MLBits: Could Players Now Want a Salary Cap? Torres Homers Twice, "Perfect" Ohtani Experiment, More

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MLBits: Could Players Now Want a Salary Cap? Torres Homers Twice, “Perfect” Ohtani Experiment, More

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Here’s a question to which I genuinely have no answer or hidden meaning: How long can we, as Cubs fans, celebrate the 2016 World Series victory? As in, how many more years can we bring it up without it being a get over yourselves moment.

Obviously, there was no question in 2017 and I think it’s more than fair this year, too (especially because of how close the Cubs came to returning to the World Series in October). But what about next year? I think, given the 108-year thing (and the fact that so many of the players from that team are still starters on the roster today), they should be given an addition season or so of celebration, but after that? I’m not so sure.

I know I don’t want to be that White Sox fan still talking about 2005 a decade later. Thoughts?

  • Back in the 80s and 90s, the MLB owners sought out a salary cap (for obvious reasons) with the concession that it be tied to revenue, so that the players always earned X% of the money the league was taking in. The players, however, didn’t want a salary cap (for obvious reasons), and it led to many labor battles and even the 1994 strike. Fast-forward to 2018, however, and things are different. At Forbes, Maury Brown explains how the script has flipped for both sides, and how the players may now be in favor of splitting revenues with the owners under a salary cap structure, while the owners would be against it. Why? Well, for one, the $2.58 BILLION sale of BAMTech included not only $50M in “unrelated” baseball revenue to each owner, but it also provides a 15% stake in the company that’ll continue pay dividends to the owners that doesn’t count as “baseball revenue.”
  • These sorts of deals allows the league the ability to say “we’re still paying the players 56% of *baseball-related* revenue.” But the BAMTech deal is not the only unique consideration when it comes to revenue. Given the recent legalization of sports gambling nationwide, the players have even more of a reason to hitch their wagon to splitting all revenue with the league, because that has the potential to be a huge moneymaker going forward. Obviously, the owners/league would be against this. I see no way there’s not a HUGE labor battle ahead of us. Check out more context and explanation at Forbes.
  • At The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Elizabeth Bloom answers Pirates’ fans questions, including a lack of concern over Felipe Vazquez’s lower fastball velocity, the fact that the Pirates don’t like to keep top prospects in the Majors if they have to sit on the bench (re: Austin Meadows) and much more. But among the most interesting bits is the idea that the Pirates probably wouldn’t be willing to trade Ivan Nova, with Joe Musgrove (shoulder) coming back. According to Bloom, “he’s been an important leader to the younger pitchers,” and “the Pirates have exactly five starters, including Joe Musgrove and not counting Steven Brault and Glasnow” now that Nick Kingham has been sent to Triple-A. It’s quite possible, not unlike the Cardinals, that the Pirates rotation can soon be pretty darn good.
  • Speaking of the Cardinals … Remember Jordan Hicks (the guy who threw the five fastest pitches of the 2018 season in one at-bat a couple nights ago)? Well, Jeff Sullivan looks into the oddity of his extreme lack of strikeouts (9.5 K%). My favorite part is how he compares Hicks, whose fastball averages 100 MPH and is used roughly 75% of the time, against Adam Cimber, whose fastball averages 86 MPH and also uses it 75% of the time. The former has nine strikeouts in 22 IP. The latter has 31 strikeouts in 24.2 IP. Weird, eh?
  • Former Cubs prospect Gleyber Torres homered twice yesterday, which doesn’t bother me because A. the Cubs won the World Series, B. he’s in the American League, C. he’s on my fantasy baseball team (score), and D. he did it against a 44-year-old Bartolo Colon, who is *more* than twice his age. That’s just fun:

  • Torres is quickly approaching the 100 PA mark (96 as of today) and he’s slashing .321/.389/.571 with six homers and a 158 wRC+.
  • Speaking of top prospects breaking out as youngsters in MLB, we talked about Juan Soto’s rocket ascent to the Major Leagues with the Nationals, including his pinch-hit at-bat on Sunday and first start yesterday. And in case you missed it, he homered on the first pitch he saw in that start (naturally) and it was a pretty cool moment, even if I don’t love cheering for the Nationals. While Nats fans were going wild all over Washington D.C., there was one place where the celebration was loudest:

  • Continuing on with the crazy-impressive young talent in Major League Baseball, Shohei Ohtani is *still* doing silly things to hitters:

  • Ohtani is currently hitting .321/.367/.619 (167 wRC+) through 90 plate appearances as a batter while also boasting a 3.35 ERA, 3.27 FIP and a ridiculous 32.3% strikeout rate as a pitcher. His talent and efforts are indescribable. Accordingly, at ESPN, Sam Miller writes that the Ohtani experiment isn’t just working, it’s been “perfect.” And I think he’s right. Boy does it stink that the Cubs missed out.
  • This play by Jorge Alfaro to end the Phillies/Braves game last night was down-right crazy. Willson Contreras is an excellent defender and he throws *extremely* hard, but I’m not sure he makes this play every time:


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.