Reds closer Aroldis Chapman pitched just once in the span of 12 days because of shoulder soreness, but he was on back on the mound Monday to work the ninth inning of a blowout win.
Chapman didn’t look sharp, walking two of the five batters he faced, but manager Bryan Price told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that “he’s past that point where I think the soreness is out of there and he should be good to go.”
There was a lot of trade speculation swirling around Chapman last month, as the Reds moved multiple veterans including ace Johnny Cueto, but nothing came of the Chapman rumors. Expect the speculation to start up again this winter, because 2016 is Chapman’s final year before hitting the open market as a free agent and, assuming his shoulder is fine down the stretch, the Reds could cash him in for a big return.
Chapman has a 1.78 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 51 innings this 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.