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MLB Players are getting angrier with each passing day

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Saturday morning’s Say Hey, Baseball includes more labor tension, the possible return of bullpen carts and some mild free agency rumors.

World Baseball Classic - Championship Round - Game 3 - USA v Puerto Rico

Every day seems like it has to be the day where a big free agent finally signs with a new team, opening up the dam and starting a frenzy that sees player after player agree to a new deal with a new team. I mean, we are less than two weeks away from the start of spring training and, depending on your count and definition of major-league free agent, there are at least 50+ players left on the market. Many of them are at the top of the market, too, with guys like Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez, Jake Arrieta and Eric Hosmer still unemployed. Fans dying for a little action aren’t the only ones getting frustrated, either. Players, both the free agents and their employed bretheren, are getting more and more angry by the day.

It certainly makes sense that players are getting upset right now as we’ve never really experienced an offseason like this. Owners, and teams in general, are less willing than ever to pony up for aging free agents and would prefer to benefit from the cheap, team-controlled labor of pre-free agency players. Players are certainly partially to blame for all of this considering that they agreed to the changes that have gotten us to this point in the most recent CBA, but that also doesn’t mean they should just sit here and let it happen. It is starting to become clear to the MLB Players Association, for the first time in a long time, that they’ll have to be willing and ready to fight long before the next round of CBA negotiations if they want a change.

On Friday, it started to become clear that they are indeed ready and willing to fight. Ken Rosenthal had a lot to say on this over at The Athletic. He mentions the new pace-of-play initiatives being proposed, and likely eventually unilaterally imposed by the commissioner. It looks increasingly unlikely that the MLBPA will accept the new rules, and largely as a protest of the owners’ actions this winter. They’ve raised the possibility of everyone refusing to report to spring training until February 24, but apparently a collective, organized showing like this is not allowed. A prominent agent has suggested boycotting spring training altogether, but it’s unclear if that’d actually work out in their favor. Either way, it continues to look like we’re barreling towards labor unrest in the near-future, and as time goes on it’s only getting worse.