During the past week, the MLB offseason resembled a walk-in freezer rather than the usual hot stove. Not only was there a scarcity of action, even rumors of possible moves was scarce. Most of the blame was pointed at the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations that had come to a standstill because of the owners’ desire for an international draft.
Threat of a possible work stoppage had agents and teams alike willing to wait to see the outcome before committing to any major contract. The possibility of the winter meetings being skipped if the CBA wasn’t finalized made the next week look similarly dull.
Yesterday, things finally started to look up. First, Yoenis Cespedes agreed to a four-year, $110 million contract with the Mets. One of the top free agents on the market finalizing a contract had many thinking that sufficient progress must have been made in the CBA negotiations that both agents and teams were confident that an agreement would be reached in time to avoid a lockout.
If you’re looking for a single place to go to stay on top of all the CBA news, this is a great place to stop.
MLB and the MLBPA met late into the night last night and there is indeed hope that they will be able to come to an agreement before the deadline now. While the owners have conceded to the union on the international draft, it appears that the current hold-up has to do with the luxury tax threshold and the penalties for exceeding it.
Currently, there are only financial penalties and the owners have expressed a desire to also penalize draft picks if a team exceeds it. The union is cautious about any change that would make the luxury tax even more similar to a salary cap.
In baseball second major move of the day, the Cubs signed their new left-handed hitting outfielder. While the move itself might not seem that major, the ramifications of it are a bit bigger. First, it signals the end of Dexter Fowler’s time with the Cubs. It also means that whatever rumors there were about the Cubs pursuing Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon are dead. However, that’s not that surprising as the two sides didn’t seem like a good fit at the time.
Rockies have expressed interest in a reunion with Mark Reynolds, source tells SBN. Reynolds' market will have overlap with Chris Carter's.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) November 29, 2016
Unsurprisingly, the Rockies are interested in possibly reuniting with their former first baseman. With so many other options currently available I don’t expect a Reynolds signing soon. However he’s a safe fallback plan in case the Rockies are unable to sign one of the more attractive options.
Jeff Bridich gives a peak into the Rockies front office thinking. As is the usual, everything is fairly vague and filled with GM speak, but it’s still worth a read.