is fair or not but that is the reality.
 
And if you really want to talk about unfair, the entire arbitration process is unfair to the owners and I think they'd be happy to get rid of it if they could.
 
BTW, we had this same thread last year.
 

Rasputin

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By the way, if you're Scott Boras, isn't your advice on any offer going to be to wait until a few weeks into spring training games to see if Jeter actually falls apart?
 
It's kind of hard to see how he's getting screwed when what has happened is likely indistinguishable from his next to best case scenario.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Also, my guess is that neither the union nor the owners foresaw what would happen with the QO when combined with the draft pick salary cap.  There have been a couple of posts in different threads stating that draft picks are overvalued (for what it is worth, I heard Heyman say the same thing on talk radio a few days ago); I think this is completely wrong.  With the draft pick salary cap, the limits on signing international players, and the fatct that fewer players are hitting free agency, I think draft picks have become increasingly more valuable and - just like the NFL - teams (except the couple of teams that have no restraints on payroll) are going to rise and fall on how well they draft/scout/develop.
 

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wade boggs chicken dinner said:
There have been a couple of posts in different threads stating that draft picks are overvalued (for what it is worth, I heard Heyman say the same thing on talk radio a few days ago); I think this is completely wrong.  With the draft pick salary cap, the limits on signing international players, and the fatct that fewer players are hitting free agency, I think draft picks have become increasingly more valuable and - just like the NFL - teams (except the couple of teams that have no restraints on payroll) are going to rise and fall on how well they draft/scout/develop.
 
As much as this makes me want to change my mind, I think I am going to stick to my guns on this one. The QO doesn't go to just any schlub, it goes to someone who is worth giving a three or four year deal to with the reasonable expectation that they will be more than mediocre. I think Drew is a pretty good poster child for the kind of player who gets a QO. He's above average on both sides of the ball without being the super awesomest ever on either side. A team has to weight the value of three or four years of above average performance against the likelihood of a first round pick being anything from substantially more than above average, to a complete and total flop with whatever actual value you get likely coming at least three years after the pick is made.
 
For a team that is almost but not quite there, giving up the draft pick for the player seems utterly obviously the right move.
 
The problem with giving up draft picks isn't that any one draft pick is going to be the problem, but that routinely giving them away in bunches means you're completely shutting yourself off from one of the most cost effective ways of acquiring talent.
 

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What's good (or "fair") about the current CBA is that it presents a series of choices to the parties involved. In Drew's case, the club got to make the first choice: QO or no QO. Then Drew got to make a choice: accept or reject the QO. Yes, the QO means that he does not have the option of unfettered free agency, as Saltalamacchia did. But that doesn't mean Saltalamacchia was automatically in a more enviable position. He had no constraints, but also no safety net. Theoretically, he could have gotten no offers from anyone. Drew at least had the option of security, which he declined.
 

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This needs to broken down along lines of interest:
 
The point of the QO is to compensate teams that loose their talent to FA. This is primarily to help smaller market/ poorer teams that would see their best talent poached in FA by large market teams. A big issue is one of fairness, i.e. that the system does have to apply to all 30 teams (because revenue is easily hidden in RSNs, and just because there is the Yankee end of the spectrum, there's also the Rays and Marlins). Every team is trying to reduce the cost they pay players, and are using monopoly powers to do it.
 
The MLBPA could probably get draft pick compensation removed from the CBA, but they want it in as it is the only way they have anything to say about the structure of the draft. Without compensation the structure of the draft and beginning player contracts would fall completely under the discretion of the owners. Drew's situation (limits on his market by draft compensation) is the price the union pays to have a say in minor league contracts and the draft.
 
The new CBA has drastically reduced the problems with draft compensation, but it has had the reverse effect of making the fewer cases stand out more (by having the player waiting on a job be the former SS for the WS champs, rather than a bunch of middle relievers). The holes could probably be closed pretty easily, but they would require the owership group to give up a bit of control (and therefore $) in the draft (say by not connecting pool money to lost picks) or by making changes so that only players like Ellsbury (drafted and with a team for all 6 years) are elligible for draft compensation. Any changes made probably need to have competitive balance in mind...
 

kieckeredinthehead

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Rasputin said:
 
I think the thing that is screwing these players is that teams are vastly overvaluing a single draft pick. The Pirates and Reds both made the wild card game with shortstops who just can't hit. Having Drew for the next three or four years is almost certainly going to be worth more than a first round draft pick. 
 
 
If that's the case, then it means the Red Sox overpaid Drew last year in anticipation of getting his draft pick compensation this year. The value in the QO for Drew was front-loaded into his contract last year. There's no way a guy who missed half of his games the previous two seasons would get $9.5 million without a team expecting to receive draft compensation on the other end of that deal. Thanks to the current compensation system, Drew was set up to receive a 2 year, $24 million deal from Boston, but he declined the mutual option after the first year.
 

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OCD has the right point of view: the rules on QOs exist because they further the interests of the negotiating parties. Whether it's fair for any player is perhaps interesting to discuss but totally unrelated to the forces that create QO rules. As Jalen Rose has said "In our economy you don't get your fair value, you get what you have the power to negotiate". Drew has no power to negotiate the QO structure beyond his vote in the MLBPA. So he suffers a loss in value. Too bad for him but hardly uncommon in a labor market.

One interest that wasn't mentioned above is the owners interest in keeping stars from changing teams. It helps MLB marketing to have Jeter on one team his whole career, and he'd be much less recognizable if he put up the same stats for 6 different teams. This is exactly opposed to the players interests in full free agency. But the players know the total pot is increased with more marketable stars so they tend to compromise with fetters on free agency that facilitate stars staying with one team. Which leads to draft pick compensation in baseball, better max contracts for your own FAs in basketball, and franchise tags in football.
 

Rasputin

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kieckeredinthehead said:
 
If that's the case, then it means the Red Sox overpaid Drew last year in anticipation of getting his draft pick compensation this year. The value in the QO for Drew was front-loaded into his contract last year. There's no way a guy who missed half of his games the previous two seasons would get $9.5 million without a team expecting to receive draft compensation on the other end of that deal. Thanks to the current compensation system, Drew was set up to receive a 2 year, $24 million deal from Boston, but he declined the mutual option after the first year.
 
I'm not sure that really follows. Drew had established himself as a guy who was pretty good on both sides of the ball. He loses a season--spread across two years--to injury, comes back and demonstrates he's healthy. He plays a premium position. How much is he worth? If ten million is too much, what's right, six million, seven million? Five? How much of the ten million is for the draft pick?
 
And perhaps more to the point, how does thinking teams are overvaluing draft picks now mean that the Sox overvalued the draft pick when they signed Drew? Drew got ten million. At least some of it was for his abilities which means the Sox valued the pick at less than ten million. These teams are refusing to sign a player that can help them for multiple seasons. And sure, things get mushy because they also have to actually pay the player, but four years of a good shortstop is worth a hell of a lot more than five or six million.
 

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kieckeredinthehead said:
 
If that's the case, then it means the Red Sox overpaid Drew last year in anticipation of getting his draft pick compensation this year. The value in the QO for Drew was front-loaded into his contract last year. There's no way a guy who missed half of his games the previous two seasons would get $9.5 million without a team expecting to receive draft compensation on the other end of that deal. Thanks to the current compensation system, Drew was set up to receive a 2 year, $24 million deal from Boston, but he declined the mutual option after the first year.
 
Completely agree. RS signed Drew with the expectation of getting either draft compensation or a player after a year who was worth at least the 14 Million in the 2nd year.  Drew and Boras took a gamble and completely misread the market.  If the idea was that Drew felt he was worth 35M over 3 years (unfortunately their expectations were probably 42M for 3 yrs), the QO allowed Drew to get at least this albeit with some risk: 1 @ 14 then a 2 yr contract for at least 21 Million.  He misread his hand and it may cost him some money (have a great year in 2014 and what looks like a bad decision right now, becomes a good decision next Thanksgiving).  Similarly, the Salty thread was full of comments that the RS made a mistake and should have offered him a QO as well. Clearly the market determined he was not worth offer and his eventual contract had no 1st round pick attached.  For Drew even without a 1st rd pick attached (and for many teams it is a 2nd round pick), the market at a 14 million AAV is not there. 
 

kieckeredinthehead

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Rasputin said:
 
I'm not sure that really follows. Drew had established himself as a guy who was pretty good on both sides of the ball. He loses a season--spread across two years--to injury, comes back and demonstrates he's healthy. He plays a premium position. How much is he worth? If ten million is too much, what's right, six million, seven million? Five? How much of the ten million is for the draft pick?
 
And perhaps more to the point, how does thinking teams are overvaluing draft picks now mean that the Sox overvalued the draft pick when they signed Drew? Drew got ten million. At least some of it was for his abilities which means the Sox valued the pick at less than ten million. These teams are refusing to sign a player that can help them for multiple seasons. And sure, things get mushy because they also have to actually pay the player, but four years of a good shortstop is worth a hell of a lot more than five or six million.
 
Yeah, if the Red Sox weren't expecting to net a pick from Drew, he probably would've earned $1-3 million less on that contract. Now that he's got draft pick compensation attached, teams have two options:
 
(1) Sign him to a one year deal, receive a pick next year to compensate for the one lost this year. Drew will receive $1-3 million less than the Red Sox paid because his new team nets 0 draft picks
(2) Sign him to a multi-year deal and lose the draft pick outright. Drew will receive $2-6 million less on his total deal because teams net -1 draft picks
 
Drew overvalued himself based on what he got from the Red Sox last year because he failed to recognize that they were paying him for the pick. That, combined with a weak market for a lefty-hitting shortstop with a strong split means that Drew is, currently, getting offers that are lower than expected on two fronts.
 

MakMan44

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Isn't part of the problem Drew's expectations? He's had chances to sign, several times over. We know the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets have all offered him contracts. 
 
It's been a constant problem this offseason. Nelson Cruz just signed for 8 million, after spending months looking for a bigger deal. Sure, the QO is depressing their market but it's not eliminating it. 
 
EDIT: Removed Garza section, thanks RHF. 
 

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MakMan44 said:
Isn't part of the problem Drew's expectations? He's had chances to sign, several times over. We know the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets have all offered him contracts. 
 
It's been a constant problem this offseason. Nelson Cruz just signed for 8 million, after spending months looking for a bigger deal. Same thing for Garza, he had a better deal on the table from the Angels and didn't sign (there's some fuzzy aspects to this story though). Sure, the QO is depressing their market but it's not eliminating it. 
 
Garza didn't have a QO hanging around his neck, but you are still spot on.  QO compensation isn't preventing these players from signing somewhere, it's just preventing them from signing for the dollars/years that they really want.
 
This same debate happened last year as Bourn and Lohse lasted late into the process before getting their deals.  They got deals.  The question then was whether their experience would influence the borderline players in this year's free agent market.  Clearly it didn't for guys like Drew and Morales.  Perhaps next year's crop will learn the lesson and accept the QO and push the burden back into the teams' laps.  I genuinely think that every QO was offered with the expectation it would be declined, even with players they might not be happy to have back at the QO price.  Until a player or two accept, I doubt that will change.
 

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I think one issue that is lurking throughout this discussion is that draft picks may be overvalued right now with how the QO system and draft are set up.  That is really what is causing Drew to have problems finding a team, not the fact that no one wants to sign him.  I think that with the slotting system keeping bonuses low, draft picks are at their highest value ever right now, especially in relation to top-end contracts.  So you've created a system that encourages people to value their draft picks more steeply, which has the effect of making them more averse to signing QO players for short-term deals.  Signing a player with a QO attached only makes sense if you are getting above-average performance for a few years in order to make up for the fact that you lose a cheap draft pick.  If you loosen or get rid of the slotting system, those draft picks fall in value, and you end up seeing deals like the one Drew wants become more attractive again.  Having said that, it's also clear that Boras misread the market on him in this case, and he is the one to blame for the situation Drew is in, not the union or the CBA.
 

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kieckeredinthehead said:
 
Yeah, if the Red Sox weren't expecting to net a pick from Drew, he probably would've earned $1-3 million less on that contract. Now that he's got draft pick compensation attached, teams have two options:
 
(1) Sign him to a one year deal, receive a pick next year to compensate for the one lost this year. Drew will receive $1-3 million less than the Red Sox paid because his new team nets 0 draft picks
(2) Sign him to a multi-year deal and lose the draft pick outright. Drew will receive $2-6 million less on his total deal because teams net -1 draft picks
 
Drew overvalued himself based on what he got from the Red Sox last year because he failed to recognize that they were paying him for the pick. That, combined with a weak market for a lefty-hitting shortstop with a strong split means that Drew is, currently, getting offers that are lower than expected on two fronts.
The problem here is that the Sox paid for the chance Drew would be worth a pick in a year. With discounting and the fact that Boston continues to be one of, if not the only, team doing this, they probably didn't pay very much for this. In fact, considering that their offer wasn't even the best available to him, they might not have paid for this at all even though they valued it.

Currently, Drew is seeing his value reduced by the certainty that he will cost a pick with a significantly reduced and deferred chance of it coming back to them in the future. He is definitely losing value in the process.

That's not to say we should care. I don't care. But I'm fairly sure I would if I were Drew and I certainly don't fault him for caring.
 

Eddie Jurak

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There isn't really a compelling reason why a team should be allowed to pull its qualifying offer off the table after a week. I mean, it is the rule, but it is a stupid rule.

As of this week, Texas was absolutely not willing to pay Nelson Cruz $14.5 million (or anything close) for 2014. That's fine, but why then should they receive any sort of compensation?

Of course, the whole idea of free agent compensation is dumb, but it hurts some players more than others.
 

MakMan44

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Because a team shouldn't have to wait on pins and needles all offseason to see if their QO is going to be taken. 
 

crystalline

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MakMan44 said:
Because a team shouldn't have to wait on pins and needles all offseason to see if their QO is going to be taken. 
 
Please define "shouldn't have to" in terms of things that matter to teams: the terms that they collectively bargain for.
 
Because if you're not going to consider the realities of collective bargaining, the whole topic of QOs becomes useless to discuss.  Without considering collective bargaining, teams "shouldn't have to" let their players go to free agency.  Just keep Drew off the market by applying reserve clause control and toss him a $1M or so lifetime contract.
 
The QO expires after a week because that's what the players and teams agreed to.  It would be better for players if the offer never expired (it's an option which can never have negative value by definition).  And it would be worse for teams who would have to wait all offseason to see if their QO was going to be taken.  The real question is: how much better or worse, and how could it be structured to give a system that might be better for both parties?
 

MakMan44

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Teams are literally never going to agree to allowing the QO stand all offseason. It doesn't make sense in any way for them to give that up. Regardless, I only even made the comment because there is a very real and very compelling reason why it makes sense that QOs expire, whether it be a week or some extended length in the next CBA.
 

mauf

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The owners like draft pick compensation, because it places a tax on free agency. What's less known is that the MLBPA likes draft pick compensation too; without it, the owners could change the amateur draft rules without bargaining with the players' union. Because owners and players both want it, draft pick compensation will continue to exist in some form for the foreseeable future.

Most players are better off with the QO system than the old arbitration scheme, but there are two notable exceptions:

(1) Players who wouldn't have been "Type A" free agents under the old rules.

(2) Players who would earn more than the QO amount in arbitration.

Saltalamacchia is better off under the new rules; he would easily have been a Type A free agent (defense doesn't count in the rankings), and the Sox would likely have offered him arbitration because it would have cost much less than the QO if Salty accepted. Drew and Ortiz are worse off -- the prospect of Ortiz commanding $20mm or more in arbitration next winter would make the FO more willing to talk extension now; Drew's subpar 2011-12 numbers likely would have pulled him below the Type A threshold.
 

crystalline

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MakMan44 said:
Teams are literally never going to agree to allowing the QO stand all offseason. It doesn't make sense in any way for them to give that up. Regardless, I only even made the comment because there is a very real and very compelling reason why it makes sense that QOs expire, whether it be a week or some extended length in the next CBA.
 
You explained why teams have a very real and compelling reason to want QOs to expire.   
But again, what teams want is not the issue.  What they can negotiate for is the real issue.
 
Here's an example of why it doesn't matter what the teams want, in isolation:  The teams also have a very real and compelling reason to want to get rid of free agency.  You might have thought "teams are literally never going to agree to" free agency.   Yet the players want free agency and they choose to use their negotiating leverage to make teams accept it. 
 
Until you start talking about the two parties to collective bargaining and what value they place on the duration of QO validity, as well as what changes they might accept, you're just making empty assertions.
 

MakMan44

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It's not an empty assertion. The PA has already agreed to this, I don't see why you think the owners would back down from the QO in this form without getting something in return. 
 
EDIT: You example is also flawed. I'll leave it up to you to figure out why.
 

JakeRae

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crystalline said:
 
You explained why teams have a very real and compelling reason to want QOs to expire.   
But again, what teams want is not the issue.  What they can negotiate for is the real issue.
 
Here's an example of why it doesn't matter what the teams want, in isolation:  The teams also have a very real and compelling reason to want to get rid of free agency.  You might have thought "teams are literally never going to agree to" free agency.   Yet the players want free agency and they choose to use their negotiating leverage to make teams accept it. 
 
Until you start talking about the two parties to collective bargaining and what value they place on the duration of QO validity, as well as what changes they might accept, you're just making empty assertions.
The MLBPA wants teams to have the ability to actually spend to their budget each off-season. It is in neither side's interest to bargain for a non-expiring QO. That would be bad for ownership because it would subject the teams to cost uncertainty until all offered players signed somewhere. It would be bad for the players because FA signings by teams with pending QO's would be put on hold. The only winners are the players who are actually offered a QO and might accept it if their market doesn't materialize. They are a small enough group that their preferences don't count for much.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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As much as this makes me want to change my mind, I think I am going to stick to my guns on this one. The QO doesn't go to just any schlub, it goes to someone who is worth giving a three or four year deal to with the reasonable expectation that they will be more than mediocre. I think Drew is a pretty good poster child for the kind of player who gets a QO. He's above average on both sides of the ball without being the super awesomest ever on either side. A team has to weight the value of three or four years of above average performance against the likelihood of a first round pick being anything from substantially more than above average, to a complete and total flop with whatever actual value you get likely coming at least three years after the pick is made.
 
For a team that is almost but not quite there, giving up the draft pick for the player seems utterly obviously the right move.
 
The problem with giving up draft picks isn't that any one draft pick is going to be the problem, but that routinely giving them away in bunches means you're completely shutting yourself off from one of the most cost effective ways of acquiring talent.
 
I agree with the bolded but I think that is pretty rarely the situation, which is why so many QO guys don't get contracts.  It was certainly worth it for the Os to give up the #1 and #2 given the fact that they are likely going to lose Davis and Weiters soon and don't have replacements in the pipeline.  Their window is definitely closing, and when it closes, it will be a while before it opens back up.
 
But the way baseball is currently structured, draft picks - particularly first round draft picks and the draft slot $ that comes with it - is really the only cost effective ways of acquiring top tier talent these days.  The next few years that X and Jackie Bradley (and WMB) are going to give the Sox are going to be immensely valuable.  They will allow the Sox to extend their stars and fill in holes with in the roster with non-replacement level players.
 
Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm still very interested to see how good teams are going to be built in the coming years.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Drew certainly is 'hurt' by the fact that draft pick compensation is attached, but that cannot be viewed alone.  Drew also benefits hugely from a system in which a huge number of SS are within their first six years and thus 'team property' and not on the market, too.   Both the teams and the union negotiated a whole framework, and Drew (like most any player) benefits from aspects at some points in times and is harmed by it in others.

Absent the union, and a collective bargaining agreement, seems most likely that the players would be a lot worse off (employment at will as the default, etc.) since that is what 99% of other industries have.
 

jimbobim

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The qualifying offer problem could easily be fixed. Keep the "loss" of the pick but don't touch the allotment of money a team can spend on the draft. The loss of the money is what really hurts because it directly affects the type and quantity of talent a team  can target and be willing to go "over recommended slot" for. 
 
Teams don't like forking over the draft slot but they really don't like also having their prospect/farm money capped arbitrarily on top of what it already is.
 
A team should be able to spend in free agency and the draft and teams losing star players should always get a draft pick in return. The key is to not penalize the signing team too severely. 
 

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wade boggs chicken dinner said:
 
I agree with the bolded but I think that is pretty rarely the situation, which is why so many QO guys don't get contracts.  It was certainly worth it for the Os to give up the #1 and #2 given the fact that they are likely going to lose Davis and Weiters soon and don't have replacements in the pipeline.  Their window is definitely closing, and when it closes, it will be a while before it opens back up..
 
I've seen this as a given that Wieters will be gone. He certainly has good power, but his career OPS is 98. Maybe he's just not the star he was supposed to be, and maybe he won't break the bank entering his age-30 season.
 

Sampo Gida

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The problem is not draft pick compensation. Its the penalty imposed on teams who sign a FA who has turned down a QO.  As pointed out earlier, this is just a tax that suppresses salaries which is what MLB likes and MLBPA should never have accepted.  In the past, the suppression was nowhere near as high as it seems to be today, so MLBPA probably did not think it worth fighting over.  This sudden and collective agreement on what seems to be IMO an excessively high valuation of the value of the pick and slot money is what is the problem.  Players in this years market got caught up in this change, which seems clearer now in hindsight than it did at the start of the offseason
 
I am pretty sure this system as it currently stands does not exist in the next CBA.  For now, teams better be careful about the QO since it has a better chance of being taken.  Would the Red Sox have made Stephen Drew a QO if they thought there was a 50/50 chance he would take it?  I doubt it. 
 

MakMan44

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The suppressing salaries is an unintended side effect that has as much to do with the players themselves as it does with the QO. Furthermore, most AAVs are going to look bad when compared to $14 million. 
 
Players in this year's market also had last year's market to observe, again it's not like they're without blame here, as minimal as it may be. 
 
I do agree that I think the new CBA will probably change this in some shape or form, though I think if players actually start accepting them, we'd see it balance out a little better. 
 

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wade boggs chicken dinner said:
 
I agree with the bolded but I think that is pretty rarely the situation, which is why so many QO guys don't get contracts.  It was certainly worth it for the Os to give up the #1 and #2 given the fact that they are likely going to lose Davis and Weiters soon and don't have replacements in the pipeline.  Their window is definitely closing, and when it closes, it will be a while before it opens back up.
 
But the way baseball is currently structured, draft picks - particularly first round draft picks and the draft slot $ that comes with it - is really the only cost effective ways of acquiring top tier talent these days.  The next few years that X and Jackie Bradley (and WMB) are going to give the Sox are going to be immensely valuable.  They will allow the Sox to extend their stars and fill in holes with in the roster with non-replacement level players.
 
Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm still very interested to see how good teams are going to be built in the coming years.
 
X was an international free agent, so he was not drafted.
 

Sampo Gida

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crystalline said:
 
You explained why teams have a very real and compelling reason to want QOs to expire.   
But again, what teams want is not the issue.  What they can negotiate for is the real issue.
 
Here's an example of why it doesn't matter what the teams want, in isolation:  The teams also have a very real and compelling reason to want to get rid of free agency.  You might have thought "teams are literally never going to agree to" free agency.   Yet the players want free agency and they choose to use their negotiating leverage to make teams accept it. 
 
Until you start talking about the two parties to collective bargaining and what value they place on the duration of QO validity, as well as what changes they might accept, you're just making empty assertions.
 
 
Going to nit-pic a little here although I agree with your larger point.  Without the CBA there would be free agency for all.  The players agreed to limit free agency to players who have 6 yrs service time.  They gave that gift to the owners although Miller thought limited free agency was mutually beneficial.  In arbitration, the reserve system was struck down and every player would have been a free agent after the first year w/o the CBA.  
 
The players have a great deal of power.  They agreed to drug testing without getting much in return, and if MLB wants stricter penalties they can get something for that.
Their ultimate weapon is work stoppage, which is a limited WMD   However, they may also be getting a bit too complacent with the high salaries to use it.   Most of them are making incredibly large sums of money and while they may feel bad for the 1/2 dozen or so players caught up in the current QO system each year,  how much are they willing to give up.  MLB probably feels they are unlikely to risk hundreds of millions in salaries (600 million for each month of a strike) so a few players can get 20-30 million more in guaranteed dollars each year, and they are probably right, but a good union leader is probably a good poker player (and I don't know that they have had a good one in recent years) . 
 

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This thread is premature.  You have to see what Drew ends up getting before assuming he got "screwed".
 
As for Drew's situation, he followed Boras' advice and turned down an offer that would have made Drew one of the 50 highest paid players in the game. 
 
Drew is not one of the 50 best players in the game.  So I'm not sure how he got "screwed" by the CBA.  He gambled in the markets and lost.  If he got screwed by anyone it was his agent's bad advice.
 

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PedroKsBambino said:
Absent the union, and a collective bargaining agreement, seems most likely that the players would be a lot worse off (employment at will as the default, etc.) since that is what 99% of other industries have.
I think that's exactly right, with one comment: almost all players are better off with the current system except for superstars. Average and low-end players likely see higher salaries with a union. But guys like Trout (superstar, under team control) and Ellsbury (some offers suppressed due to luxury tax considerations) actually do worse with the CBA.
 

PedroKsBambino

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crystalline said:
I think that's exactly right, with one comment: almost all players are better off with the current system except for superstars. Average and low-end players likely see higher salaries with a union. But guys like Trout (superstar, under team control) and Ellsbury (some offers suppressed due to luxury tax considerations) actually do worse with the CBA.
 
Completely agree.  
 
Still seems to me that while Stephen Drew may or may not be getting screwed this year (we don't know what he will end up getting paid, and we do know that he voluntarily turned down $14 mil for 2014), his situation is one that the union and MLB created jointly, willingly, and with a ton of input from agents and players along the way.
 

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ALiveH said:
This thread is premature.  You have to see what Drew ends up getting before assuming he got "screwed".
 
As for Drew's situation, he followed Boras' advice and turned down an offer that would have made Drew one of the 50 highest paid players in the game. 
 
Drew is not one of the 50 best players in the game.  So I'm not sure how he got "screwed" by the CBA.  He gambled in the markets and lost.  If he got screwed by anyone it was his agent's bad advice.
 
Mike Trout is one of the 50 best players in the game, and he is "screwed" by the CBA because he is in the indentured servant period of his MLB career.
 
Of course, he would have been screwed by the previous CBA, and even more screwed by the reserve clause.
 
I don't see what's so controversial about saying that the QO has messed up Drew's market. Yes, he turned down an offer hoping for a better one. If not for the draft pick attached to the QO, he'd very likely have a better one.
 

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MakMan44 said:
I do agree that I think the new CBA will probably change this in some shape or form, though I think if players actually start accepting them, we'd see it balance out a little better. 
 
Agents could probably start by not advertising ahead of time that there is no way they will accept a QO. Forget about Drew, how on earth did Morales not accept Seattle's QO? Suggesting to teams that they might actually be on the hook for that salary would be a better start...
 
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