Report: Owners want players to sign ‘acknowledgment of risk’ waiver before playing

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Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports that Major League Baseball’s proposal to the players  includes a revision to the league’s Operations Manual which would require players to sign an “acknowledgment of risk” waiver before playing.

The players, quite reasonably, believe that the waiver is aimed at undermining their ability to file grievances against the league in the event that they are placed in unsafe working conditions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I mean, why else would they be proposing it now?

Either way, given how much uncertainty there is regarding what safe practices may be once play resumes, shifting all of the risk onto the players, while a predictable aim of the owners, is not a reasonable one. The only way for baseball to work during the pandemic will be if everyone is truly incentivized to make conditions as safe as possible for everyone in and around the game. A waiver does the opposite of that.

This is especially troubling given that Major League Baseball has claimed that it intends to contact and coordinate with local health departments on its safety protocols but, per Bradford William Davis’ reporting in the New York Daily News, they simply haven’t done so.

Between this and counteroffers that continue to want to pay players cents on the dollar, it’s almost as if Major League Baseball is looking for a way to get out of playing a 2020 season altogether.

Gallegos agrees to 2-year, $11M contract with Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.