For the longest time the Phillies were said to be the “front runners” for Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas. Yet, as Matt Gelb reports today, they never even made him an offer. This from Tomas’ agent, Jay Alou:
Jay Alou said Monday the Phillies showed constant interest but never submitted a formal contract offer. Alou believed Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had to “clear salary” before making a substantial commitment to Tomas.
“His hands were tied,” Alou said.
Amaro had no comment apart from saying that the Dbacks valued Tomas more.
I know a lot of people will turn this into another instance of mocking Amaro for incompetence, but I also seem to remember that the Phillies’ reported interest cooled on Tomas, somewhat abruptly a couple of weeks before he signed. Which I think is better to take as a matter of the Phillies’ opinion on him changing, the perceived bidding getting too high or both.
There’s enough of a reason to talk smack about Amaro. I don’t think the team not being willing to make a massive commitment to a guy who presents risk is one of them. A lot of people around baseball think Tomas will be good, but mileage varying on that is not unreasonable.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.
Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.
If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.
Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.