For every good there’s a bad. For every yin a yang. The yang to Lonnie Chisenhall’s spectacular .385/.429/.615 yin is the roster crunch it will likely occasion for the Indians. And the odd-man out is probably going to be Jason Giambi.
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com looks at the issue today, and he sees it pretty realistically: once Nick Swisher returns from the disabled list Terry Francona will have to figure out where to play him, Chisenhall, Carlos Santana, Mike Aviles and Giambi. If you assume Chisenhall has earned the right to stick at third base, that Santana’s recent concussion and the presence of two other catchers is going to limit his time behind the plate and that the DH slot is going to feature a rotation of Santana, Swisher and whoever needs some rest, it’s going to be really hard to justify carrying Giambi, who is basically a platoon DH now.
Some may say too many bats is a good problem to have — and it’s way better than the alternative, no question — but such a state of affairs may very well end the career of one of the best and most interesting hitters of the past 20 years.
If that makes you sad, do realize that this state of affairs also gave Castrovince the opportunity to refer to Nick Swisher as “the $56 million bro,” which may be the nickname of the year.
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.