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July 31, 2017

Baseball Business

Filed under: baseball,Moneyball,On Baseball,Sports — baseball91 @ 9:28 PM
Tags: , ,

To the victors go the spoils in an increasingly materialistic time. Frozen Stiff. The reserve clause. The first time. So you were drafted. Someone choose your name. in the story, “When A Man Falls From the Sky.”

Why does the Players Association get involved in Collective Bargaining for those kids who never have had a professional baseball contract? The system, that Curt Flood objected to, is one of servitude. A kid is required to avail himself to “the system,” as worked out by the slaves and the slave masters. The system, of hero worship, when someone makes claim to you. Place To Be Determined. The news system in which teams are not allowed, like in Oakland, to take money from baseball and keep it — “They don’t spend it on the players!”

Did your know that minor League minimum salary has increased in 2016 to $86,500 in 2017, $88,000 in 2018.

According to an article in Forbes by Brian Menickella, the draft choice, “often considered the best player,” is available to the team with the previous year’s worst record – but only if the team can sign him, Menickella fails to say. The Houston Astros failed to come to terms with a young pitcher [Brady Aiken] – the first one chosen in 2014 – in the past few years, who went on in 2015 to have Tommy John surgery. According to Brian Menickella in his stilted language, each ‘drafting slot’ NOW has an associated signing bonus value; higher slots have a higher value. He means the earlier you are chosen, the more money you can get, if the team that chose you feel you are worth what the Commissioner’s office feels you should be.

In an article in Forbes by Brian Menickella who clearly does not have the language of the game down – those in the game talk about the round of a draft – going through 40 rounds of the draft, there are 315 slots, if a ball club can sign those drafted … later. Based upon budgets and a collective bonus pool. And the Major League Draft never used to be limited to 40 rounds.

“The new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Players Association became operative December 1, 2016, shifting significantly the financial impact,” according to Brian Menickella, by revaluing downward the signing bonus teams “can” pay top round draftees. The MLB free agent draft takes place each June, with ‘reduced incentives,’ changing perhaps some player strategies, he writes, about the Unproven. According to Brian Menickella’s stilted language, the Collective Bargaining Agreement “now values the top slot at $7,770,700, more than $1.2 million less than the 2016 value;” he means the first round pick in 2016 was valued by the Commissioner’s office at $8.97 million. The second round draft choice according to the Commissioner’s office has been reduced by $569,700. Menickella states how each team has the same number “of slots.” He says, each team aggregates differing amounts of money to sign an unproven kid. “Depending on which slots they’ve ‘earned’ ” – if the draft is based upon the worst records of the prior year, there is a perversion in the writer use of terms in a financial magazine – “the designated signing bonus-value of each round changes.”

What Brian Menickella never says, and what he perhaps does not know, is whether each team is required to spend the same amount of money in a given draft-year. A team does NOT spend “to attract new players through the draft process’ as he suggests but rather, on an individual basis, tries to sign a player after he is drafted. It seems like Brian Menickella is a technical writer who tried to explain how my automobile works, or is writing contracts without the easy-to-read style of insurance policies which began in 1976. “Aggregated slot-values become the team’s ‘Bonus Pool,’ for a given draft, he writes.

Driven to excess by its own triumph, as the revolution has turned into a reign of terror, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement ties overall MLB revenues to the bonus pool. Should MLB grow in popularity, measured by revenue and not television ratings, so will the fortunes of the players still playing high school ball. Brian Menickella never addresses whether there is a penalty for exceeding any existing mandated cap in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“A team may sign a number of players for which they have slots from any of,” what he calls, “three player ‘pots:’

1) international players 2) free agents and 3) rule 4 (first year) players”

It sounds a lot like a slave market, as J.G. Taylor Spink Award nominee Menickella describes, only with the kid and his agent getting the money. Those kids from the Dominican Republic never before have been subject to the draft, nor the rules with regard to their age, when they were signed.

The first draft governed by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement rules occurred six weeks ago. It is this Collective Bargaining Agreement that sets the values of the “draft slots,” Brian Menickella says ….rather than the market. There is now a more narrow margin between the top and mid-range bonuses compared to the past year or two, Brian Menickella says, about price-and-wage controls. What he says but does not know is that a player “no long risks a higher loss if they hold out to play on teams with a lower slot that are a better fit for that athlete.” Is he trying to say the first round draft in 2011 Brett Austen who elected to play college baseball rather than sign, who lost out big when he was drafted in the fourth round and signed in June 2014 for $450,000, an amount well below what he would have received as a first round draft choice …. is protected for life, by his draft slotting?

What he never says is that a team is now playing Monopoly, where real currency does not work. In what Brian Menickella does not know, the Commissioner is dealing out his Monopoly money for money to be spent on undrafted kids in the international pool. This is like the Federal Reserve, where the Fed is privately owned, bailing out banks if not franchises. Only the Commissioner is Janet Yellen. And everyone gets more than $200 to start the game.

“The change in value significantly affects a team’s recruiting opportunity,” Menickella says, mindful of rush week on a college campus, “since IT reduces its own total bonus pool value, while also reducing the signing bonuses available for each player.” Whatever IT refers to. A team may spend up to the aggregate total value for their pool of “bonuses,” but suffer penalties if they spend more than their total bonus amount. If a selected player rejects an offer, the team loses that signing bonus money associated with that slot – along with a significant amount of wiper fluid in the reservoir – if an organization does not feel their draftee is worth what the Commissioner’s office feels it should be. Should a team sign a kid for less than the Commissioner’s recommended signing bonus value, the balance remains in their pool of “bonuses” to be used for signing other players.

Before this season, with his Central Scouting Bureau, the Commissioner’s Office recommended a signing bonus value for each slot; a team, depending on their budget, could offer that recommended value to an unproven kid, more or less. In 2016, per Brian Menickella, the value of the first pick per the Commissioner’s Office slotting was $9.015 million, though the Phillies signed the number one – Mickey Moniak – for $6.1 million, leaving $3 million for other subsequent draft choices. And Menickella does like to talk about slots instead of unproven people who he does not know. Value of the second pick, per the Commissioner’s Office that year, was $7.7 million, though Cincinnati signed theirs for $6.2 million, $100,000 more than the Phillies spent on their first pick. Brian Menickella never questions the methods/valuation used by Commissioner’s Office in recommended signing negotiations. Is this what the Central Scouting Bureau had come down to and why the Dodgers long ago decided to have no part? Slotting is now public information if someone with all “the knowledge of” a poor SOB like Brian Menickella can get a hold of. To try and get his share.

The danger, indeed. Living in a place with or without “conceal and carry” laws, did you ever wonder what a guy like a player’s agent really carried?

Each big league team will now establish a Player/Management Advisory Council that will work with a full-time chef and registered dietician to improve clubhouse nutrition. And in the minor leagues, swim lessons for players stuck in the bonus pool? On nutrition and dietary supplements, MLB and the Players Association will jointly retain a dietician to provide recommendations to players and teams. Is this for the fat cats in front office too?

Inexplicably, besides the average player’s salary, under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each ball club is required to contribute to an aggregate $200 million each year for pension and medical benefits. When $4 million is not enough [the average MLB salary]. Note the reduction to the ten-day disabled list instead of the fifteen-day one. The standard disabled list had been 21 days until 1990, and 15 days until 2017. There is 60 day disabled list too. And then the list if a player voluntary retires.

And on a voluntary basis, all teams must provide access to a sports psychologist.

#international Bonus Pool #bonus pool money #Collective Bargaining Agreement


1 Comment »

  1. g


    Sent in the July 31 trade along with two unproven arms was $500,000 in international bonus pool money for the 2017-18 signing period which boosts their approved international cap to $5.75 million, on par with any other team.

    So a team is now playing Monopoly, where real currency does not work. In what Brian Menickella does not know, the Commissioner is dealing out his Monopoly money for money to be spent on undrafted kids in the international pool. This is like the Federal Reserve, where the Fed is privately owned, bailing out banks if not franchises.

    Comment by baseball91 — August 1, 2017 @ 10:00 AM | Reply

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