Just curious if other owners have thoughts on this. I don't own Syndergaard anywhere, so doesn't matter to me personally, but it seems like we've created some inconsistency by having a massive lag between arbitration and the auctions in the level of info known about the player pool. In his recent email, Arne says "There are simply too many things that can happen between now and Opening Day. I know I, for one, would have been pretty angry if I had paid $30 for Chris Sale right before his Tommy John surgery was announced." Is having renewed Syndergaard really that much different than the potential frustration over Sale other than a little less money and more optionality for next year? Presumably it's a case of what's done is done and we accept this year will be weird, but curious if folks think otherwise.
I'm of the mind that for players like Syndergaard and Sale, where issues arise after the deadline, that if we protected them then we have to keep them. We all make decisions based on imperfect information. I don't see how this is different.
Hm, maybe I should've been more clear. My question here is whether we are *already* treating them differently by default, due to the extremely long delay between ARB renewals (Syndergaard) and auctioned players (Sale). Under "normal" circumstances, Sale (who's up for auction in most leagues) would've been auctioned before his TJ announcement and been bound to a team, as Arne's note implies. Because we delayed auctions, he's not bound to teams (some of this is circumstantial with his service since we run 3 year post-FA contracts and he's had 9 years of service).
It just seems like we've created real asymmetry between players who went through ARB and those who go through auction in terms of info known at the time of the financial commitment by having months elapse between ARB and auctions. Sale/Syndergaard just makes the general issue more concrete in an example.
Still trying to think of how to get the general point across. The general point is that, unlike in a typical year, there's now a huge info gulf between teams that are predominately comprised of ARB salaries agreed to in March and teams predominately comprised of FA contracts signed on the eve of the season (presumably no earlier than late May). I don't have an opinion either way on whether early/late was better, but it seems like by default we've gone with "both" instead of one or the other, depending on who's on your team. So, a team with a bunch of expensive ARB contracts (Story, Suarez, deGrom, etc.) is having to commit salary with *much* more unknown about the season than someone who's buying most of their team in FA this year. Maybe this is NBD - there's usually a ~10 day delay, and lots of salary in most leagues is committed on pre-existing multi-year deals, which are unaffected - but it is a little different than a normal year.
Your last paragraph has nothing to do with Thor having TJS...but is a topic of discussion...because 2020 has decided to be the year that nothing is normal.
I think you are confusing the value of picking up a player mid-season in a normal season. I don't think it matters for this season...whatever that ends up being. Whether there are 100 games or 162 games, we all compete in that 100 or 162...so the relative value of one guy vs the other is still relatively the same. A guy that puts up 80 XR in 2020 is essentially equal to 110 in other normal seasons...because the average player will also put up fewer XR this season. All players will be subject to the same number of possible games to produce.
Next year it could depress ARB raises due to this season's production likely being an outlier for most players due to a likely fewer number of games.
Ugh, am I really this bad at explaining what I mean? I of course agree that the expectation for healthy player performance is unchanged (there will be higher variance over a smaller sample, but this is a digression), and that you might want to prorate a shorter season somehow to deal with ARB asks, etc.
The point is there is asymmetric information known about players' health who went through ARB and players who go through auctions when *months* (instead of the usual 1-2 weeks) elapse between when these two periods of contract renewal occur. Syndergaard and Sale are a clear example of what happens when we allow this: potential Sale owners know much more about his health when they make a 2020 salary commitment than Syndergaard owners did. This is why I say on some level we are choosing to commit salary to players *both* early and late (i.e., in March and again whenever the season starts) instead of having one uniform rule set for all players. An example of a team this could harm if we allow it to play out is one where the owner renewed a bunch of expensive ARB-5 guys (Hendricks, deGrom, Suarez, whatever) and then those guys get coronavirus, or get hurt ramping up, or etc., whereas the team that auctions Lance Lynn, Gerrit Cole, and Nolan Arenado instead knows more about their health on the eve of the season when making that salary commitment.
I don't think I support it, but a simple way to unwind this would be to allow folks a one-time ability to cut any ARB-renewed players ~1 week before auctions. Would make it more equivalent to what usually happens.
I don't see the point of addressing the Sale situation by allowing eveyone to drop an unwanted contract. We all face the possibility of a season ending injury following the auction. Sale will, if he is acquired at all, be most likely be at a steep discount. So what? <Shrug!> It's an unexpected advantageoud event, counterbalanced IMO by players being allowed to more fully recuperate from injury before returning to service.
BTW I have no personal interest in the issue as I play in NL leagues only .
I'll just drop it after this, but, again, this comment is adjacent to the point I'm making. Maybe the Sale thing is just adding confusion?
The point is we're allowing months to lag between when part of the player pool (from a $ standpoint, mostly guys in ARB) is given a 2020 contract vs. another large part of the player pool (2020 free agents). This doesn't usually happen. It creates much more info asymmetry than is usual between teams who hold a lot of large-dollar late ARB year contracts and teams who planned to spend a lot in FA this year. I think there's a real risk of a rash of particularly pitching injuries if/when teams get ready for a season, so just trying to make the point out front of this becoming a bigger issue. To try to make it as concrete as possible, let's say Team A has Aaron Nola, Jacob deGrom, and Kyle Hendricks in ARB 4/5. They all sustain arm injuries ramping up in June before the start of the season, and, given how short the season is, are out for the year, making them dead money. OTOH, Team B was going to fill their rotation with 3 of Lynn, Cole, Verlander, Greinke, and Morton. Two of them get hurt, three are healthy, and Team B knows this before the late auctions, therefore pays the healthy guys (yes, the unhealthy guys would get paid less, but it's a different point). We are totally sure this is fair to Team A?
Luke, I think you are making a pretty good argunment why we should have gone ahead with the auctions. But that's not the topic.
I agree that if we were to allow owners to drop Thor, then we should not make a "special rule" for just Thor. If we want to allow owners to dump Thor and/or Sale, then we should give everyone the option to release players. I think this would be the only fair implementation and given the unique circumstances, I would be OK with it. It's similar to what was done by the NHL after the 2004-5 strike. Player salaries were significantly affected by the new labor agreement and salary cap rules, so they allowed what were called compliance buy-outs.
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