Another day, another young pitcher lost to Tommy John elbow surgery. This time it’s A’s right-hander Jarrod Parker, who was slated to start on Opening Day and will instead be undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time at age 25.
Parker had the first surgery while in the Diamondbacks’ farm system and bounced back very well, posting a 3.73 ERA in 378 innings for the A’s during the past two seasons after coming over in the late-2011 trade for Trevor Cahill.
The list of pitchers who’ve come back from multiple Tommy John surgeries isn’t a particularly long one, however, so it’s much tougher to predict how he’ll fare this time around. Best-case scenario is that he’ll miss all of this season and be ready to rejoin the rotation early next year.
Oakland also just lost A.J. Griffin for at least a month with flexor tendinitis and the news may get even worse, as the A’s had to scratch Scott Kazmir from today’s scheduled start with a triceps strain. Assuming (please!) that the A’s can keep Sonny Gray healthy for the next couple weeks it looks like he’ll be the Opening Day starter with a grand total of 10 regular season starts under his belt.
MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.
Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.
Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.