Major League Baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement expires on December 1. The owners and the players’ union have been in the process of negotiating a new one, but one sticking point has been the owners’ insistence on instituting an international draft. The players’ union, of course, does not want to concede on this issue because it is a way for international players’ labor to be exploited.
ESPN’s Marly Rivera reports that Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano and outfielder Nelson Cruz, free agent outfielder Jose Bautista, and free agent reliever Fernando Rodney will attend the bargaining session to speak out against establishing an international draft.
An international draft would likely work like the current amateur draft with the international players being thrown into a pool and then selected one at a time by the 30 teams. The players would likely be under team control for at least six years before being eligible for free agency, meaning the owners would be able to get even more relatively cheap labor while the international players would be missing out on many millions of dollars.
The owners insisted on the international draft as a concession from the players in exchange for abolishing the qualifying offer system. The QO system has impeded free agents in their quest to find an appropriate contract.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.
Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.
Last week Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. That’s bad, but it turns out that it’s nothing new. The Yonhapnews Agency reports that Kang has been arrested for DUI three times since 2009:
Gangnam Police Station in southern Seoul confirmed that it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, with the three strikes law resulting in the immediate revocation of his license. According to police, Kang had also been arrested for a DUI in August 2009 and May 2011. No personal injuries were reported in either case, though he’d caused property damage in the latter incident.
The report also notes that a companion of Kang initially claimed that he, and not Kang, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident which led to Kang’s arrest last week. It was later revealed by the car’s black box, however, that Kang was driving. So add in some obstruction of justice, whether it is charged or not, to the scene. Police are investigating that.
Between all of this and the fact that Kang is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago this past season, a pretty ugly portrait of the Pirates’ infielder is beginning to reveal itself.