Over the weekend we heard about how Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle were upset that “verbal assurances” that the Marlins were committed to them and that they wouldn’t be traded weren’t honored. Today Buehrle and his agent took it a step further and issued statements voicing their displeasure:
“I’m upset with how things turned out in Miami,” Buehrle said. “Just like the fans in South Florida, I was lied to on multiple occasions. But I’m putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career.”
His agent Jeff Barry elaborated, saying “Mark held up his end of the bargain; unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the Marlins.”
I am obviously no fan of Jeff Loria and the Marlins these days, but cry me a freakin’ river, Buehrle and Barry. The Marlins may have sold you a bill of goods, but you bought, willingly, and knew full well that you didn’t have a no-trade clause and that the Marlins never gave them out when you signed the deal. While we would all like to live in a world where people treat each other better than we do, you know full well that you cannot count on anything in sophisticated business dealings that aren’t set forth in the contract.
I’m sure a lot of teams would love it if they could get more out of their contracts with players than that which is set forth in writing. Promises to do more things than they’re required. Agreements to not take a course of action that benefited the player first and not the team. If they did, the players would rightfully laugh them out of the negotiating room. To expect the teams to treat players any differently is silly.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”