A few days ago Evan Longoria tweeted the following:
We are less then a month from the start of spring and once again some of our games biggest starts remain unsigned. Such a shame. It’s seems every day now someone is making up a new analytical tool to devalue players, especially free agents. As fans, why should “value” for your team even be a consideration? It’s not your money, it’s money that players have worked their whole lives to get to that level and be deserving of. Bottom line, fans should want the best players and product on the field for their team. And as players we need to stand strong for what we believe we are worth and continue to fight for the rights we have fought for time and time again.
The bold line above is what pisses me off. On one hand I can understand a slight bit where he coming from. In the past, baseball players seemed to always be ‘rewarded’ with big contracts based off what they had DONE, not what they were still to do. Teams often signed an aging player in perhaps their last good year or two and were then saddled with an over-priced albatross for the remaining years of the contract. The last year or two that dynamic has shifted and teams have (mostly) stopped giving out deals that saddle then with an aging player with declining performance. Instead younger players just coming off arbitration are getting the big deals. There are of course players caught right in the middle of this transition who were hipping for the big deal on past performance but instead don’t get anything.
The other hand is ‘fuck you!’ Your services are worth whatever they are willing to pay you. You are not entitled to ANY money. Teams take all the risk, players get all the benefits. You have a 4 year contract and suck at your job, you still get paid.
There are all sorts of other things in that tweet that inspire ire as well. He complains that Machado and Harper are still unsigned. Well, they can fix that in a heartbeat but, you know, accepting a deal. But their own agents drag that crap out trying to maximize dollars for their clients. That also effects other players as many teams wait for the biggies to sign before going for tier 2, 3 and so on. Blame the player for that.
When he complains that ‘As fans, why should “value” for your team even be a consideration? It’s not your money’ he sounds like so many meathead fans out there. While I would love for my preferred team to go out and sign ALL the best payers, that simply isn’t possible. Despite what dickhead thinks, teams non named the Yankees or Red Sox do not have a bottomless pit of money to spend from., They DO need to make a profit. As a fan I can respect that. I would rather they sign 4 players at 10 million a piece instead of dropping $50 mil on Harper and having to get pitchers off the scrapheap.
You can ‘stand strong’ for what you believe you are worth. but the reality is your services are only worth whatever someone else is willing to pay.