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Super 2 & Service Time Manipulation—an MLB Problem


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1 hour ago, StevieStats said:

There is a very simple way to kill the service time manipulation... Include minor league service as part of the service time calculation. Teams will have no incentive to artificially hold players back.

Additionally, international players need to enter the MLB through the draft, much like the NBA does. Different rules may apply towards older interbational veterans, but that can be worked out, if needed.

For example: Teams control players for 7 years after being drafted, minors and majors combined. If you are Clint Frazier and it takes 7 years, you are a free agent after your rookie year... If you are Kris Bryant and you are in the majors after only 2 years in the minors, your team gets you for 5 years in the majors... Teams would actually be incented to play you at the MLB level if you are ready -- it would also get teams to value more advanced MLB ready talent more in the draft as they can get more MLB service out of you before your free agency.

Include minor league play in service time. Do it. Do it.

Do it.

 

I wouldn't say that's a simple way. I do think the current way is ideal, but I think that and most solutions that seem easy have a lot of unintended consequences that aren't good. Just off the top of my head, such a plan would push expensive veterans out for guys who might not be ready but are cheaper who have time running out on their service time clock.  Putting the internationals in the draft probably needs to be done at some point, or at least have an international draft, but that deincentivies teams from signing younger guys because by the time they are ready, their payoff might be 1-2 years max on their service time deal, making them not worth signing until they are older. A lot of those latin kids only get meals in general because they are potentially close to being signed and trainer/agents pay the up front cost of raising them for a payoff on their end.  This might lead to a lot of actual kids on the street instead of getting fed and housed to play baseball.

 

Teams will still find ways to be cheap. 

 

I really don't think there is an all encompassing easy fix. Kris Bryant was a fast mover after college whose service time was no doubt manipulated, and such rules would help him and Vlad, but not necessarily the maority of minor leaguers who do get called up at a reasonable or early time.

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A set time is definitely the way to go. Whether that be X amount of years after signing, or just a blanket age for players that were drafted or J2 signing. Setting an amount of years could have an impact on how teams draft(college vs HS) as well as the amount of kids that decide to go to college. I’ve always thought 27 or 28 years old they should become a FA, but I’m sure there’s unintended consequences to that to. 

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30 minutes ago, mavsfan23 said:

A set time is definitely the way to go. Whether that be X amount of years after signing, or just a blanket age for players that were drafted or J2 signing. Setting an amount of years could have an impact on how teams draft(college vs HS) as well as the amount of kids that decide to go to college. I’ve always thought 27 or 28 years old they should become a FA, but I’m sure there’s unintended consequences to that to. 

MLB teams absolutely hate how colleges develop hitters these days. They would much rather do the dirty work themselves.

Have the set years of control depend on the age of the player, while still having an arbitration system to ensure the top performing players get paid more in the MLB then the lessor ones. Not perfect, but you can't blanket set years of control to when they sign in a system that takes on a variety of ages.

Service time needs to go though still.

Edited by Slatykamora
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First let me say I misdid my math in the first post. 425 would be the players per organization. It's about 12,750 total players in the minor leagues and about 13,500 players in the MiLB and majors.

1 hour ago, tonycpsu said:

 

First off, there are many more reasons players might want a union, many of them outlined in this thread.  But even restricting the discussion to service time manipulation, I'm pretty sure most players would say their interests are served by ending the practice -- some out of self interest on behalf of their future self ("maybe I'll some day get to the point where my production at the minor league level demands a call-up"), some out of solidarity with their teammates, and some simply because it's the right thing to do.   Sure, maybe a few of the older career minor league guys would prioritize some other changes instead that benefit them (e.g. higher wages) and wouldn't care so much about the next generation, but I bet you could get well more than half of them supporting service time reform as part of a comprehensive deal.

 

It'd be really nice if the organizational depth guys got treated better, but their low wage comes with the caveat that they are living the dream of playing professional. If you're a moderately good guitarist with a good music taste, you'd probably play guitar behind Paul McCartney for free and if you personally wouldn't do it, someone else would. The US has ~327 million people and you're one of the few that are able to play professionally. People would do your job for free. If you're doing it for money, you should switch careers.

It's unrealistic for 13,500 to suck it up for the 5 manipulated prospects per year. I don't want to get too political, but a very common narrative in modern western politics is that the top 1% of people monetarily are getting too many benefits and that it needs to be stopped. A minor league union would parallel this; 13495 don't want to give up benefits in order to benefit 5.

2 hours ago, Slatykamora said:

You would obviously have a different set years of control between college guys and high schoolers. Think that would go w/o saying

 

The proposal in question compares a high school player to a college player from the same draft year and didn't factor if they were in high school or college. This doesn't go without saying.

1 hour ago, Members_Only_76 said:

 

Why can't elite baseball prospects hold their own against veterans?  As a general idea, I don't necessarily disagree. But do we truly know that? Or not really, because of the system.

 

In other words, let the players and their performance dictate that, not the service time rules.

 

You might be right that a very small percentage of players are impacted, but again we don't truly know because of the system/rules. But even still, if it's only 1% or less, it only takes a case like Hiura once a year to lose fans and/or lose potential fans. So that small percent of players could potentially make a big impact on the sport overall. (Not to mention a team like Milwaukee potentially missing the playoffs and/or window to win WS)

 

And again, maybe more and more young players could actually succeed sooner in the MLB, but we wouldn't know due to the current system.

 

P.S. Kyler Murray case might have turned out differently, that situation can't be great for MLB (sure does help NFL though).

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If I used can't, I shouldn't have used that word. Guys like Soto, Acuna, and Torres shows youth can play. It doesn't always work though and it's unsuccessful more times than not (can't cite this off hand, but it seems intuitive and I'm open to not taking this as factual). Zion isn't heading to the D-League because we know it'd be a joke to him. Basketball is centered around star players as a team's entire performance can be changed by one or two players. The same can't be said in baseball, as one to two guys can't change an entire team's performance. I feel like this is kinda what the purpose MLB spring training is for some prospects. Clubs can see how they do against MLB players giving 80% effort and if they're raking they should be able to move up the ladder.

 

I'm going to be honest, I don't know what the solution is, I'm just pointing out the flaws with the one you proposed. I'm not saying it sucks, rather I'm just playing devils advocate.

1 hour ago, Backdoor Slider said:

100%. And this is where I feel @Maxcd99 falls into the trap. We’re told they need the minors and aren’t ready to compete. Says who? I remember when 23-24 was the norm. Bryce, Trout, Correa, Acuna, Albies, Soto, and many, many more are showing us that some of these guys are ready at 19, 20 years old. 

 

This is a good point. Some guys are ready super early but 99.9% aren't. I wish I had a solution, but its hard to filter between guys that need and and guys that dont. Carlos Rodon and Carson Fulmer seemed like they were ready when called up but neither of their fast tracking has payed off. I recognize that's an anecdote, but I feel there's substance to it nonetheless.

 

57 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

If I polled 100 baseball scouts, I’d bet zero would agree with this. It’s crazy and again, goes back to this idea that for some reason you think some guys drafted out of college aren’t ready to compete at the highest level. 

I think it's closer to a toss up. We have no clue if Mize posts a 6 ERA on call up. Based off ERA, Norris is about average. I do not think right this second Mize is an average MLB pitcher. He could be, but not yet. I do concede however that we have no idea of telling without throwing him into the fire. If not now, Mize definitely will be better than Norris in a year or so.

Edited by Maxcd99
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They just have to have the number of years of control and the years of arbitration defined as starting on Opening Day period and not 2 weeks in (control years) or Super 2 June (first year of arbitration).  No complicated service time calculations.  A seemingly baby step like that would solve 3/4 of the problem and it is something both sides could possibly agree right away without endless negotiations extending over the decades.

Just adjust the few months involved in samw in a seemingly small reform and try it out.  Is that so hard to do, MLB and Players Association?

Edited by The Big Bat Theory
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5 hours ago, Maxcd99 said:

I like this idea but this completely screws over high school prospects and guys that aren't elite coming out of the draft. Frazier took longer than Bryant since he was a high schooler and I have no idea where you're getting that it took 7 years for him to debut? He was drafted in June of 2013 and debuted in July of 2017, which is four years. Believe it or not, Frazier debuted at a younger age than Bryant even though their debut was 2 years apart and that they were drafted in the same year. Almost all players aren't good enough to have only one year in the minors, and this hurts way more organizational players than it helps.

Didnt realize F4azier broke rookie threshold in his 39 games in 2017, i was tjinking it was this year... Regardless, this is his 7th season, including minors.

How would it hurt Frazier? He would be a free agent elsewhere and sign with a team that wouldn't send his 800 OPS to the minors... It would help him get in a better situation.

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1 minute ago, StevieStats said:

Didnt realize F4azier broke rookie threshold in his 39 games in 2017, i was tjinking it was this year... Regardless, this is his 7th season, including minors.

How would it hurt Frazier? He would be a free agent elsewhere and sign with a team that wouldn't send his 800 OPS to the minors... It would help him get in a better situation.

He broke Rookie eligibility in 2018, so it'd be 5 years if you're going by losing rookie status. I was going with that he debuted in 2017 and went with that. 

I'd say it helps the players too much. Gary Sanchez would've been a free agent for the Yankees if this 7-year rule went into play. Sure it should be different for each of J2/HS/College but it's really hard to make a one size fits all system. If it could some how work it'd be great since it would always incentivize putting the best team on the field but some teams might just throw in the towel developing guys like deGrom who took about 4 years to develop as a college draftee if they were only getting a few months of major league impact. Degrom is an outlier but I think it still applies.

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15 minutes ago, Maxcd99 said:

He broke Rookie eligibility in 2018, so it'd be 5 years if you're going by losing rookie status. I was going with that he debuted in 2017 and went with that. 

I'd say it helps the players too much. Gary Sanchez would've been a free agent for the Yankees if this 7-year rule went into play. Sure it should be different for each of J2/HS/College but it's really hard to make a one size fits all system. If it could some how work it'd be great since it would always incentivize putting the best team on the field but some teams might just throw in the towel developing guys like deGrom who took about 4 years to develop as a college draftee if they were only getting a few months of major league impact. Degrom is an outlier but I think it still applies.

Yeah but degrom is an elite pitcher and is getting completely screwed, he basically doesn't get free agency in his career it happens so late, Josh Donaldson too... Jose Martinez is completely screwed... If your org can't develop these players after 7 years, you don't deserve to hoard them years 8, 9, 10, etc. 

Now it doesnt need to be 7 years but 7 seems fair IMO... Maybe you do a restricted free agency after year 7 wut right to match and unrestricted after year 8.

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I don’t know if service time is so much the issue for some of these guys, rather teams are hoarding talent. Milwaukee didn’t want to cut Shaw or Aguilar, Houston didn’t want to cut White, etc.  I didn’t follow that closely, I thought Eloy, Vlad, Robles all got called up early because those orgs had easy cuts to make. 

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10 hours ago, Slatykamora said:

OR: Just trash the entire system. When you draft a player or sign an amature, you control them for X years. That is it, no service time. Make rules about what age a player signs gets X years at what controlled salary.

Done, easy, and it will encourage top talents to come up way earlier so they get the most out their investments.

 

This is absolutely what should happen.  You draft a player, you get X years of control.  Period.  No one can tell me that anything else makes any sense.  

For such a system to be implemented I think the players are going to have to strike, as the owners will never agree to scrap the current system (unless the players agree to MASSIVE concessions elsewhere).  And it won't be a short strike.  We're talking about shutting the MLB down for potentially a season or two.

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9 hours ago, Overlord said:

This is absolutely what should happen.  You draft a player, you get X years of control.  Period.  No one can tell me that anything else makes any sense.  

For such a system to be implemented I think the players are going to have to strike, as the owners will never agree to scrap the current system (unless the players agree to MASSIVE concessions elsewhere).  And it won't be a short strike.  We're talking about shutting the MLB down for potentially a season or two.

i somewhat argued against the logic, but the original discussion in this topic posited that current MLB players aren't going to be in favor of a change, let alone care enough to strike. 

the system is broken, but the problem is that owners don't care because they can manipulate the system and keep/earn/save mega-money and the current MLB players (union members) don't care because it keeps them in a job. who exactly is driving the push for change? fans? media? it should be MLB itself because the product they're selling to the public has a lower quality than it should (i.e., not the best players on the field), but the politics involved will be massive on all fronts and i'm not convinced that anyone with enough clout cares enough to take a stand.

i envision minor changes/tweaks this time, but certainly hope for more.

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10 hours ago, umphrey said:

  I didn’t follow that closely, I thought Eloy, Vlad, Robles all got called up early because those orgs had easy cuts to make. 

 

The only of the 3 that got called up in a timely manner was Robles. Vlad and Eloy were certainly ready last year. 

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