Max Scherzer Washington Nationals

Age: 35 (July 27, 1984) | 6' 3" | 215lbs. | Throws: Right P-33 PH-2
Tm Lg YEAR W L SV Hld G GS IP H HR BB SO ERA WHIP Rating BB/9 SO/9 BABIP G/L/F % $4x4 $5x5
WAS NL 2016 20 7 0 0 34 34 228.0 165 31 56 284 2.96 0.97 1.05 2.2 11.2 .272 33/19/48 40 38
WAS NL 2017 16 6 0 0 31 31 200.1 126 22 55 268 2.52 0.90 0.93 2.5 12.0 .259 37/17/47 42 39
WAS NL 2018 18 7 0 0 33 33 220.1 150 23 51 300 2.53 0.91 0.95 2.1 12.3 .283 34/18/48 41 40
WAS NL 2019 11 7 0 0 27 27 172.0 144 18 33 243 2.93 1.03 1.09 1.7 12.7 .342 41/21/38 27 28
2020 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.00 n/a
Career 12yrs 170 89 0 0 365 356 2287.0 1883 254 618 2692 3.20 1.09 1.13 2.4 10.6 .302 n/a
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Until the owners open their books -- with independent analysis and a set of guidelines that include all of their revenues -- the players should stand firm. The opening of books needs to be a part of any new agreement. In addition towards a freer market. Just because the owners had their way for almost 100 years, doesn't mean it needs to stay that way. Indeed, that's something of an argument that the players deserve more, even if the players who were screwed until the 60s, and even afterwards, can't be the beneficiaries of a more open system.

mike fenger mike

It's almost as if Joel Sherman felt the sting of Eugene's analysis of his previous column. Here's what he writes today:

... You think the players should be grateful. Most are. But also we should be grateful. I watched the owners’ replacement baseball folly in spring 1995 and sorry to break it to you, but you were not one better coach in high school away from the majors. These are the best players distilled through a Darwinian system that separates those who can and cannot. As a society we have decided to value this particular rare skill set. 

... You think the players’ salaries have priced you out of tickets. Except the Orioles and Tigers cut their payrolls by $100 million each from 2017 to 2020. Were either lowering ticket prices to reflect the savings and certitude of a worse product?

... The owners have gotten used to winning negotiations, the last collective bargaining agreement for sure, with the minor leagues, with umpires, with getting caps on the draft and international spending. They have done this with a strategy more jackhammer than stiletto. This is what any business does — tries to get the most production for the least cost.

The players stood up to the jackhammer this time. It is not just that after years of rising revenues and franchise values, the owners now are asking for the players to help lessen their financial burden/loss. It is that the first official offer, among other things, asked the players who make the most to be walloped.

... Players endure capped systems in either the draft or internationally at the entry level. They have to work through the minors, often for several years, making wages often below poverty levels. Those who reach the majors cannot seek an open market for six or, if their service time is manipulated, seven seasons (think those who have had their service manipulated trust owners right now?). In the first three years, teams can pay major leaguers whatever they want, usually close to the minimum. The next three to four years, the teams have an arbitration system that, yes, begins to pay players better, but within confines and without a free market providing true value in what often are players’ most productive seasons.

In recent years, analytic front offices have smartly — but coldly — figured out how to get similar production for less cost, lowering many bars for arbitration-eligible players and free agents. One of the strategies is to keep the pay down on one end with all of the rules, then say the player is too old to get real money when he is finally free.

Those who navigate all of that to command lucrative contracts are being asked to incur the brunt of the savings for owners. And, as opposed to owners and their heirs who have decades of runway to make back losses, players who get in 10-plus years in The Show are a small percentage.

Also, whatever a player earns, we all will know it. We have no idea what owners make, which is central to the union complaint. MLB is crying poor but the Players Association is dubious...

https://nypost.com/2020/06/01/sherman-mlbs-potential-disaster-isnt-about-players-greed/

Alex Patton Alex

Didn't look up NHL, but NBA players were pretty well taken care of because they had most of their regular season already in (and owners had received the ticket, etc. revenue).  They get paid twice a month over the course of 12 months, and per agreement they didn't start foregoing pay until two months after the season shut down, so at that point likely had received 70 or more percent of their money. Some explanation here if you have a Post subscription. 

Edited to add that the number is 74 percent, per David Aldridge at the Athletic.  I think with the NBA the big issue will be next year, when the losses this year will tamp down the salary cap.

John Thomas Roll2

How are the NBA and NHL dealing with the pay issue?

Alex Patton Alex

I would agree Sherman is a little shrill, am not sure he's a shill.

"MLB’s first proposal delivered Tuesday was so purpose-pitch brutish that it further entrenched and bonded the players to refuse a further monetary haircut beyond the half season of salary they already are guaranteed to lose."

Further on...

"Which is why the 20,000 feet should help. Perhaps looking down, they could see a country in financial peril, a nation craving the symbolic burst of optimism that returning to regular-season games on July 4 weekend would offer. Maybe they could gain the perspective that they might not be friends, but the wreckage below has created a common enemy that should be bonding them — the virus.

"For the fight over 2020 money is shortsighted. The virus is the un-gift that is going to keep on giving. Finances already are disrupted or worse for the next few seasons as MLB faces uncertainty if it will even have paying spectators in 2021, not just because of uncertainty when a vaccine will arrive, but because so many folks waylaid by unemployment or salary cuts might not have the disposable income to attend."

If he's worried about his own job, that's reasonable.

Alex Patton Alex

One question is are the New York Post's reporters who cover politics on the payrolls of political campaigns?  Are their crime reporters on the payroll of police departments?  If not, why are their baseball reporters on the payroll of MLB? It's an inherent conflict of interest.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed

To Eugene's spot-on analysis, I would add that what struck me was Sherman's line "what is most vital is the overall health of the game"----which may be true for owners and their franchise values, but it is not true for players when their personal physical health is in play, as is a major chunk of salary in a career that is not very long lasting.

Mike Landau ML-

Because it's what I do for a living, I read Sherman's column much differently.  Here's my analysis:

Bear in mind that this is the continuation of a drumbeat that purports "both sides" but merely presents management's position. Not surprisingly, it's someone who presumably receives a paycheck for his regular appearances on MLB Network. Let's break down this column in a thread:

 

Commissioner makes a statement that games will begin July 3 provided there is medical approval. Sherman claims this gives up leverage. That's false. It's actually using leverage in the media to claim that management wants games but players don't. It also makes a statement that management doesn't intend to meet its bargaining obligation over health and safety issues, which would have to be completed prior to players returning to the field.

 

Same nonsense about if players want to opt-out they should be allowed. I've broken that down before.A refresher - some players have Americans with Disabilities Act rights due to serious conditions that affect major life activities (in this case-working). FMLA issues related to care of family members experiencing COVID. Extreme pressure from teammates & media to participate.

 

Nobody cares about watching owners. Ok, that's a philosophical statement, but the reciprocal he provides is that players shouldn't be locked in on the financial aspect. What? Players should give up the agreement they already have from March on pro rata salaries in return for people wanting to watch them play rather than owners play. I'm not sure how those two things are logically related.  One side gives something up and the other side gains something.

 

Provides totally unrelated financial solutions to different problems not associated with March agreement including: raise minimum salary in the future, raise luxury tax or eliminate penalties. Guess what, those are things for negotiations in 2022 regardless of what happens now. Still nothing in return for players giving up their pro rata agreement.

 

Then @Joelsherman1 creates an artificial deadline of June 5 for the parties to reach agreement-again, with nothing gained by the players in that agreement, only that they give up their March MOU.  Still nothing about the real thing that needs to be agreed to-health and safety.

 

Of course the adults reading his column understand this right? The players should give up their position quickly and accede management's will, because that's what adults would do.

 

He then calls on player agents to sell out their clients and not act in their best interests.

 

He wraps up by giving his legal opinion of the March MOU - not ironically the exact management interpretation.  

 

And, he goes on to somehow invoke Curt Flood, who stood up for his rights by saying in Flood's honor players should give up their rights.  Sickening. 

 

I wonder if MLB wrote this for Sherman or just gave him some talking points. 

 

It's a good thing MLB has its own media outlet and can buy shills for so little.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed

While the pro-Trump Post takes the players' side.

https://nypost.com/2020/05/29/reasoning-behind-scott-boras-rallying-cry-to-mlb-players/

Or Ken Davidson does. To my surprise, Joel Sherman puts equal blame on both sides. He thinks Manfred and Clark could settle their differences at 20,000 feet.

https://nypost.com/2020/05/28/shortsighted-mlb-money-war-could-cripple-baseball-long-term-sherman/

Alex Patton Alex

Let's just say the Times doesn't write about Trump in such measured terms.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/sports/baseball/coronavirus-baseball-mlb.html

Alex Patton Alex