Angels expected to non-tender Gordon Beckham

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Tomorrow night is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players on their 40-man roster. With that in mind, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that the Angels are expected to non-tender infielder Gordon Beckham.

Beckham was acquired from the White Sox in late August and batted .268 with two home runs and a .756 OPS in 61 plate appearances down the stretch. The 28-year-old owns a disappointing .660 OPS (80 OPS+) since his rookie season in 2009 and simply isn’t worth the estimated $5 million salary that he would likely receive in his final year of arbitration. The Angels are interested in bringing him back at a lesser rate to serve as a backup infielder, but the former top prospect will be free to explore opportunities elsewhere.

The Angels are also expected to non-tender left-hander Wade LeBlanc, but David Freese will be tendered a contract for 2015. Freese earned $5.05 million this past season while batting .260/.321/.383 with 10 home runs and 55 RBI in 134 games. He’s arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter.

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

Max Scherzer
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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.