When Avisail Garcia underwent surgery in mid-April to repair a torn labrum and an avulsion fracture in his left shoulder, it was thought that he would be lost for the rest of the season. However, thanks to a quicker-than-expected recovery, the White Sox have activated him from the disabled list for tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.
Acquired from the Tigers last July in the three-team Jake Peavy trade, Garcia began this season as the starting right fielder for the White Sox and was hitting .267 (8-for-30) with two home runs and four RBI in eight games before he injured his shoulder while attempting to make a diving catch on April 8. Full recovery from surgery was expected to take six months, but he managed to begin a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month and hit .340 (17-for-50) with one home run and three doubles over 13 games with Triple-A Charlotte. And now he’s back.
Garcia is just 23 years old and is viewed as an important part of the future for the White Sox, so he’ll now be able to go into the offseason with some peace of mind. Even if he struggles, that’s a valuable thing.
We’ve heard the back and forth between players and owners on money, on safety, on the size and the shape of the season. But not until now have we heard just how little baseball Major League Baseball and its owners actually want: 48 games.
That’s all they want, at least if they have to, as agreed, pay players their prorated salaries on a per-game basis. That’s the report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who writes this morning on the state of the current negotiations.
Passan’s article has a lot more than that. It contains a number of financial calculations about how much teams say they stand to lose per game played under any given scenario. That said, given the near total opacity when it comes to owner finances, we have no real way to evaluate the claims. The players have a bit more access to league financials, but even they are reported to be unsatisfied with what the owners have shared in that regard. So, while interesting, nothing Passan presents there is really convincing. It stakes out the positions of the parties but doesn’t really tell us much about the merits.
Which is to say that a 48-game schedule sounds like either (a) a bluff aimed at getting the players to offer financial concessions; or (b) a declaration from the owners that they’d prefer almost no baseball if it means that they have to lose any money. The whole “we’ll happily take the benefits of a good market but won’t bother if there’s a chance we might lose money” approach I’ve lambasted in this space before.
We’ll see soon which it is.