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Marty’s musings: pro players v. owners and players v. amateur players

A shortened draft, an ultimatum in negotiations, and the giant labor mess.

MLB: MAR 08 Spring Training - Reds at Cubs (ss) Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.

We’re probably closer to starting a season than we were last week, but these negotiations have been an absolute mess. Not only are the players and owners at odds, but the MLB players continue to stonewall any relief for their Minor League brethren.

News & Notes

29 - Players drafted in the first round of an abbreviated five-round MLB Rule Four draft. You can find a breakdown of the first round in my recap from last week.

20,000 - Dollars bonus for undrafted players who were not selected in the five rounds of the MLB draft. It’s a pittance though not surprising since the MLBPA sells-out the rights of Minor League players at every chance they get.

76...60...50...48 - Number of games we’ll maybe see in 2020? At this point, it’s hard to follow the MLB negotiations without your head spinning. The reality is that the owners want to limit regular season games, while guaranteeing sweet ad revenue for October / pre-election games. As the calendar slowly makes its way towards July, each day wasted benefits owners who don’t want to abandon the season, but are obviously not in any hurry to ink a deal.

40 - Man-rostered players are the only players receiving decent pay during the work stoppage, but last week Scott Boras announced he’d be paying Minor Leaguers who had him under contract as their agent. This week, the players asked Boras to not make-good on his promise.

1 - Executive, Bill DeWitt, who came out last week to discuss how economically challenging it is to own a Major League Baseball team. With rising team valuations, and crazy returns on investment for any recent owner who transacted, the entire commentary from DeWitt is laughable. As Sheryl Ring wrote last week, don’t fall for this ridiculous, false narrative.

7 - Reported racial slurs used at Fenway Park last year, according to a statement by the Boston Red Sox. Adam Jones and Torii Hunter are two players who have vocalized their harassment at the hands of Boston fans, but the problem runs deeper. The Red Sox’ statement is one of the most forthright we’ve seen from any team on the issue of race.

??? - Days until Opening Day.


Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano