Orioles “closing in on” trade for Pirates’ Travis Snider

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The Orioles have failed in their pursuit of several free agent outfielders this offseason, so they might now be turning to the trade market to fill their need.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the O’s “appear to be closing in on a deal” that would send one or two minor leaguers to the Pirates in exchange for 26-year-old outfielder Travis Snider. The two sides also had discussions about Snider in December and lefty Brian Matusz was floated as a possible return, but that scenario eventually died out. Matusz is not involved in this round of negotiations.

Snider batted .288/.356/.524 for the Bucs in the second half of the 2014 season, but they’re ready to hand the right field job over to super prospect Gregory Polanco.

Snider’s left-handed power would play well at Baltimore’s Camden Yards.

He’s due $2.1 million in 2015 and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2016.

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.