Thank you, collusion.Exactly. When the players union ends up winning their lawsuit against the owners, JD should be getting a bunch more money.
I'm generally pretty suspicious of collusion and just assume the owners are shady, but I have to wonder if this is true. It might just be a tipping point of front offices using analytics combined with the structure of MLBs current CBA.
In general, the MLBPA struck a relatively favorable deal for themselves in terms of collecting a large portion of money and funneling it to the veterans, who were represented by the union, at the expense of up and comers. As such, you get players entering their first truly unrestricted free agency bonanza at age 28-32. Subsequently, we've just seen boatloads of 6 year 150+million dollar contracts look terrible within 0-2 years! Just think about the Sox with Adrian (trade, I know, but...), Carl Crawford, Hanley, Panda, etc. And I think with more saavy fans and front office analytics we're just past the point you can justify paying a legend like Albert Pujols 27, 28, and 29 million the next 3 years at age 38-40. Just 10-15 years ago, you might look at it and say "it's Pujols, he's a legend, still putting up 23 homers and 101 RBI!" and be satisfied. But for 26 million these days, it's safe to say you want more that Minus 1.8 WAR.
So, I do wonder if it's just gotten to the point that front offices are sick of bidding against themselves for the the pleasure of paying the most money for the worst years of someone's career.
I think the agents and younger players may drive the change, but in order to change, they need to re-do it so that you hit fully unrestricted free agency at 25-27; teams would pay a lot for a player's age 26-32 seasons.