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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Baseball

MLBPA ‘very disappointed’ with MLB over economic proposal

MLB logo

While the NBA and NHL seem on track for returns to action and the NFL seems to be going about things nearly business as usual, MLB continues to lag behind because of pay disputes.

MLB and the players’ union met on Tuesday to discuss an economic proposal having to do with how the limited revenue will be divided between the sides. According to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, the MLBPA is “very disappointed” with the proposal.

The two sides have been at odds.

They first reached an agreement early on in the pandemic, but that was based on fans being able to attend games. The lack of fans will cost the sport a huge chunk of its revenue pie, so the owners are looking to make adjustments and have players take less money so that the losses are more evenly shared between them and the players.

The two sides should be motivated to get a deal done, and we expect they will. MLB would like to have a shortened season start in July, so they would have to reach a deal soon to meet their desired timeline.

It’s early in the negotiation process and things should improve, but having them bicker over these matters publicly reflects poorly on those involved in the league.

Blake Snell changes agents, hires Scott Boras

Blake Snell

Blake Snell was outspoken recently in expressing concerns over his financial future, and the Tampa Bay Rays star has now decided to hire one of the most powerful agents in sports.

Snell said Monday that he is changing representation, but he did not discuss specifics. According to Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic, Snell has left Apex Baseball to sign with Scott Boras.

Snell is signed through the 2023 season. Apex negotiated his current five-year, $50 million deal, which he signed in March of 2019 and was the largest contract in MLB history for a player before he reached arbitration. The left-hander will be 31 when he is scheduled to become a free agent in 2024.

While Snell is not up for a new contract anytime soon, it may not be a coincidence that he has hired Boras at a time when MLB is negotiating a deal with players for a likely abbreviated 2020 season. Snell was outspoken in criticizing team owners for asking players to take a pay cut, and Boras has also spoken out against the league over the handling of the negotiations.

Snell dealt with injuries last season and underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery. He made just 23 starts and posted a 4.29 ERA. The season was a major disappointment for him after he won the Cy Young Award in 2018 with a 21-5 record and outstanding 1.89 ERA.

Report: MLB players may be open to deferring 2020 salary payments

Rob Manfred

The 2020 Major League Baseball season remains in serious jeopardy as owners and players try to work out a pay structure, but the players may be open to making one concession that they did not agree to back in March.

MLB is set to present players with a new economic proposal this week, and Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported on Monday that the MLB Players Association may be receptive to deferring 2020 salary. The union has remained adamant that players will not accept further decreases in pay, but deferring 2020 salary could help address cash-flow problems owners will have as a result of the postponed — and potentially shortened — season.

Owners may be hesitant to defer payments, however, as that could just push the same problem further down the road. Another potential solution would be extending the season from the current proposal of 82 games, as players would make more in that situation if their salaries were prorated. MLB would prefer a shortened season to increase the chances of having a full postseason. Owners have also said they will lose money for every additional game that is played if games are played without fans.

MLB and the players agreed back in March to a shortened season and prorated salaries, but the league then turned around and said owners will lose too much money playing in empty ballparks. Teams now want players to agree to some sort of pay reduction, and the union has slammed the league over the idea.

Nationals’ World Series rings include Baby Shark engraving

Baby Shark was a big part of the Washington Nationals’ World Series run, so it only makes sense that it appears on the ring in some form.

The Nationals released the design of their championship rings on Sunday as part of a video. Roughly two minutes in, the video draws attention to the inside of the ring, which includes a special Baby Shark engraving.

You have to love it. Nationals fans had a blast with the Baby Shark phenomenon and it quickly became identified with the team. It simply had to make its way onto the ring somehow.

Gerardo Parra, who use the song as his walkup music and started the craze, went even further in his recognition of Baby Shark.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo clears teams to open training camp

Professional sports in New York took a major step toward returning on Sunday, as governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that teams are free to open their training facilities.

Cuomo said teams across the state of New York can resume training as long as proper health protocols are taken. That clears the way for the Buffalo Bills to move from virtual workouts to in-person activities.

The Giants and Jets play and train in New Jersey, so they are still awaiting clearance from governor Phil Murphy. However, Murphy is expected to follow Cuomo’s lead in the near future.

The NFL has told teams they can reopen their facilities as long as their local governments approve, and several teams have already received clearance. Since New York was hit the hardest by the virus, it is a good sign that sports have been given the green light in the state.

While sporting events will undoubtedly look a lot different than we’re used to when they resume, things appear to be trending in the right direction.

Noah Syndergaard shares his side of lease dispute lawsuit

Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard on Saturday shared his side of a legal dispute he’s involved in with a landlord.

The New York Post reported on Friday that Syndergaard is being sued by a company that accuses the pitcher of not paying the rent on a penthouse apartment he signed up to rent in February.

The lease was for eight months at $27,000 a month. The New York Mets pitcher was set to move in on March 20 but never did. He is accused of not making any payments and defaulting on the lease, which has led to the suit. The landlord says he has been unable to rent the apartment since.

Syndergaard posted a note on Twitter to defend himself. He says he offered to pay two months of rent and that he decided against moving in amid the pandemic. Syndergaard is also upset the landlord leaked the story to the media.

Sadly, this is one example of many similar disputes that will be coming over the next year or so.

The 27-year-old pitcher is recovering from Tommy John surgery he underwent in March.

5 MLB teams most likely to surprise this season

Lucas Giolito

The MLB season looks like it will be played in some form, which is good news for teams who had high hopes for the 2020 season. Multiple teams have put the pieces in place to have a very good season — sometimes in a way that will defy expectations.

Here are five MLB teams that had poor 2019 seasons but could be poised to surprise in 2020.

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