Minor League Baseball Players Receive Raises

After considerable deliberation between the Minor League Baseball Association and executives with Major League Baseball, it was confirmed that players under the minor banner would receive a salary increase throughout the 2021 season. This announcement followed after it was confirmed that the commissioner’s office sent a memo to the Associated Press, which noted all thirty outfits under the Minor League Baseball Association. This salary increase is listed at 3% to 72%, which will be determined based on the skillsets of each respective player.

The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues held these negotiations between both outfits, with the governing body demanding that the former agreement be replaced. Rob Manfred, the Commission for Major League Baseball, wanted to sever all ties with Minor League Baseball. After the considerable backlash to this public decision, Rob Manfred returned with an offer that would see forty-two teams terminated. It’d break the whole minor league outfits down to 138. Bernie Sanders was one of the most vocal individuals against this decision, expressing to Rob Manfred that Washington would get involved under his election into office.

Representatives with the Minor League Baseball Association expressed their unwavering support to the pay increases but believed that reductions in available teams and players wouldn’t benefit the sport. Considering that MLB earns billions per year, they can more than afford to maintain a salary increase without affecting their overall bottom line. Minor League Baseball associates have provided Rob Manfred with a counter-proposal, which demands that older facilities be updated and that efforts be made to expand this sport. The Houston Astros and Minor League Baseball scandals have forced Rob Manfred to re-negotiate. He could find himself destroying the image of professional baseball, which would see his job immediately terminated.

The Good News

It should be noted that Major League Baseball outfits are forced to pay the salaries of minor league players. Rob Manfred demanded that this mindset be altered and that Minor League outfits begin paying a percentage of the associated costs. This saw increased vocal frustration towards the commissioner, with Minor League Baseball being a cemented icon in the United States. It’s benefits millions of children and young adults towards a better, more athletic lifestyle. Since the announcement that salary increases will be provided with teams being terminated, a large percentage of the backlash against Rob Manfred has depleted. Additional details regarding the new agreement haven’t been publicly offered, with those details still being determined.

All-Star Pitcher Regrets Houston Astros Situation

Charlie Morton from the Houston Astros regrets the decisions made for sign stealing back in the 2017 World Series Championship. The Two-Time All-Star Pitcher expressed that he hadn’t done anything to stop the illegal relaying information, with him having direct involvement in the illicit actions. Morton now pitches for the Tampa Bay Rays, where coaching staff questioned his decisions three years ago. Charlie noted to reporters that when his contract had ended, he immediately left the organization for their decisions to perform illegal hand stealing movements.

Though Charlie Morton believes he wasn’t directly involved with the illegal actions, he had heard about them through the dugout and fellow teammates. Pitchers everywhere have lost considerable respect for Charlie Morton, with him regularly being benched by the Tampa Bay Rays. This shouldn’t be surprising as everyone associated with the 2017 Houston Astros have received their respective punishments. Charlie believes he should’ve done something to stop the illegal behaviour but worried that his contract would immediately be terminated. He hypothesized that if coaching staff with the Houston Astros were willing to cheat, they’d be ready to break contract law.

The Overall Impact

Morton firmly agreed that this cheating scandal has drastically impacted the perception of baseball and seen countless supporters switch to other sporting leagues. The Houston Astros themselves have become shunned in Major League Baseball, with sporting analysts believing that declining revenues will force this organization to shutdown before 2025. Charlie mentioned that good people make mistakes and can recover after being educated.

However, this excuse isn’t enough to justify his respective actions of the decisions made by the Houston Astros. Morton tried to garner sympathy for his previous teammates, expressing that they’ve got a different perspective on professional baseball and couldn’t easily oppose this decision. It should be noted that an entire team fighting cheating, forces the hand of coaches, regardless of the potential backlash.

Coaching staff and executives connected with the Houston Astros have received suspensions for their actions, with the General Manager being terminated for twelve months. This extended to AJ Hinch and subsidiary assistant coaches who moved to other organizations before this scandal was revealed. Going forward, the MLB Commission is refusing for electronics to be implemented with teams’ strategies.

Francisco Lindor & Cleveland Indians at Odds

The Cleveland Indians are considered to be one of the most prominent organizations in Major League Baseball. However, their restrictive when proposing large-scale contracts for players. It’s the most elite receive specialized treatment from this organization, which often leads to players departing from the Indians after reaching their peaks. This potentially could happen again with Francisco Lindor, as there’s been extensive speculation that he’d leave Cleveland following the 2021 Season.

Francisco Lindor isn’t even the highest-paid individual in Indian history, with Edwin Encarnacion taking that title at $60 million during the 2016-17 season. Sporting analysts have predicted that Francisco could earn upwards of $200 million under the free agent badge. Why would he remain loyal to the Indians for $50 million under a multi-year contract, when the funds attainable elsewhere are far higher? The answer is he wouldn’t. While speaking with reporters during the Tribal Fest, Francisco expressed that the Cleveland Indian’s haven’t offered the right number for a multi-year extension.

It should be noted that pursuing an extension won’t apply for an additional twenty-four months, which would prompt the minimal debates regarding pay increases. Recent improvements in Lindor’s capabilities will force these discussions onto the Cleveland Indian’s shortly though. Francisco Lindor mentioned that the more money, the better. His main concern relates to his family’s financial well-being. He noted that if the Cleveland Indian’s cannot offer him a minimum of $150 million, he’ll be departing from the organization. Considering that the payroll for Cleveland last year was collective $120 million, it’s highly unlikely this extension will be possible.

Potential Options

There have been multiple organizations in Major League Baseball that have expressed their desire to purchase Francisco Lindor. Those teams include the Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Mets. However, both Terry Francona and Chris Antonetti haven’t been willing to engage in any conversations with these organizations. Both these individuals confirmed that Lindor wouldn’t be traded during the offseason and that he’ll play the full course of his contract.

Subsequently, it seems that Francisco Lindor and his coaches are at odds going forward. This level of tension regarding contracts can often lead to unexpecting situations where head coaches are put under the bus. Ultimately, Lindor has more associated power than his coaches and could have them terminated after prolonged harassment. Chris Antonetti and Terry Francona should be wary of how they approach this situation going forward.

MLB Sponsoring Olympic Softball

Major League Baseball has chosen to use its muscle financially to support the Women’s U.S softball team after it was guaranteed a spot in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. While good news for the women’s team, the men’s team continue to struggle in their efforts to qualify.

The MLB further announced that it has agreed to be the sponsor for the “Stand Beside Her” women’s tour, a series of exhibition games that will take place in the lead up to the Olympics. Commenting on the agreement, the senior vice-president for baseball operations in the MLB, Kim Ng, stated “We’re both bat and ball sports. Even though we’re not the same sport, there are so many similarities that you just can’t ignore. It was important for us to make sure that they have this acknowledgment and recognition of their ability and their talent.”

Softball was introduced into the Olympics’ in 1996 during the Atlanta Games. The opening year saw players such as Jessica Mendoza, Jennie Finch and Dot Richardson from the U.S women’s team winning gold, a feat they repeated in 2000 and again in 2004 however in the gold medal game during the 2008 games, Japan prevailed. After the 2008 games, both softball and baseball was dropped from the games but was restored for the upcoming 2020 games. The U.S team will be joined by Mexico, Canada, Australia and Italy in Yokohama and Fukushima. It is expected both will once again be dropped for the 2024 games but return in 2028.

While the women’s team have earned a positon, the U.S men’s team is not seeing the same level of success after they failed against Mexico in Novembers Premier12 tournament final. The U.S however have two remaining opportunities to qualify, one in late March and another in April. If they succeed they will join South Korea, Mexico, Japan and Israel.

One reason could be the MLB’s decision not to allow professional players from joining the rosters and that saw no pitching prospects on the team during the November tournament. Speaking on the decision Haylie McCleney, an American outfielder stated, “The platform for us is 10 times bigger. For us, it’s a great opportunity for people that have never watched softball before, people that have only followed it at the collegiate level, to really see how fun our game is to watch, how pure it is. If people are baseball fans, I guarantee they’re going to love softball because it’s pretty much just a faster game — it’s shorter, it’s quicker, it’s more entertaining to watch, in my opinion.”

In 2008, the gold medal game too less than two hours, less than half of that it took to complete the World Series final. As part of the MLB’s deal, the U.S team will train at the Vero Beach, Florida Jackie Robinson Training Complex.

MLB Acquisitions in January 2020

The acquisition period for Major League Baseball has officially begun. Organizations in MLB will focus on acquiring formidable players, with the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros receiving some of the first picks. Subsequently, it was announced by San Diego Padre representatives that they’d finalized their contract with Craig Stammen. This contract will see the middle-aged professional remain with the Padres until 2021 for $9 million. Detailed in this announcement was that a third season upgrade could be held for an additional $12 million.

Craig Stammen became a free agent on December 31st, 2019. Subsequently, he could negotiate his contract. This resulted in the athlete earning $4.5 million for the next two seasons, with the annual performance bonus of $500,000.00. The San Diego Padres are also required to pay Stammen $100,000.00 for every forty to sixty games pitched. This follows after the reliever appeared in seventy-six games in 2019. He maintained a 3.29 ERA, even after a substantial loss against the Washington Capitals. During this matchup he allowed the Capitals to make four consecutive runs by making mistakes. It should be noted he spent several seasons with Washington, making some sports analysts wonder if this had been done purposely by Stammen. It was one of the most talked-about controversies in major league baseball until the Houston Astros were found cheating.

George Spring to the Houston Astros

The second acquisition that was confirmed this week pertained to the Houston Astros, who maintained their 1st round draft pick after being found guilty of cheating. Representatives with the Astros confirmed that George Springer would remain at Houston for a one-year contract. This is costing the organization $21 million, which follows after Springer won the 2017 World Series MVP.

George Springer demanded $22.5 million for salary upgrades from the Houston Astros, with coaching staff offering $17.5 million instead. This prompted Springer to begin negotiations with other unnamed organizations. Houston coaching staff folded their cards and returned with a $21.5 million offer. Subsequently, the Astros retained $1 million in their negotiations, which could be returned to Springer after bonuses. Any team could’ve acquired George after being an All-Star play for three consecutive seasons, with thirty-nine home runs and an RBI of 96.

The 2017 most valuable player led the Houston Astros to the 2017 World Series. During their final game, he struck five home runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, it was revealed that he knew the opponents pitching strategy. MLB confirmed that week that the Astros had used camera equipment to determine the pitching strategies of opposing teams, using the technology is more than 100+ games.

Mookie Betts Re-Signed to Red Sox

Supporters for the Boston Red Sox were thrilled when it was announced that Mookie Betts would remain with the team going forward. This comes after the MLB organization, and Mookie Betts agreed to a new contract, which is costing Boston Red Sox $27 million. This deal was finalized on January 10th, 2020, and came right before the arbitration-deadline. This breaks all previous payment records for this acquisition period, with the historical rate standing at $26 million for Nolan Arenado when he signed with the Colorado Rockies. It’s also $7 million higher than what Mookie Betts earned throughout the 2019 season.

The associated cost with keeping Mookie Betts didn’t phase the Boston Red Sox. He maintained an incredible record of 27-hits at a .295/.391/.524 on a 135 Ops+. This extends to twenty-nine home runs at the 6.8 WAR. Mookie managed his capabilities to earn 135 runs with an 80 RBI. Subsequently, this enabled him to become Major League Baseball’s most valuable player. It should be noted that Mookie Betts can deny this offer come the official acquisition period for 2020. Depending on the qualities and capabilities displayed by Mookie Betts throughout the upcoming season, he could acquire a long-term extension on his contract from the Red Sox. This will follow an identical path to Nolan Arenado, who had an incredible performance after receiving his $26 million contract deal.

The History of Mookie

Mookie Betts is one of the most credited players in Major League Baseball. Throughout his career, he’s become an All-Star Champion four times, which extends to four Golden Globes as well. This offseason saw him become one of the most mentioned players, with analysts speculating that he’d be traded from the Red Sox. This changed when Chaim Bloom became the new Chief Baseball Officer for Boston. He clarified that these rumours were false and that all offers had been denied by rival teams. Chaim Bloom expressed that their goal is to have notable players from last season return for 2020. This includes David Chris and Chris Sale, who work efficiently with Mookie Bets. This trio will make more than $80 million collectively, which will be one of the highest payouts made by the Red Sox.

Baseball analysts determined that if Mookie Bets, Chris Sale or David Chris were to leave the Red Sox, it will prompt an immediate decline in wins. An average of 4.3 games would be lost weekly, with standard percentages dropping from 71% to 49%. The Red Sox determined figures similar to these analysts, which prompted the increased payout. It’s been a prolonged period since the Red Sox won the MLB Championship, which could change this year with these players returning.

Oscar Carlos Entering Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball’s most notable legends come from international markets, mainly in Cuba. Baseball is the nations most beloved stars, with individuals acquiring incredible talents throughout their young lifetimes. The next potential legend entering MLB is Oscar Colas, who has now become part of a protracted bidding war. Standing at twenty-one years of age, this Cuban player is known for his incredible capabilities as an outfielder and pitcher. His build comprises of 6.1 Feet, with a weight of 209lbs. Subsequently, his talents and build have made Oscar the most notable prospect from Cuba since Alex Rodriguez.

This information has become prevalent amongst fans of Major League Baseball in recent days, with it being announced that Oscar Colas left Cuban Soil last week and has meetings with numerous teams in the MLB. It should be noted that Oscar previously played with the Japanese Baseball League, where he averaged a .302/.350.515 throughout sixty-six games. Colas has maintained a professional career since seventeen, first playing in the Cuban Circuit. Throughout his time with the Japanese circuit, this young baseballer didn’t pitch in any capacity. Instead, strategists maintain him as the left-hander who could throw a fastball at 95mph.

The Available Signing Periods

The international signing period has begun for Major League Baseball, with analysts speculating that these meetings won’t come into any fruition until July. This is because the global bonus pool period resets, enabling for higher sums of money to be earned for the professional player. This comes after multiple teams have begun clamouring for rights to his free agency contract. However, the real question going forward is which teams are looking into Oscar Colas. The Chicago White Sox is the only organization that’s mentioned their desire to acquire Oscar for a two-year contract. Some analysts believe that behind closed doors, the White Sox and Colas have agreed. This would verify the rumours that the upcoming meetings won’t result in any acquisitions.

Chicago White Sox’s Admiration to Cubans

Additional players from the Cuban Professional League that hopped over to the Chicago White Sox include the following: Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. This organization has expressed numerous times that Cubans are some of the greatest baseball players worldwide. It’s often been with the assistance of Cuban players that the White Sox have acquired championship contention. It should be noted that the LA Angels are considering Oscar Colas as well.

MLB Holiday Signings

The holidays weren’t just eventful for millions of families across North America, but it was also momentous for those in Major League Baseball. Two new signings were made throughout the last two weeks in December, with the New York Mets being the first sporting organization to announce their latest acquisition. They agreed to terms with Dellin Betances, a free agent player that leaves the 7th line of the New York Yankees. Throughout his career, he has pitched a 2.36 ERA but has only started only in his eight-year career.

The last season proved to be his worst, pitching only once on September 15th. Throughout the 2019 Season, he suffered significant shoulder injuries. This followed with an injury to his Achilles, which prompted his removal for the remaining season. This prompted the New York Yankees to terminate Dellin Betances, who spent his entire career with the Yankees. It’s not known to which capacity this professional athlete will be used with the New York Bets, with sporting analysts believing that pitching duties will be split between Dellin Betances and Edwin Diaz.

Toronto Blue Jays

Another team that saw a significant acquisition was the Toronto Blue Jays. They announced that they’d acquired Hyun-Jin Ryu under a four-year contract, which will cost them $20 million per year. This acquisition enables the Blue Jays to enter the 2020 season as significant competitors, with Ryu being the best left-hander in Major League Baseball. He was awarded the league’s most valuable player for 2019 while playing with the Dodgers, where he finished with a 2.32 ERA. Fans in the Toronto Region have expressed their gratitude and happiness towards this acquisition, knowing that it puts their team into contention for the championship.

This isn’t the first significant move that Toronto has made throughout their offseason acquisition period. Three other players have been added to their lineup, including Chase Anderson. The right-hander was traded from the Brewers as a free agent. The next acquisition was Tanner Roark, another right-hander. Toronto Blue Jay’s final purchase before Hyun-Jin Ryu was Shun Yamaguchi, another Japanese player under the left-hander classification. Subsequently, this improved lineup can create opportunities for championship contention that haven’t been seen in years.

Rumours are indicating that the Toronto Blue Jays are looking into David Price, a player that played with their organization previously. Price players with the Boston Red Sox currently, which began in the 2016 season. Returning to Toronto would mark another leap forward in their lineup. However, it seems that David Price has rejected the offer.

Ian Kinsler Retires from MLB

Ian Kinsler, the second baseman for the San Diego Padres, announced that he would be retiring from Major League Baseball. This announcement came directly from the San Diego Padres front office, with reporters confirming this baseball organization and Ian will reach a financial settlement. This will be $4.25 million instead of the $8 million that was designated for his remaining two years. When asked to comment on his retirement, Kinsler mentioned that this was the right time to move onwards and do something else in his career.

This news shocked fans, who were expecting Ian Kinsler to remain in Major League Baseball for another eight years. Being only 37 years of age, this marks an early retirement for professional baseball’s second-best baseman. Throughout his career, Ian Kinsler spent time with the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers. This extended to the Boston Red Sox in 2018, where mid-season he was switched over to the Los Angeles Angels. When Ian gained his momentum again, the Angels managed to win the world series. Afterwards, he was traded to the San Diego Padres for the 2019 season.

Unfortunately, the move to the San Diego Padres proved to be his worst career decision. It marked his worst season to date, finishing the 2019 campaign with a .646 OPS, which came after 87 appearances in professional season games. However, it should be noted that his decline came after being injured with a herniated cervical disk. Ian Kinsler mentioned to reporters that this was a significant factor in his decision to retire, with him finalizing his comments by saying that if he couldn’t give his 100%, he wouldn’t be happy.

The Past & Future

Fans have begun to express their sadness towards this retirement via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Ian Kinsler is one of the legendary players in Major League Baseball history and could’ve acquired more than 2000 Hits if continuing for the 2020 season. Throughout his career, he received 243 stolen bases and 257 home runs. It resulted in him being selected for the All-Star Game four times and winning the Golden Glove Award two times.

This won’t be the last time that fans see Ian Kinsler by the baseball field, though. He has already confirmed that he will dedicate his life going forward towards training the next generation of baseball stars. This comes at a time when Major League Baseball could be removing their affiliation with Minor League Baseball. The need for professional athletes training the baseball youth hasn’t ever been more significant.

Bernie Sanders Fights for Baseball

One of the leading senators for the 2020 Presidency, Bernie Sanders, has been fighting for one of America’s most nationalized sports. Sanders has claimed he is outraged over the decision of Rob Manfred, the Commissioner for Major League Baseball. He has threated to end MLB’s association with Minor League Baseball, which would prove to be a detrimental issue for the sport. This democratic presidential candidate has expressed his disbeliefs numerous times to the market, going as far as to write a letter to the commissioner. This letter noted that refusal to negotiate is under bad faith and that not creating a new Professional Baseball Agreement could ruin the sport in a decade.

Bernie Sanders emphasized that the United States Congress wouldn’t allow him to follow through with this decision, claiming that a national sporting organization shouldn’t be excluded to Americans in any context. Sanders held a meeting to discuss this issue with fellow senators in Iowa. This meeting is said to be positive, with Sanders convincing his co-workers that commissioners don’t have this volume of power.

The Commissioners Views

The MLB Commission had been in a public feud with the Minor American Baseball League since his arrival four years ago. This commissioner believes that the MLB Corporate Organization wasn’t earning substantial enough percentages from the MABL. Rob Manfred wants to make the new version of Minor League Baseball privatized, which would create independent teams associated away from local cities. However, this would drastically increase the cost that comes with MABL. Parents would subsequently avoid the professional youngster leagues and take away future stars from the sport.

Sanders has continuously assured baseball fans and parents that the American Government will force Rob Manfred to make a new agreement that follows currently-implemented structures. The commissioner has publicly disgraced the potential US President, claiming that his business isn’t associated with Major League Baseball. The fight for baseball in America has begun. The overwhelming concern is that if Rob Manfred wins, this commissioner from other sporting leagues will follow his new structured format.