Over the last couple of weeks, agent Scott Boras and various members of the MLBPA and MLB management have bantered back and forth over how much money various teams have to spend on players. The Boston Globe asked Red Sox owner (and former Marlins owner) John Henry what he thought – and Henry had a very interesting take on it.
I’m paraphrasing here, you can read his quotes here. Basically he says that taxing large market teams to help small market teams remain competitive works so long as the money being routed is spent on players and not pocketed by owners. Long and short, Henry says that at least seven teams have been regularly losing games while pocketing revenue sharing money. So, revenue sharing has had the unintended consequence of making five owners very profitable despite fielding lousy baseball teams.
Living in Florida, there are a bunch of us who have felt that Marlins ownership (Jeffrey Loria and his family and business partners) have pocketed a large amount of revenue sharing dollars while choosing not to spend money to keep players (Dan Uggla) or acquire one or two guys who might help put the Marlins over the top. (We need a closer, and you let Billy Wagner sign with Atlanta?). Now, the Marlins actually HAVE been competitive – a testament to Larry Beinfest, his scouting and player development staffs, and whomever else gets the mileage out of these guys…
Anyway – I happen to buy Henry’s argument. He says that sports challenges our idea of capitalism and, at least in this case, is rewarding some owners for not making the same efforts as the guys in the bigger markets. Read the article – it’s certainly a fresh take on revenue sharing. [Boston Globe / http://www.boston.com]
Let’s Stay With Boston Themed Articles…
Dustin Pedroia is open to the idea of playing shortstop – which would seem like a pretty good idea if the Red Sox have a better option at second base than their current options at short (Jed Lowrie)… The most immediate prospect is Jeff Natale, a 2005 draft pick out of Trinity College (32nd round) who appears to have a grasp of the strike zone and can hit a little. He’s a bit old for a prospect (27), though, but he can play some. The long term prospect is infielder Jose Iglesias, a Cuban import who just finished a tour in the Arizona Fall League and is projected to reach the majors around 2012. Is Orlando Hudson thinking of playing second in Boston? Brandon Phillips? [ESPN]
And, Billy Wagner – who briefly played for Boston in 2009 – signed a one-year $7 million deal with Atlanta, with a vesting option for 2011. Wagner needs to pass his physical – and if he does, because the Sox offered him arbitration, the Red Sox would receive a compensatory first or second round draft pick from the Braves. [FoxSports]
Let’s Move Behind the Plate…
The Tampa Rays acquired Kelly Shoppach from the Indians for a player to be named later. Shoppach hits for power, but his batting average slipped. That being said, Dioner Navarro’s batting average also dipped last year and the Rays are concerned about Navarro’s eating habits. For Cleveland, that means one of my favorite prospects, Lou Marson, will get a shot at being the opening day catcher for Cleveland. [ESPN]
The Phillies signed Brian Schneider, most recently of the Mets, to a two-year $2.75 million deal. Schneider will be Carlos Ruiz’s caddie… [ESPN]
If you are interested in which free agents were offered arbitration by their teams, click here. Those Type A players (skill, and not personality) if signed by someone else would mean that the team losing that player would get compensatory draft picks. [FoxSports]
Former minor leaguer Dennis “Go-Go” Gilbert channeled his competitive spirit into a solid insurance company and then a baseball player agency. Now, he’s in the running to buy the Texas Rangers. [SI]
Melissa Segura tells the story about the myth of Aroldis Chapman – the Cuban defector who can’t legally drink in the US but owns a 100 MPH fast ball. It’s a good read… [SI]
Tommy Heinrich, nicknamed “Old Reliable” for his ability to come up with big hits to win big games, passed away at the age of 96. A regular outfielder on a number of Yankee World Series games, Heinrich was at bat in the 1941 World Series when a third strike got by catcher Mickey Owen that would have ended game four and evened the series at two games. Instead, Heinrich reached first and the Yankees rallied to beat the Dodgers that day and eventually claimed the title. Heinrich was believed to be the oldest living Yankee; now that title belongs to pitcher Virgil Trucks (92). [SI]
Reds reliever Pedro Borbon (1946), whose pitching kept him around for the better part of a decade as a member of the Big Red Machine. His son never could make it happen…
Others celebrating with cake, cards, or remembrances include: Mike Kelley (1875), Andre Rodgers (1935), Julio Cruz (1954), Darryl Kile (1968), Mark Kotsay (1975).