We should all hope to “botch” things like James Shields did

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has a column about how James Shields ended up signing a four-year, $75 million deal with the Padres after remaining on the open market far longer than anyone expected.

In tweeting out a link to the article, Passan calls it “a botched strategy” by Shields’ behalf:

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There’s some truth to that, certainly (and Passan’s column is a solid one, as are most of his columns). Almost every free agency prediction had Shields signing for more than $75 million and Shields himself probably wasn’t counting on taking four years from San Diego.

But he’s obviously not the first free agent to overestimate his market value and here’s the thing: That’s a helluva “botched strategy.” Shields botched himself into …

1. Living in San Diego, which is one of the nicest places in the country and is where the California native already makes his home during the offseason. I mean, think of how often we hear about how some free agent wants to play in his hometown. Shields actually did it.

2. Playing in the majors’ most pitcher-friendly ballpark, Petco Park, which will help his raw numbers look much better than they actually are and keep any mid-30s decline from being as severe-looking. It’s basically like a free agent hitter signing with the Rockies to play 81 times a year at Coors Field.

3. Being paid $75 million, which is a lot of money–third-most among all free agent pitchers this year behind Max Scherzer and Jon Lester–and probably has the exact same impact on Shields’ lifestyle that being paid, say, $100 million would have had.

Passan is absolutely right that Shields’ offseason didn’t go as planned, but we should all wish for that kind of “botched strategy.”

Players’ offer reportedly not going over well with owners

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Last night it was reported that the Players Union had made an offer to Major League Baseball and the owners regarding plans for a 2020 season. The offer, which was in part counteroffer to the owners’ previous offer, part new proposals of its own, involved a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, a playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season over health concerns, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

How’s that sitting with the owners? Not great, folks.

Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported this morning that the owners want a shorter schedule than the 114 games the players proposed, likely because they want to increase the odds that they can get to a postseason before a potential second wave COVID-19 outbreak occurs, as many experts expect it will. The owners also, not surprisingly, still want salary reductions, which the players have not addressed due to their contention that the matter was settled. Drellich says that the players’ offer “hasn’t been rejected yet but that’s inevitable.”

Bob Klapisch of the Newark Star-Ledger is more blunt:

The sides are, as Drellich notes, still talking. It would appear, however, that the owners tack of negotiating through the media is continuing on as well.