Must-Click Link: A history of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement

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Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are in the midst of negotiating the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. It will, in all likelihood, be in place by early December with little public acrimony between now and the completion of a deal. That has been the pattern for the past decade or so.

The last real showdown came in 2002, when the union and league just barely avoided a work stoppage. Before then, however, there was always high drama. Multiple work stoppages, including a season-ending one in 1994 and a season-altering one in 1981. Others were shorter, but the blood between the players and the owners had long been bad. Before that there was always peace, but it was a forced peace, imposed unilaterally by the owners who were all-powerful and accepted by the players who were virtually unorganized.

In the past three days, Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have been chronicling the history of the CBA over at The Hardball Times. It’s a three part series:

Part 1;

Part 2; and

Part 3

It’s must-read stuff which explains the relationship between the players and owners both yesterday and today. It begins with utter domination of the players by owners and progresses through the famous and epic battles between The Lords of The Realm and MLBPA chief Marvin Miller and his successor, Don Fehr, which resulted in free agency. It ends with where we are now: an odd place, really, where the union and the league act more like friendly business partners than adversaries. Which, to many, seems like a nice place. While, to others, it seems like the union has acted less like an advocate and more like an agent.

It seems like a good time to be reading history as it is. Why not start with some baseball history?

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.