Major League Baseball Checks if comments are attributed to mets Sources about the team’s reluctance to pursue free center fielder Aaron Judge constitute a violation of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.
that published article On the Mets Television Network’s website on November 3, he said that the Mets would not bid against Yankees to the judge. The details in the story caught the attention of the players’ association, who have asked the commissioner’s office to investigate whether there was improper contact between the club’s owners, according to sources familiar with the situation.
separate Commentary by Astros owner Jim Crane On his team’s website Tuesday, Justin Verlander said he was seeking a similar contract Max ScherzerIt may also trigger an audit by the players’ association if the association deems it to be a violation of the CBA.
The Federation reserves the right to file a complaint in either or both cases. To win a complaint, the union will need to prove that the markets of Judge and/or Verlander were damaged, which could be difficult considering they are two of the offseason’s most sought-after free agents. But the union remains sensitive to the threat of owners conspiring to keep free agent salaries, as they did more than 30 years ago in the biggest case of collusion in sports.
Recently CBAs are specifically prohibited Sharing information about players’ contracts, by saying: “Players may not act in concert with other players and clubs may not act in concert with other clubs.” In its investigation, the league is expected to ask Mets owner Steve Cohen and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner to provide records of any phone, text or email conversations that occurred between them during the relevant period.
The SNY.tv article stated that the Mets’ stance on the judge had not changed since April, when team sources said the club would not fight the Yankees for the outfielder if he became a free agent during the offseason. The article also said that Cohen and Steinbrenner “enjoy a relationship based on mutual respect, and don’t expect to upend that with a high-profile bidding war.”
Officials from the MLB and Players Association declined to comment, and the Mets, Yankees, and Astros He did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Three times in the late 1980s, independent arbitrators ruled The owners worked together to avoid competitive bidding for free agents. The settlement of the three cases resulted in the owners agreeing to pay the players $280 million. The players later alleged that the owners also engaged in collusion in 2002 and 2003, and the owners Agree to pay players $12 million without a guilty plea as part of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2006.
In addition to the specific language in the CBA regarding collusion, the agreement spells out details that the parties are not allowed to disclose publicly about contract negotiations. Both provisions remain in effect in the new Convention on Biological Diversity, which the parties are working to formally codify.
If the league files a complaint about the situation with the Mets and Yankees, the arbitrator will determine whether collusion occurred. Separately, the union will need to prove that the judge was harmed. He will receive triple compensation.
Crane suspension falls into a different category. A club official who speaks out about negotiating a contract may influence the market, agents say, and effectively uses the media to create the kind of information bank clubs employed during the collusion era. The CBA includes a pledge from the league that clubs “will not operate a data bank with respect to free agents.”
As reported by MLB.com, “Crane said Verlander is seeking a similar deal for Max Scherzer, who signed a three-year, $130 million contract with the Mets a year ago.” The CBA states that neither players nor clubs can “make comments to the media about the value of an unsigned free agent, regardless of whether or not discussions have taken place”. It also lists a “non-exhaustive” list of prohibited comments, including, “Player X seeks more than Player Y received.”
“I know him very well, so we were very honest,” Crane said of Verlander. “He’s looking at companies, of which I think there’s only one or two…JV’s probably a few years left, and he wants to get the most out of them. I think he’s going to test the market on that.”
In theory, Crane’s remarks could scare off Verlander’s potential suitors, thereby demoralizing his market. Crane has taken on a larger role in baseball operations since the Astros were penalized in January 2020 for illegally stealing electronic signs, according to sources familiar with his operation of the club. The team is currently without a GM following Crane’s decision last Friday to let go of James Click.
Evan Drilish the athlete Contribute to this story.
(Photo: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)