Baseball, union to meet on K-Rod today

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Major League Baseball, union folk and enough lawyers to fill out an intermural volleyball team will meet today to chat about the grievance Francisco Rodriguez filed after the Mets withheld salary from him and purported to make his contract non-guaranteed for next season.

I wouldn’t expect anything notable to happen today, inasmuch as this is a required meeting in advance of the arbitration of the matter. Much like, back when I was practicing law, opposing sides were supposed to confer with one another over discovery disputes prior to calling the judge about it.  It usually went like this:

Me: Dude, I requested “every document relating to research expenditures for fiscal year 2005.”  You sent me a kid’s menu from Bob Evans. And two of the three tic-tac-toe games were already filled out.

Other lawyer: I can assure you, we’ve searched for everything you’ve asked for, and what you have is all we are going to produce.

Me: Wait, those two things you just said don’t even go together. They fully provide for the possibility that you searched for and found everything I want, but that you’re simply not going to give it to me.

Other lawyer: Lalalalalalalalalal I can’t hear you!!!

Me: [conferencing in the judge]: Your honor, plaintiff’s counsel will not provide me with relevant documents and will not give me a good reason why. I simply cannot defend my case unless I have his production.

Judge: [waking up] Er, um, yes . . . I am so tired of the lack of civility among lawyers these days. Clearly we can resolve this dispute without my need to issue an order, can’t we?

Me: Actually, no. That’s why I’m calling. They’re being unreasonable and are saying “lalalalalala.”

Judge: Thank you counselor, now, please try to work together. Oh, and your trial date has been pushed back six months because I have a seminar or a vacation. I think. Gosh, why do people insist on suing one another?  Oh well . . . Zzzzzzzz.

Me: [bangs head on desk; says “screw it” and blogs about baseball for three hours, hoping the boss doesn’t catch me].

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.