The Tigers exercise their option on Joakim Soria

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Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Tigers have exercised their $7 million option on reliever Joakim Soria.

Soria was dealt from Texas to Detroit in the middle of the season and, overall, posted a 3.25 ERA in 48 appearances while battling injuries. He was better in Texas, serving as the closer and saving 17 of 19 games. In Detroit his role was less-than-defined, though, with manager Brad Ausmus unwilling to use Soria over Joe Nathan in the ninth inning or, less excusably, Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. He only pitched one inning over two appearances in the playoffs, and was shellacked.

Of course, given how bad the Tigers bullpen served them and given how relievers can be sort of unpredictable from year to year, it is not at all surprising that the Tigers are bringing Soria back, even at $7 million. The only question is when he’ll pitch. I could see him doing everything from mopping up to closing in 2015, frankly.

 

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
Mark Brown/Getty Images
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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.

Scherzer’s statement:

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.