Why in the heck weren’t the Mets all over that Tulowitzki action?

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Second-guessing trades is kind of cheap in that (a) anyone can do it; (b) hindsight is 20/20; and (c) the central conceit of all such second-guesses is that there was some open auction for a player in which anyone could participate as opposed to a handful of texts and phone calls and human subjectivity and emotion and weirdness affecting the outcome. Put differently, saying “why didn’t so-and-so make that deal?!” is fraught with complications because it rarely if ever is as simple as that.

That said, why in the hell didn’t the Mets get in on that Troy Tulowitzki action?

Distilled to its essence, the Rockies gave up Tulowitzki for $50 million or so in salary relief and some not-at-all sure thing pitching prospects, Jeff Hoffman chief among them. Does it not seem to you that the Mets could’ve topped that? Indeed, making deals in which you ship off a prospect, some organizational depth and $50 million is pretty much page number one of the “What a Big Market Team Should Be Doing” manual. Especially when they are only two back in the division and have a desperate, desperate need for someone like Troy Tulowitzki.

Maybe the Mets never had a chance to make that deal, of course. Maybe at some point over the past several months in which people have reported Colorado and New York to be in contact, the communication lines were dropped and the relationship soured. Maybe the Rockies simply didn’t engage the Mets or any number of other teams who could’ve topped that Blue Jays offer, and decided that, for whatever reason, they REALLY wanted Hoffman and REALLY think Jose Reyes was the key to the deal in some way. We can’t know until the GMs in question write their memoirs.

But I look at this deal from Colorado’s perspective and can’t help but think that they could’ve done better. And I look at it from the Mets (and other teams) perspective and think that they could’ve topped it. And I wonder why in the hell they didn’t.

For the Mets, if they had the opportunity and passed, I wonder if it isn’t because the team, despite its market size and revenue, has operated on a small market budget for years now and that they’re content to continue to do so because no one at the league office is willing to call them on it. For the sake of Mets fans I hope that’s not it. I hope it’s just a matter of the Rockies not picking up the phone and calling them for whatever reason.

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.