The new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association is pretty much a done deal. I figured rather than doing a single piece on all of the changes, I'd touch on a single topic each week.
That way I can digest all of what happened a little easier, and we can keep the discussion on point if people want to leave comments. Since the Hot Stove season is in full swing, I figured we can talk about the new free agent compensation rules first.
The first change is that Type A and Type B free agents are going away. Only players who have been with their team the entire year qualify for compensation (looks like someone actually read Moneyball) and only players that have been offered a one-year contract by their team that exceeds the average of the 125 highest-paid players by the end of a five-day period free agent quiet period is subject to the compensation rules.
If another team then signs that player away, they will then lose their first-round pick unless it's in the top ten (then they'd lose their next pick), and the team that lost the player will get a sandwich pick after the regular first round.
So in short, a lot of free agent compensation is going to go away. My current line of thinking is that this is going to hurt the smaller-market teams, because then they're not going to be able to turn their home-grown players who leave the system into draft picks without taking the chance and offering a one-year, $12 million deal first.
The teams with more money will be more likely to want a one-year deal, even if it's at a slight premium, with the backup plan of getting a compensation pick if the player ended up going elsewhere. The new rules go into effect in 2012.
Parking lots the new target in Dodgers bankruptcy
Last week I talked about how Fox wanted to take the Los Angeles Dodgers out of bankruptcy because of the Matt Kemp mega-deal. Now Fox is saying that it would make more sense for the team to sell it's parking structures instead of it's television rights in order to relieve Frank McCourt of his debts.
The problem is, Fox stands alone in this regard. Everyone else wants to get this sale over with, but Fox is clinging to its right to have an exclusive negotiating window through the end of their current deal with the Dodgers that expires in 2012.
The creditors' committee approved the advance sale of the team's television rights, but Fox still has some legal wranglings it can throw in the way to drag this out. Still, it looks like the Dodgers are going to get their way on this one.
Oakland Athletics Stadium Roundup
This has been a common theme for a while. The Oakland Athletics want to move to San Jose; San Francisco doesn't want to let them. MLB put together a commission to look at the issue, and it's been three years. The city of San Jose has been behaving as if a move will happen in the future, but in the meantime, everything is on hold.
Thankfully, Neil deMause is here to organize everything. In one of his recent pieces, he takes a look at what people are saying on the subject and some of the rumors that are floating around out there. He also has a good article up on the opening of the Bronx park that's been delayed for quite some time and was a condition of the New York Yankees getting their financing and their stadium site.
Property taxes an issue with Miami parking garages
The city of Miami is building four parking garages, and they already have a lease with the Miami Marlins locked up. They borrowed $100 million to build the garages, and the assumption all along was that the city wouldn't have to pay the county property taxes. Now it's looking like that's not the case. A Miami-Dade county property appraiser recently told the city that in order to be exempt from taxes, the property must be used solely for public purposes.
Since the Marlins can charge whatever they want at the garages, that may put them in a for-profit status. Nothing official has been determined yet, but at this point, the way things are written up, the city would be the one paying the almost $2 million per year bill.
Athletics looking to move spring home to Mesa
With the Chicago Cubs likely getting a new spring training home, that leaves an opening at their old home in Mesa, Arizona at HoHoKam Park. The Oakland Athletics just entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with the city of Mesa as the two sides try to hash out a plan for the team's move.
The Athletics have been playing spring ball in Phoenix since 1982, but they played in Mesa from 1969 through 1978. The A's are locked in with Phoenix until 2014, and their exclusive negotiating agreement lasts through May 15, 2012.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.
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