September 13, 2008

Game 148-149, BBD Live, Join The Hurd, Alvarez Dillema

Vitals:

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
(78-69)
Saturday: RHP Adam Wainwright (9-3, 2.85 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Brad Thompson (5-2, 4.61 ERA)
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
(60-86)
Saturday: RHP Jeff Karstens (2-5, 4.46 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Ian Snell (6-11, 5.54 ERA)
Game Time Saturday 7:05
Sunday 1:35
XM XM 189
TV Sat: FSN
Sun: None

 

BDD Live:

Eric SanInocencio has Phil Hughes and Orestes Destrade joining him on this weeks edition of Baseball Digest Daily Live.  Join him today at 12:00 PM ET at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/baseballdigestdaily to listen to the live broadcast or use the player found on the right hand side of BTW under the links section.

Join The Hurd:

Rick Hurd, at the Contra Costa Times, has a couple good reads on Boras.  The first is entitled  "Great concept: Selig bans Boras from MLB" and the second is an article on a call he received from Boras on Scott Boras' attempt to change his mind called "Hurd: Greed is just part of game"

BTW Take:

I couldn't agree with Hurd more.  It would be great to hear the words from Selig, "In the best interest of baseball, Scott Boras has been decertified."

Alvarez Dilemma:

A few things to consider when viewing the possible outcomes of the grievance filed by the MLBPA against the Commissioners Office:

  1. The players union does not represent Alvarez in the grievance.
  2. The grievance is filed on the unilateral extension made by the Commissioners Office of the deadline.
  3. The Arbitrator can only rule on issues between the MLBPA and MLB, not minor league contracts. 
  4. The Arbitrator process was put in place to prevent against lawsuits between the MLBPA and MLB when discrepancies may occur over the collective bargaining agreement.
  5. Alvarez is not represented in the hearings as a "plaintiff".
  6. Arbitrators rule based on precedent.
  7. Arbitrators do not have jurisdiction over Minor League Players, the category Alvarez falls under based on his acceptance.

How can this turn out?  

From my understanding of reading more on this subject than I ever dreamed of reading, this is how I see things working out.

If the Arbitrator rules in favor of the union, the Alvarez contract is not voided.  The finding will only allow the MLBPA the right to negotiate with the Commissioners Office on certain articles in the CBA or potentially void the CBA in a worse case scenario.

A decision in favor of the MLBPA will likely open the door for Boras to file a suit on Alvarez's behalf against MLB to void the Minor League contract.  Boras has fought for years to allow amateur free agency and this will be another step towards that end.  Boras has a dream of dissolving the entire draft format.

If, through a lawsuit, the contract is voided, Alvarez will not be a free agent but eligible for the draft again in 2009.  Likely Boras will have him hold out until the 2010 draft to have him declared a free agent since he would no longer be eligible for the draft.  College seniors have until the following draft to sign contracts.  As a drafted college player, even if Alvarez does not return to college, he would have to enter the 2009 draft before he could be declared as a free agent following the same signing deadline as a college senior.

There is another possibility that Alvarez does not enter the draft and signs a contract with an independent league team after the 2009 draft, making him a free agent sooner.

The key thing is Boras must have the contract voided for any of the above to work, Alvarez is classified on the Restricted List as part of the Pirates.  Boras must get the contract voided or risk Alvarez never playing professional baseball outside of Independent Leagues or overseas as long as he is controlled by the Pirates. 

Don't rule out Alvarez playing overseas until his Minor League deal expires with the Pirates if Boras does not get the contract voided.

MLB will likely argue that the MLBPA granting an extension for one draftee extends the deadline for all draftees in essence granting the Commissioners Office permission to extend the deadline unilaterally.

Basically, even after the hearings are done and the Arbitrator passes judgement, the matter still will not end unless MLB wins the grievance proceedings.  Even then, I am sure Boras will try everything possible to still get the contract voided.  I don't expect to see Alvarez in the Pirates system until spring at the earliest, if at all, because I don't see MLB winning the grievance.

This will be a long winter with Alvarez and the Pirates in the news regularly. 

 

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