Effectively Wild Episode 1550: Make Me Your Worst Offer

Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the continued standstill over starting the season, MLB’s series of superficially different, substantively identical, and equally unproductive proposals, public perceptions of the owners’ and players’ positions, the difference between a 50-game season and an 80-game season, and how the “negotiations” seem destined to end, plus a Stat Blast about repeatedly drafted players. Then (27:01) they talk to FanGraphs lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen about which teams did and didn’t appear to do well in the 2020 draft, how limiting the draft to five rounds affected team strategy, how the pandemic changed draft prep and draft predictions, the potential of Tigers top pick Spencer Torkelson and other notable names, what will happen to the hundreds of players who didn’t get drafted, and the latest on when and where prospects will play in 2020.

Audio intro: Mates of State, "My Only Offer"
Audio interstitial: I Was a King, "Eric"
Audio outro: Wild Flag, "Short Version"

Link to latest Craig Edwards analysis
Link to Jeff Passan report on most recent MLB offer
Link to Eno on season length
Link to Angus Kellett’s Stat Blast song cover
Link to spreadsheet about most-drafted players
Link to Eric’s 2020 draft primer
Link to Eric’s Day 1 draft recap
Link to Eric’s draft odds and ends
Link to story about amateurs signing with NPB teams

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3 years ago

I’m a big fan of the show but what Ben said in this episode was pretty insulting. He basically said if you don’t see things the way I do you are ignorant or aren’t paying attention. It probably wouldn’t bother me if what he said was accurate but it was at best heavily biased and at worst objectively wrong.

The fact is the uniform player contract in the CBA says in the case of an emergency players will only get paid for games they play. The March deal wasn’t the players giving up pay, it is just what the CBA says. Furthermore in multiple areas of the march deal it specifically talks about renegotiating if there are no fans. The players have not done any negotiating yet. They have just said no to every offer without any real counteroffer when it comes to pay. The owners have flat out said if you won’t come off of 100% prorated we are playing the 50 or so game season and the players don’t seem to care if that is the end result. The players are the side that doesn’t seem like they really care about a longer season, if they cared about it they would compromise.

As to the owners deals all being the same, each of the last 2 deals inched up in value assuming a full season is played. The original deal was for about 1.2 billion in players salary, the second one was for 1.3 billion, this last one is for 1.5 billion. Assuming a full season this latest deal is 25% more money than the first deal, that really isn’t basically the same deal. This last deal would see the players playing 44% of a season and getting roughly 38% of their normal pay. If the players finally make any counter offer coming down from 100% prorated they are going to end up very close to those two numbers being even.

3 years ago
Reply to  Ender

Just a quick addendum to my post above. That 25% increase in money is in 10 fewer games than the original deal as well so it is really greater than 25%. This new deal is nowhere near the same thing as the original deals were.