Quote of the Day: Adam Jones on his rights as a player

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A lot of people wondered if the Orioles would trade outfielder Adam Jones at the deadline. He did not get moved, of course, and a big reason for that was that he has full no-trade rights pursuant to his being (a) a ten-year veteran; with (b) five years on his current team. Or, “ten-and-five” rights, as they’re colloquially known.

These are rights which the players union bargained for because no player likes to be traded when they’ve been someplace for a while. It uproots families and disrupts social and philanthropic efforts players — who are expected to have some loyalty to their community — tend to cultivate. In bargaining, the owners agreed. They agreed that, at a certain point, sure, it’s the right thing to allow guys of significant tenure to have a say in where they play.

I haven’t explored Baltimore Orioles fan message boards and haven’t sought out their comments since the deadline passed, but based on how such situations have played out in the past, I presume there are at least some fans who wish Jones would’ve waived his no-trade rights in order to allow the O’s to more completely tear things down. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com no doubt heard or expected such sentiment, so he asked Jones about not approving a trade. Jones’ comment:

Kubatko added later that there was no saltiness or anything like that on Jones’ part when he said this. He said it was matter-of-fact and that it was even a little amusing. Which is not surprising given Jones’ reputation. He’s one of the good ones.

You know me pretty well by now, so you know I’m staunchly in favor of players’ rights when it comes to this sort of thing. I share it, though, not so much as to wave the union flag as I do to remind folks that not every assertion of a players’ rights is some sort of anti-team, anti-management provocation, as they are so often portrayed. As Jones correctly notes, in this case a team asking the player to waive his rights is the one asking for more than that for which they bargained. They’re the ones trying to take a bit more, not the player.

As such, we should not ask, as we often do in these instances, why the player being intransigent or whatever. We should ask why the team is asking for more than it is entitled to and what they’re willing to do for the player to grant it a considerable favor.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.