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Thread: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Lofton

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Lofton

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print...504&type=story

    Free agents Bonds, Lofton key parts of MLBPA investigation
    By Buster Olney
    ESPN The Magazine

    The MLB players' association has opened an investigation into the free-agent market. The MLBPA has been investigating for several weeks what has taken place in free agency, in relation to Barry Bonds, Kenny Lofton and other players who have gone unsigned. It is something they have done in the past.

    MLBPA general counsel Michael Weiner, when asked if they were near a resolution, said, "I really don't know. We're still waiting for some information."

    If the MLBPA determines that there is something untoward, it could file a grievance on the issue of collusion at the end of the investigation.

    "The union notified us that it was investigating potential collusion regarding Barry Bonds and asked for information, and we told them that there was absolutely no collusion with respect to Barry Bonds or any other free agent," said Dan Halem, MLB senior vice president and general labor counsel. "We are aware of no facts which would support a collusion claim regarding Bonds or any other free agents."

    Jeff Borris, the agent for Bonds, said, "No team has made me an offer for any amount at any time since Barry became a free agent."

    Borris added that "Barry continues to work out," but when asked about his client's prospects for this season, he said, "I'm not optimistic that he will be in a major league uniform in 2008."

    Recently, the Mariners and the Tigers have developed what would seem to be a classic situation for Bonds -- the need for a left-handed hitter and an opening at designated hitter -- and still no offers have come in.
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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    That's absurd.

    All players have a chance to sign with someone. Lofton could have signed with the Reds, but didn't want to sign a minor-league deal.

    Bruised egos=crying to media.
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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    I think MLB has to walk a tightrope on things like this. I think there was some sort of "course correction" this off-season. Both Bonds, Lofton and Reggie Sanders are good examples here. Each is a lot older than your average FA and I think the market's saying it's not going to pay a premium for those guys. In some ways, Fogg and Lohse are also examples of similar course corrections. Bonds himself is a special case too - he's a bit radioactive at this point.

    Of course, given MLB's earlier history of clear collusion, I can't say I fault the Players' Association making inquiries. But it doesn't seem to be collusion just from a cursory look.
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    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Yeah, that's what the Tigers need, another hitter who can't play defense. You can't have too many of those.
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons

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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    I think MLB has to walk a tightrope on things like this. I think there was some sort of "course correction" this off-season. Both Bonds, Lofton and Reggie Sanders are good examples here. Each is a lot older than your average FA and I think the market's saying it's not going to pay a premium for those guys. In some ways, Fogg and Lohse are also examples of similar course corrections. Bonds himself is a special case too - he's a bit radioactive at this point.

    Of course, given MLB's earlier history of clear collusion, I can't say I fault the Players' Association making inquiries. But it doesn't seem to be collusion just from a cursory look.
    My personal theory (which I can't prove) is that the owners did decide to collude against the mid and bottom tier free agents. When you look at the offers FAs got in the 2006 offseason and compare them to this season, it was a clear change. It's always hard to swallow that all the owners simultaneously got a case of common sense.

    I think the owners were smarter about it this time around, because they didn't target the higher end players. The more desirable FAs like Silva and that CF that SF signed got decent money. That's going to make it harder to prove collusion, but my guess is that collusion still happened.
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    Designated Threadkiller LincolnparkRed's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Can't being a turd of person also affect ones job opportunities? What clubhouse would want to contaminate itself with Barry? And if Lofton is such a great guy why doesn't any team ever hold on to him?
    I thought league average bullpen arms looked better than this

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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    If Barry's agent were to call Seattle or Detroit and offers Bonds services for a pro-rated amount (1-2 million) does anyone else think this "collusion" would evaporate?
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    Frustrated Inc. Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Quote Originally Posted by gm View Post
    If Barry's agent were to call Seattle or Detroit and offers Bonds services for a pro-rated amount (1-2 million) does anyone else think this "collusion" would evaporate?

    Absolutely it would go away. If Leyland could bring in Bonds for even 3 million, he'd be a Tiger already. However, I think they've all seen what a guy like Clemens has gotten for partial seasons the last few years and decided they can still make big money.

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    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
    Absolutely it would go away. If Leyland could bring in Bonds for even 3 million, he'd be a Tiger already. However, I think they've all seen what a guy like Clemens has gotten for partial seasons the last few years and decided they can still make big money.
    Bonds (especially) and Lofton have already made so much money in the game that it's just not worth getting off the couch for a lousy $3 million a year.

    Say that again, out loud and slowly. And someone (well, their own union) wants to make a case of collusion??

    If they can prove it somehow, in writing (or emails) then they can make it stick. It's not something that will endear them to the fans, though.

    MLB teams have finally gotten that common sense that Redread was referring to, and figured out that younger, cheaper players are the way to go, for most of your team. Every team other than the Yanks and BoSox can have a player or two hauling in big dollars, but no one else is going to pony up big dollars for old men who are hurt and are a gamble.

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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
    Absolutely it would go away. If Leyland could bring in Bonds for even 3 million, he'd be a Tiger already. However, I think they've all seen what a guy like Clemens has gotten for partial seasons the last few years and decided they can still make big money.
    So my point is, why make an offer to Bonds/Lofton if you already know they're going to turn it down? Especially considering Barry's "baggage"

    If they really want to play ball, let them make a reasonable offer. The league's owners/GMs sure don't "owe" them anything
    Never overlook the obvious

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Will Sammy Sosa be joining this lawsuit? Maybe Ryan Klesko can un-retire and make one last cash-grab as well?

  13. #12
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Why is the MLBPA taking up for Bonds? Didn't he opt out of the MLBPA a while back?

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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Why is the MLBPA taking up for Bonds? Didn't he opt out of the MLBPA a while back?
    That was my understanding. IIRC, Clemens did the same thing as well. That's why you never see their real names in any of the video games endorsed by the MLBPA.

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    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    My personal theory (which I can't prove) is that the owners did decide to collude against the mid and bottom tier free agents. When you look at the offers FAs got in the 2006 offseason and compare them to this season, it was a clear change. It's always hard to swallow that all the owners simultaneously got a case of common sense.
    That's my take on it too.

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Why is the MLBPA taking up for Bonds? Didn't he opt out of the MLBPA a while back?
    I'm sure he's not their favorite guy. But if they think collusion is happening, they can't let it slide no matter who it involves, or else the owners will take the inch and attempt to run a mile.
    Reading comprehension is not just an ability, it's a choice

  16. #15
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: MLBPA investigating possible collusion over unsigned free agents like Bonds, Loft

    I think the union is more concerned about veterans like Fogg and Lohse.
    Again, I'm not sure the union is going to be able to win this case, but it seems more than a coincidence that suddenly someone like Lohse only gets a 1 year deal after spring training starts.

    Also, the union has to be concerned that if mediocre FAs get small paydays, then the effect will eventually trickle down to arbitration. Now when there's a mediocre starting pitcher going to arb asking for 7 million, the owners can point to Fogg and Lohse as the market benchmarks.. If the owners are able to control their offers to average or worse FAs, they will potentally make a lot more money in 4-6 years..
    Thank you Walt and Bob for bringing winning baseball back to Cincy -- it was nice while it lasted..

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!


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