Jon Heyman of CBS and Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly report that the Phillies are expected to announce the hiring of Andy MacPhail “soon” or “within a week or so.”
MacPhail was in charge of the Baltimore Orioles from 2007-11, the Chicago Cubs from 1994-2006 and the Minnesota Twins from 1985-94. He won rings with the Twins, made the Cubs respectable and, though there was scant success while he was still in Baltimore, he did make some moves that turned things around for the franchise eventually, including stealing Adam Jones from Seattle and hiring Buck Showalter as his manager.
As our friend Bill Baer writes over at his day blog, Crashburn Alley, there is reason for Phillies fans to have hope with a MacPhail hire. Specifically, that it may end the era in which the Phillies appear to reject advanced analytics out of hand and, you know, join the 21st century.
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.
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.