Last winter, as most of the people reading this I’m sure will remember, was brutal. I’m not talking about the weather (although, if you are in the northeast it wouldn’t be untrue), but rather the pace of the offseason. Player movement was slower than ever and player angst was reaching something close to an all-time high. Everyone was getting incredibly frustrated, to the point where a work stoppage of some sort when this current CBA runs out after the 2021 season seemed inevitable. It’s early enough in this offseason that we can’t really make the conclusion that things will continue, but surely every player in the league is watching closely. After last year, a lot of the angst eventually turned around on MLB Players Association head Tony Clark and speculation began to spread that he wouldn’t be around long enough to lead the MLBPA for the next CBA negotiation.
Well, just like we learn every year with rumors about player transactions, you can’t trust everything you hear. The MLBPA is apparently sticking with what they’ve got, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Clark has received a three-year extension to stick in his current role. That will, of course, keep him around through 2022 which means he will indeed be around for the next CBA under this new contract. This was certainly a surprise given the aforementioned rumblings about displeasure with Clark, but it ultimately served as a reminder that the player pool is large. There can be a lot of opinions that don’t reflect the majority.
The more you think about it, the more the extension makes sense for the Players Union. As we’ve alluded to, this upcoming CBA in a few years is an extremely important one for the game and particularly for the players. They are looking to get some of that power back they’ve lost slowly over the last 20 years, and they need to be in the strongest position possible heading into the CBA. Some (myself included) would argue that Clark is not the best option to do that, and someone with a more concrete labor background could fit better. That being said, the most important thing is to get your ducks in a row as early as possible and present a united front. With a new contract, Clark doesn’t have to be looking on his shoulder and can instead focus on doing everything he can to get the best deal for the players the next time around. The new CBA negotiations are coming more quickly than you think, and both sides realize how important this one is. Clark and the MLBPA got crushed last time around, and they’re hoping more experience will help even the score.
- The A’s announced a new ballpark prosposal with an artistic rendering, and it looks magnificent. It also seems like far from a sure thing.
- We don’t have a whole lot of baseball to watch right now, but we do have some rare footage from 90 years ago to enjoy.
- Getting back to the potential new Athletics ballpark, how about a hometown perspective on all of that?
- Speaking of new parks for small market teams that have been a long time coming, now is the time for the Rays to finally get something done and get out of the Trop.
- The big rumor around the baseball world right now is that the Giants are listening to offers for Madison Bumgarner. Should they really deal their ace?
- Patrick Corbin is the top free agent pitcher available this winter, and he is currently enjoying a trip around the East Coast that included a recent visit with the Nationals.
- By all accounts, the Mariners are trying extremely hard to get Robinson Cano off their payroll. The veteran second baseman could be a perfect fitback in his old home in the Bronx.
- I have no words for this one. Just watch it and enjoy.
- The 2018 season was a huge year for the Brewers, and the hits just keep coming. Baseball America recently named them the organization of the year.
- Looking around the league, a whole lot of teams have clear franchise players but also a secondary player who is at least close to as good as the face of the franchise.
- Mike Matheny just signed on for a player development role in Kansas City and Royals fans aren’t thrilled about it. Don’t panic too much, you guys.