The new collective bargaining agreement between baseball and the MLBPA hurts my brain. Specifically, the amateur draft stuff. There's a great breakdown on Baseball Nation, but here's my stab at explaining it:
Teams drafted in reverse order of record. MLB suggested bonuses for the first few rounds. Teams could go over those bonuses, but only if they were prepared to get a stern talking-to from Bud Selig, possibly with a Skype call, where you'd have to look at him.
Teams are allotted a pool of money that is 26% of the last three year's draft budget with the first- and 16th-highest bonuses averaged out and removed from the initial estimate, but reintroduced later in the apportioning part of the draft, subject to change based on the number of teams that trigger a 75% tax based on a 5% overage, unless the overage is between 5% and 10%, but only on draft picks signed during a harvest moon, in which case the 75% tax is accompanied by a lost of first-round picks, which may not picks from the competitive balance draft which the bottom ten teams are eligible for, unless those teams were one of the top six teams in spending between the bottom seven teams by record, unless one of those teams is one of the top six teams in dollars per marginal win, as voted on by the middle ten teams in record and the lowest three teams in total payroll.
Simple. The argument for the new draft cap is that it will reward the teams with the best scouting and negotiating, as opposed to teams like the Pirates, who use their financial muscle to sign all of the amateur players. And it will also save the owners a ******* of money.
I'm wondering if the owners are thinking that the new rules might hurt the small market teams, leading to competitive imbalance, which would be a terrible, terrible shame that would be a step closer to a salary cap. Pretty tin-foil hat, I know. It's probably just about saving a ******* of money.
The largest concern that I've read is that the lower spending on amateur players will drive potential baseball players to play other sports. That will probably happen, but we won't ever notice the difference. Players will come up and play well, just as they always have. If Grady Sizemore had played football instead of baseball, it's not like we would have sat back after the 2006 season and thought, "Gee, that was nice. But something was missing ..." It will hurt the game, but the damage will be imperceptible, like Oreos with the trans fats still in them, or smoking pot out of a Dr. Pepper can.
Some of the things I like about the new CBA, though:
- Getting rid of the Elias compensation nonsense and replacing it with a system that has to do only with the highest-paid free agents in the league.
- Instant replay for fair/foul balls and traps. There will be weirdness, confusing delays, and things to work out, but I have never once thought that the NFL had far too much replay.
- Jonathan Sanchez will now be said to have a $1.26 million-dollar arm and a $.29 head. Anything over the arm total will be subject to a 58% hyperbole tax.
- All-Stars gonna All-Star. Suck it, Jeter.
- That there's, you know, a season to be played next year. As someone who spent an hour watching Sleepy Floyd highlights recently, that's probably the best thing to come out of today. No strike. No lockout. The amateur stuff stinks, but we'll get used to it.
Can't find a way to have an opinion on the toothless HGH testing. The new playoff spots are horrid, but I do like the devaluation of the wild-card, so that's a small victory. That's probably a post of its own. Who here thought the 2009 Giants were good enough to make the playoffs? Right, no one. But who here wouldn't have been excited to watch the 2009 Giants play past their 162nd game? Before you answer that, remember: Bengie Molina running the bases.
Consider this an open thread to complain about the new CBA, which almost all of us are unqualified to do, except when it comes to improved replay (hooray!) and explanded playoffs (boooooooooo!).