Vladimir Guerrero Jr is ready to take the Toronto Blue Jays to the promised land. One problem, Vladdy Jr is going to have to wait a few weeks to get the party started. It’s been no secret the language in the CBA between the MLB and the MLPA has been a hot topic of discussion ever since the Cubs held Kris Bryant back a few years ago. It’s strictly to do with service time and the number of days spent in the league in your first year, which allows the team to control your arbitration rights for another full season down the road. The CBA also came up recently when two-sport superstar Kyler Murray chose football over baseball because he didn’t want to wait 3 years to play in the league.
Just another reason you lose the likes of Kyler Murray. Things need to change. https://t.co/m90je6KXye
— Vernon Wells (@VernonWells10) February 15, 2019
Earlier in the week, Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins came out with his false but calculated comments when he mentioned he felt Vladdy isn’t ready for the Majors just yet. True, Atkins can’t say he thinks Vladdy is ready for the show then go ahead and send him down once camp breaks, however, when he made these comments I immediately thought – why bother saying that, why not just say we continue to evaluate his progress as we do with every player on our roster.
Turns out Ross got the memo.
As Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reports, the MLBPA has now zoned in on the Blue Jays and their roster transactions: The Major League Baseball Players Association is monitoring how Jays management is handling Guerrero’s delayed promotion to the big leagues and will make it a prime point of discussion when executive director Tony Clark visits Jays training camp here later in March. At issue is planned to manipulate Guerrero’s service time to the club’s benefit. A source from the players association told the Toronto Sun that its concern hasn’t changed from last September when Guerrero wasn’t among the many players promoted by the Jays for the final month of the season. “It’s something we are following and it’s going to be an issue,” the players association source said. “Service-time manipulation has been a prominent theme that the players association has emphasized in its talks with Major League Baseball. “It’s fair to say it has been a prominent issue raised by the players association.”
I will keep my eye on any and everything that comes out of this and look for an update in my next episode of Donkey Cuts. Until then, check out the latest episode here, and someone, please tell Ross Atkins – worry more about how you’re going to surround the kid with talent over the next 6 years and you won’t have to worry about his arb rights in year 7. Vladdy will be satisfied with the direction and calibre of the team to then sign a long term deal and spend his entire career with the Blue Jays. Easier said than done, but starting off this relationship from the wrong foot isn’t a recipe for success. Ask the Cubs how their extension talks are going with Kris Bryant.