Spring Training Begins with Many Unemployed Stars - Players Getting Understandably Chippy

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Spring Training Begins with Many Unemployed Stars – Players Getting Understandably Chippy

Chicago Cubs

Pitchers and catchers report today across baseball (and some yesterday), which means Spring Training is underway. But, of course, as with last season, there are still a considerable number of free agents yet unsigned. Many of them quite useful. Some of them, quite excellent.

We’ve finally reached a point where it’s not clear that the All-Unemployed Team would be competitive, so I guess that’s something. That offense could score some runs, but the pitching staff would mostly give them all back.

Nevertheless, we’re not here to build a great free agent team, and it’s quite obvious that those players up there could contribute meaningfully to teams’ attempts to contend. And on that front, a couple players are voicing their concerns:

Guys like Verlander, Samardzija, and Yelich are the ones who almost have to speak out at this time. They’ve gotten their contracts (relatively speaking), and have the ability to speak publicly from a place of a little more security. When it comes to labor battles, players pretty much always lose the PR side of things, as fans love “the team,” and rebel against the “greedy millionaires playing a kid’s game.” It doesn’t *have* to be set up that way, but it does seem to be the narrative you see most often. Medium-term, the players could be trying to turn things around using social media, knowing there could be a strike or lockout in a few years when the CBA expires.

Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, of course. Hopefully the best players get jobs that pay them appropriately given the value they can provide and the league’s revenues. Like last year, I’m just ready for baseball to be baseball at this point, and that means I want to see the best players have jobs, be in spring camp, and be prepping for the season.

Samson, by the way, is the former Marlins executive who served under former owner Jeffrey Loria. I’d imagine Yelich doesn’t feel a lot of love lost.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.