According to Ken Rosenthal, the owners will consider locking out the players if a new CBA is not in place by Dec. 1 when the current CBA expires. If Major League Baseball and the Players Association are unable to hammer out an agreement, the sport could have its first work stoppage in 21 years.
Rosenthal explained “a lockout would put baseball’s business on hold, delaying free agent signings and trades until a new agreement is reached.” The Winter Meetings (Dec. 4-8) could still take place but player movement and signings would not happen. Minor League Baseball would be able to hold its job fair and continue its business as usual.
The owners are frustrated, according to Rosenthal, by the slow pace of the negotiations. There are “a number of significant issues” that “remain unresolved.”
Commissioner Rob Manfred told Rosenthal that the two sides “remain committed to the idea” that an agreement will be in place before the current CBA expires. Commissioner Manfred told Joel Sherman that there is plenty of time to get a deal done.
Tony Clark would not comment on the situation to Ken Rosenthal.
The International Draft, competitive balance tax, changes in the Joint Drug Agreement, roster size, draft pick compensation/the qualifying offer and service time are points of contention.
The owners, according to Rosenthal, are willing to “eliminate direct draft pick compensation in free agency in exchange to the right to implement an International draft.” The players want “no part of an International draft.” Rosenthal further explained that draft pick compensation would still exist under the owners’ proposal “but only indirectly, a team that loses a qualified agent would still receive a bonus pick.”
Buster Olney does not think there will be a lockout. Olney said, “The two sides … MLB and the union, know how much money is at stake for both sides. Idea the two sides would interrupt ’17 season is laughable.”
According to Joel Sherman the “two sides negotiated late into the afternoon Tuesday.” The annual player meetings are next week in Dallas (Monday – Wednesday) “and bargaining is expected to continue right up to the CBA deadline.”
Rule 5 Draft and the 26-Man Roster
Before he broke the story about the possibility of a lockout, Ken Rosenthal pointed out on Twitter that if active rosters are increased from 25 to 26 players, as is being discussed as part of the negotiations for the new CBA, the extra roster spot could have an impact on the Rule 5 Draft.
By adding just one spot, teams could take a chance on a player they might have passed on under the existing roster limit. Rosenthal explained, “Increase in roster size to 26 would make Rule 5 Draft more compelling because teams would have greater flexibility to carry picks all season.”
The Rule 5 Draft is Dec. 7 and the new CBA would have to be in place before then in order for teams to take advantage of the additional roster spot.
The Cubs are one of close to 20 teams that attended Greg Holland’s showcase earlier this month. The Cubs are believed to be interested but the Giants and Red Sox “have shown the most interest” in the former closer.
Greg Holland is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Holland did enough in his showcase to get teams interested. Based on multiple reports, Holland basically let teams know he is pitching again. Holland was about 75 percent during the workout.
According to Nick Cafardo, Holland was “good enough where you could see that if he rehabs properly he’ll get there.” The senior advisor Cafardo talked to about Holland indicated there “was nothing there to excite you but nothing there to discourage you either.”
Scott Boras is looking for a two-year, $20-22 million contract for Holland according to Cafardo “but it would be a surprise if anyone bit on that.”
According to multiple reports, the Twins and free agent catcher Jason Castro agreed to terms on a three-year, $24.5 million contract. Castro was in high-demand and received a good deal from the Twins.
Castro does not provide much offensively (.210/.307/.377/.684, 16 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 113 games). Castro is a very good catcher and can handle a pitching staff.
The Cubs started placing value on catchers who are excellent receivers, or pitch framers, that many just didn’t understand. A catcher means so much more than just the offensive stats that can be found on Baseball-Reference or on the back of his baseball card.
The Twins are banking on Castro being what the team needs behind the plate, not in the batter’s box, for the next three years.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Teams are lining up to sign RHP Kenley Jansen according to a report from MLB.com. Joe Trezza outlined five reasons why Jansen is in such high demand.
• Keith Law detailed how much of a risk the Cardinals are taking with Brett Cecil and the pitfalls of teams signing relievers to four-year deals. Law came up with only two contracts for relievers that worked out and a third is in progress. Signing relievers to two-year contracts are questionable, three-year contracts are risky, four or more years historically have been just bad decisions.
• Aroldis Chapman said he would love to be a Yankee again.
• Poor pitch-framing skills are hurting Matt Wieters on the free agent market according to Buster Olney.
• The Rangers have the best culture in baseball, at least that’s what Andrew Cashner has been told.
• According to Jeff Passan, Rangers prospects accused of sexual assault have been sent to counseling, awaiting multiple charges.
• Jay Jaffe posted everything you need to know for each NL team this winter.
• Justin Masterson told MLB Network Radio that he is healthy and feels strong. Masterson’s agent is talking to a few teams and he is looking for a situation that fits.
Here is John’s Kyle Schwarber print …
— John Hanley (@JohnHanley5) November 22, 2016
• A Cubs fan mailed back woman’s lost driver’s license with a ‘Go Cubs Go’ note according to a report from Justin Breen.
• The Tribune reported that even the Cardinals are looking to cash in on the Cubs’ success.
• Theo Epstein is the 40th most important person in baseball history according to a report from the Sporting News.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) November 22, 2016
And last, but not least, Cubs radio ratings were momentous for The Score according to Robert Feder.
This Day in Cubstory
2005 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Marwin Gonzalez
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Mark Budzinski
1991 – Kevin Encarnacion, born
1984 – Casper Wells, born
1984 – Robert Coello, born
1963 – Dale Sveum, born
1878 – Jimmy Sheckard, born