Is Baseball that Stupid?

Today at Drudge there is talk that baseball players upset that at a time of falling attendance are not spending a fortune on overpriced free agents are thinking about taking action:

One day after commissioner Rob Manfred shrugged off the sluggish free-agent market for Major League Baseball players this winter as a blip, and one week after Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen suggested players ought to consider whether to strike, one of baseball’s most prominent agents issued a manifesto Friday that hinted players might not simply ride out the remaining four years of the current collective bargaining agreement.

“The players are upset,” wrote Brodie Van Wagenen, co-head of CAA Baseball. “No, they are outraged. … Their voices are getting louder and they are uniting in a way not seen since 1994.”

That was the year of baseball’s last player strike. The calendar has turned to February, and more than 100 players remain available in free agency, including such stars as Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez.

Van Wagenen raised the possibility of a boycott in spring training.

“There is a rising tide among players for radical change,” he wrote. “A fight is brewing. And it may begin with one, maybe two, and perhaps 1,200 willing to follow.”

I remember the players strike, it nearly destroyed the sport and at a time when fans have plenty of other alternatives baseball would be well advised to take advantage of Football pissing on their demographic and reinforce their connection with the fans rather than acting like spoiled brats.  In fact they might even look worse that the football idiots who while wrong headed can claim to be kneeling on principle rather than striking over a few million less.

If big market teams like the Red Sox are sensible enough to realize they have an excellent nucleus that scored a ton of runs and came back over and over again then the more power to them.

And if small market teams have decided that a single big free agent isn’t going to be enough to win that’s fine too.

Of course if a team thinks Arrieta, Darvish, Hosmer or Martinez is worth the cash that’s fine too but consider this example:

 Boston has actually offered something more in the vicinity of $125MM over five years, per Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald (via Twitter). Obviously, that’s a far sight more than what had been reported a few days back — and generally within the range of what might reasonably have been anticipated for Martinez entering the winter.

That sounds like an awful lot of money to me but apparently Martinez thinks he’s worth more.

As we covered recently, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reported less than a week ago that Martinez is preparing to wait for those numbers to move northward. The veteran slugger is said to want six years with an annual value at or above the $30MM rate. That’s a massive ask — well over the six-year, $150MM prediction that MLBTR made entering the winter.

want to offer him $125 million that’s on them, and if Martinez wants to decide that it’s not good enough that’s his right too.

But if the Major League players are stupid enough to strike because a JD Martinez isn’t getting that 6th year then they deserve all the trouble they are going to get from it.