Red Sox special assistant Tony La Russa chimed in on the labor issue of our time which currently finds over 100 free agents teamless with spring training under way. La Russa lays the blame at the feet of the players and their agents. Via Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston:
It’s strange, unique, makes you scratch your head. The player and their representative, they have an obligation to be reasonable too. You can’t shoot for the stars. ‘Cause the teams, they want to win and they try to do the best they can. I just think that in the end, the best situations are when you have a real good agent and the player participates in his future. I mean the dam’s gotta break, and it’s going to break and it’s going to be a tsunami.
It’s not surprising that La Russa comes down on this side of the issue, considering his position. He’s wrong, of course — player salaries haven’t climbed commensurate with MLB revenues, as Nathaniel Grow illustrated at FanGraphs in 2015. If anything, the players — even the Jake Arrietas and J.D. Martinez‘s of the world — are underpaid. Furthermore, the players are underpaid during their first six years of service time in the majors, so it’s only fair if they’re overpaid afterwards anyway. That’s the whole point.
La Russa also briefly addressed the suggestion that team owners have been colluding to drive free agent prices down. He said, “I don’t like the collusion stuff. In fact, lately, I think the media’s starting to catch on [to the player-agent dynamic].”
Not all of us, Tony. Not all of us.