It’s been a heck of a week in the baseball world when it comes to things that are happening between the owners, the players, the agents, and now the former players, too. At the center of some of it is Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer. You likely know that Bauer is not scared to speak his mind. If he believes you are in the wrong, he will make it known – and that doesn’t matter if you are Rob Manfred, the owners of teams, or as we learned this week – Scott Boras or even former players.
After MLB offered their latest proposal to the Major League Baseball Players Association on Tuesday, the players were less than thrilled about it and decided that it wasn’t even worth further discussion and that instead they would offer up their own plan. But Trevor Bauer was not happy with the rumors, as he said on twitter, that he was hearing about Scott Boras trying to insert himself into the situation.
Hearing a LOT of rumors about a certain player agent meddling in MLBPA affairs. If true — and at this point, these are only rumors — I have one thing to say… Scott Boras, rep your clients however you want to, but keep your damn personal agenda out of union business.
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) May 27, 2020
It’s uncertain if what Bauer was hearing turned out to be the email that Boras sent out to his clients that was obtained by the Associated Press, but it feels likely that it was. Here’s the email:
Remember, games cannot be played without you. Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners. Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated.
Owners are asking for more salary cuts to bail them out of the investment decisions they have made. If this was just about baseball, playing games would give the owners enough money to pay the players their full prorated salaries and run the baseball organization. The owners’ current problem is a result of the money they borrowed when they purchased their franchises, renovated their stadiums or developed land around their ballparks. This type of financing is allowed and encouraged by MLB because it has resulted in significant franchise valuations.
Owners now want players to take additional pay cuts to help them pay these loans. They want a bailout. They are not offering players a share of the stadiums, ballpark villages or the club itself, even though salary reductions would help owners pay for these valuable franchise assets. These billionaires want the money for free. No bank would do that. Banks demand loans be repaid with interest. Players should be entitled to the same respect.
Throughout this process, they will be able to claim that they never had any profits because those profits went to pay off their loans. However, the end result is that the Ricketts will own improved assets that significantly increases the value of the Cubs — value that is not shared with the players.
Make no mistake, owners have chosen to take on these loans because, in normal times, it is a smart financial decision. But, these unnecessary choices have now put them in a challenging spot. Players should stand strong because players are not the ones who advised owners to borrow money to purchase their franchises and players are not the ones who have benefited from the recent record revenues and profits.
I will say this much: Scott Boras is 100% correct in what he says here. The owners of these teams felt that the money train would never stop rolling in. And really, for the large majority of them it hasn’t since they bought or inherited the team. In the last 15 years almost every franchise has at least tripled in value and for 18 consecutive years Major League Baseball had set a record for revenue.
As for Bauer having an issue with Boras, assuming of course it was based on the email that he sent out – it’s tough to know where to fall on that. If I am a player, I’m probably seeking the advice of anyone in my circle about the situation. That’s going to include my agent, my finance guy if I’ve got one, my teammates, the union – all of them.
But it’s not just Scott Boras that caught the feedback of Bauer. Former big leaguer Kyle Lohse did as well after he chimed in telling Rachel Luba, Bauer’s agent, that what he was doing gives the perception that the players are turning on each other. That didn’t sit well with Bauer, who came back at Lohse.
The two of them went back and forth a little bit longer after that. And Eric Gagne even chimed in (while this account is not verified, it’s followed by Bauer’s company Momentum, as well as Rachel Luba – and Gagne worked with both of them in the last few weeks – so I’ll venture to say that it’s really him) to try and calm things down a little bit.
Writing this post felt like I took a job at TMZ, and for that I apologize. But unfortunately, labor negotiations are where we are at in Major League Baseball right now and it’s the topic that’s most important to getting to see games played in 2020 by Major League Baseball players.