Scott Boras criticizes MLB’s ‘uncompetitive cancer’


CARLSBAD, San Diego County – Baseball GM meetings have traditionally been the precursor to winter meetings, but that may not be the case in 2021.

That’s because workforce issues could force the cancellation of winter meetings, the sport’s renowned offseason showcase.

The current base agreement between the players and the owners, whose relationship is now acrimonious at best, expires on December 1 – less than a week before the scheduled winter meetings start in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

If no deal is reached by December 1, the owners could decide to lock down players and shut down the industry, which would theoretically end all player transactions. Or, for A’s, their executive hiring process.

There would still be plenty of time to strike a deal ahead of spring training, but the longer the parties disagree, the more likely the start of the 2022 season will be.

As the workforce cloud hangs over the game and isn’t expected to go away anytime soon, officials from the Giants, Aes and 28 other clubs traveled to Carlsbad this week for GM meetings. , not knowing exactly what was happening on the horizon of the match.

Free Baseball Agents

The 10 best players: shortstop Carlos Correa (Astros), first baseman Freddie Freeman (Braves), shortstop Corey Seager (Dodgers), shortstop / second baseman Marcus Semien (Blue Jays) , center fielder Starling Marte (A’s), third baseman and outfielder Kris Bryant (Giants), first baseman Brandon Belt (Giants), infielder Javy Baez (Mets), infielder and fielder Chris Taylor (Dodgers), fielder Kyle Schwarber (Red Sox).

Top 10 starting pitchers: Max Scherzer (Dodgers), Robbie Ray (Blue Jays), Kevin Gausman (Giants), Marcus Stroman (Mets), Carlos Rodon (White Sox), Anthony DeSclafani (Giants), Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), Justin Verlander (Astros), Noah Syndergaard (Mets), Jon Gray (Rockies).

Top 10 relievers: Kenley Jansen (Dodgers), Mark Melancon (Padres), Raisel Iglesias (Angels), Aaron Loup (Mets), Andrew Chafin (A’s), Kendall Graveman (Astros), Corey Knebel (Dodgers), Collin McHugh (Rays), Hector Neris (Phillies), Alex Colome (Twins).

Giants: Belt, Bryant, Tyler Chatwood, Johnny Cueto, DeSclafani, Scott Kazmir, Donovan Solano, Tony Watson, Alex Wood.

As: Mark Canha, Chafin Khris Davis, Jake Diekman, Mike Fiers, Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison, Jed Lowrie, Marte, Mitch Moreland, Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo, Trevor Rosenthal.

These meetings usually signify the start of the hot stove season, which seeps through the winter months and into the spring, and many CEOs have offered a “business as usual” response to their take on the issue. labor disputes.

For the Giants, that means finding rotating parts to complement Logan Webb, the only starter under contract for 2022. For the A’s, that means finding a replacement for manager Bob Melvin and weighing the possibility of another rebuild.

Agent Scott Boras, who represents Giants free agent Kris Bryant and many other elite free market players – starters Max Scherzer and Carlos Rodon and positional players Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Nick Castellanos – suggested at GM meetings on Wednesday a problem with the owner – the player relationship is rooted in team tanking.

Boras noted that the Braves, in third place with a record loss on the July 30 trade deadline, won the World Series after adding several players from teams that punted during the season. Due to the draft signing pools added in 2012 that limit spending on draft players, Boras said more teams were ready to strive for higher draft picks, which he called of “uncompetitive cancer”.

“We saw this unfold to the detriment of teams who created extensive spending and intelligence planning and won over 100 games,” said Boras, referring to the Giants (107), Dodgers (106) and at the Rays (100). “By doing all of this, we’ve now understood that a fan wouldn’t know who the real team is until, frankly, the negotiating deadline.

“The reason is that you can take a person who ends up being the MVP of the World Series and add them to your squad without any knowledge during spring training or offseason before that person becomes a principle. for you.”

World Series MVP Jorge Soler was acquired at the Royals’ deadline for a prospect. It was the current CBA’s last world series, and the parties are digging to get what they want in a new deal.

The players accuse the owners of manipulating service time, tend to recruit younger, cheaper players instead of accomplished veterans and, as Boras said, field non-competitive teams. The owners want to make changes to the competitive balance tax threshold and arbitrage and have discussed a payroll floor.

“I don’t think any fan, player or owner appreciates the idea of ​​stopping the game,” Boras said. “Certainly we all want a level of understanding that allows management and unions to work together. Obviously we have problems now because we have some great players moved in the middle of the season who have injured the teams they left with a conception that they are going to be weaker.

“We never want a system that rewards being an inferior team. We want a system that always rewards being a better team. And the talent trade in any league should always be about acquiring top talent for positive reasons. “

John Shea is the San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @JohnSheaHey

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