The Rangers have designated reliever Neftali Feliz for assignment to make room for Matt Harrison, who was activated from the disabled list, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reports. Harrison hasn’t pitched since May of last season as he had spinal fusion surgery.
That the Rangers would designate Feliz for assignment is a bit surprising considering he was an effective reliever when healthy between 2009-14. This season, however, he blew three saves in nine opportunities with a 5.09 ERA and a 15/9 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings. Things didn’t get any better for him with Triple-A Round Rock, as he allowed 11 runs (nine earned) on 15 hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts in 11 innings.
Feliz is owed the remainder of his $4.125 million salary for the 2015 season and will be eligible for arbitration for one more year. He can become a free agent after the 2016 season.
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.