Yesterday, Brewers starter Kyle Lohse criticized the qualifying offer system. Lohse rejected a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals after the 2012 season, hoping to get a lucrative deal in free agency. He ended up jobless well into march until the Brewers jumped in and signed him to a three-year, $33 million deal. This season, Ubaldo Jimenez, Nelson Cruz, Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew, and Kendrys Morales were jobless when spring training began in mid-February. Only recently have Jimenez and Cruz signed; Santana is rumored to be signing with a team soon, while Drew and Morales are in limbo.
Lohse isn’t the only one to criticize the system. Drew criticized it several weeks ago, as did players union chief Tony Clark.
Brad Ziegler, Diamondbacks pitcher and member of the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee, says the CBA won’t be changed until it expires in December 2016. Via Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY:
“The CBA won’t be reopened,” Ziegler, a member of the players’ association’s executive subcommitee, told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday. “There’s no way it’s a big enough deal to do that right now. I haven’t heard any rumblings that’s even realistic.”
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.