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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Jacob deGrom's invisible act of defiance, not signing his contract, could fuel a revolt.

Image result for Denzel Washington glory
Movie Glory (1989):

Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates...

Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington ...

Matthew Broderick...Col. Robert Gould Shaw
Denzel Washington...Pvt. Trip

[the 54th learns they will be paid less than an all-white regiment. Trip gets mad, and refuses his pay]
Trip: Tear it up! Tear it up! TEAR IT UP!
[all the men begin tearing up their checks]


What Jacob deGrom did was not very dramatic. It was a private act of omission.

Jacob deGrom Grumbles, and It Fails to Resonate With Mets
On Baseball
By HARVEY ARATON MARCH 7, 2016 The New York Times

... deGrom described as a “business decision,” his not accepting the $607,000 salary the Mets assigned him this season — a formality since he had no negotiating leverage as a player, with not enough major league service to force salary arbitration...

Friday’s story jarred memories of the utterly awkward Matt Harvey innings watch of 2015 ...

... a roughly $50,000 raise for an All-Star pitcher who won 14 games, was at times dominating into the postseason, and stretched his pitch counts in the process, was obviously taken as inflexible and stingy on the part of the Mets...

Baseball’s longstanding arbitration system for players with three years in the majors — long considered fair and equitable — should at least be re-examined in the aftermath of the Harvey case, which raised important issues on risk and potential reward for the young and precocious...

(deGrom) ... signed at an older age, was injured early on in his career, has only a year and a half of major league service and is 27...

He is also a player who won’t be eligible for arbitration until 2018 and unfettered free agency until 2021...

unusual circumstances — an outlier on the developmental scale but an instant and charismatic star


Jacob deGrom
Born: June 19, 1988 in DeLand, FL Age 27
Drafted by the New York Mets in the 9th round of the 2010 amateur draft.
Signed June 12, 2010.
Debut: May 15, 2014 Age 25
2016 Contract Status: Signed thru 2016, 1 yr/$607k (16) (details) [*]
Service Time (01/2016): 1.139, Arb Eligible: 2018, Free Agent: 2021 [*], Agents: CAA Sports (Brodie Van Wagenen and Matt Ricatto) [*]

YearAgeTeamSalaryServTm(OpnDay)SourcesNotes/Other Sources
201527New York Mets$556,8750.139contracts
201628New York Mets$607,0001.139
Earliest Arb Eligible: 2018, Earliest Free Agent: 2021
Career to date (may be incomplete)$556,875Does not include future salaries ($0)
Big bucks for normal people, peanuts for a person in deGrom's career situation. His teammate will finally start making significant bucks in 2016:
Matt Harvey, born March 27, 1989:
YearAgeTeamSalaryServTm(OpnDay)SourcesNotes/Other Sources
201324New York Mets$498,7500.072contracts
201425New York Mets$606,6251.072contracts
201526New York Mets$614,1252.072contracts
201627New York Mets$4,325,0003.072
Earliest Arb Eligible: 2017, Earliest Free Agent: 2019
Career to date (may be incomplete)$1,719,500Does not include future salaries ($0)
Two free agent pitchers who recently signed mega deals:

Zack Greinke, born Oct. 21, 1982:
201531Los Angeles Dodgers$25,000,00010.057contracts
201632Arizona Diamondbacks$34,000,00011.057
201733Arizona Diamondbacks$34,000,000
201834Arizona Diamondbacks$34,000,000
201935Arizona Diamondbacks$34,500,000
202036Arizona Diamondbacks$35,000,000
202137Arizona Diamondbacks$35,000,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2022
Career to date (may be incomplete)$110,503,000Does not include future salaries ($206.5M)
David Price, born Aug. 26, 1985:
201529Detroit Tigers$19,750,0005.164contracts
201630Boston Red Sox$30,000,0006.164
201731Boston Red Sox$30,000,000
201832Boston Red Sox$30,000,000Can opt out of contract following 2018 season
201933Boston Red Sox$31,000,000
202034Boston Red Sox$32,000,000
202135Boston Red Sox$32,000,000
202236Boston Red Sox$32,000,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2023
Career to date (may be incomplete)$54,031,842Does not include future salaries ($217M)
Mike Trout, born Aug. 7, 1991, outfielder MVP finishes in his first four full seasons: 2,2,1,2.
YearAgeTeamSalaryServTm(OpnDay)SourcesNotes/Other Sources
201321Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$510,0001.070contracts
201422Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$1,000,0002.070contracts
201523Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$6,083,0003.070contracts
201624Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$16,083,0004.070
201725Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$20,083,000
201826Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$34,083,000
201927Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$34,083,000
202028Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$34,085,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2021
Career to date (may be incomplete)$7,593,000Does not include future salaries ($138.4M)
Some players are achieving stardom much sooner than their sixth season after which they can become free agents. All players hope or at least dream of that. Plus, there's the competitive edge that makes them what they are.

The league and union will negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) this year. It's billionaire owners against millionaire players, each of whom also has an individual contract. The union has been conceding to the league in recent years without getting anything in return on two issues:
- performance enhancing drugs (PED), including steroids
- domestic violence.

The commissioner now has plenipotentiary powers to punish players and deny them basic due process. The time is ripe for the players to push back and parameters for salary arbitration and free agency are likely the straws that will break the camel's back.

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