I heard Darwin Barney say something during an MLB Radio interview over the weekend that’s been stuck in my brain.
To preface, Barney, essentially echoed the Brandon Moss’ sentiments about the collusive feeling MLB offseason.
The short version? The players and the players association put themselves in this current, low paying (relatively speaking) predicament.
Barney also said he learned coming up from his Cubs teammates like Kerry Wood, Ryan Dempster and I think Alfonso Soriano that free agency was where you got paid for what you’d done.
Whoa. We all realize that, but I’d never heard a player say it so plain-spokenly. We are going to take money from someone else, for what we’ve done, and likely not produce like that ever again. Most places call that stealing.
The forthright comment galvanized a new perspective of mine that I wonder if MLB teams ever considered.
Team A “I just prospered from six years of productive and successful service from Player X”
Team B “I just prospered from six years of productive and successful service from Player Y”
And now in free agency, they switch. I offer a contract that’ll eventually be a financial anchor to your guy, and you to mine. And it’s a net tie. They didn’t actually swap player for player, team for team, it was more circuitous, but I think I made my point.
Unless…you’re one of the teams who prospered from that player’s six years, while developing others like him, so you didn’t have to forage through the rip off that is free agency to replace said star player.
Did teams just see that as the cost of doing business in free agency?