Patrick Wisdom is the Latest Chicago Cubs Player to Speak Out

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Patrick Wisdom is the Latest Chicago Cubs Player to Speak Out

Chicago Cubs

Patrick Wisdom was a supplemental first round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2012, signing for a bonus of $693,000. That is, unquestionably, a lot of money to any regular person, even after you account for taxes, agent fees, private training, and so on and so forth. Across the entire spectrum of professional baseball – the entire body of players who are drafted or signed internationally and try to make a go of this thing – you could therefore characterize Wisdom as among the more fortunate.

And, as one of the more fortunate, Wisdom had the opportunity to use that bonus money to defray the costs of living life for the next decade as, primarily, a minor leaguer making pennies five months out of the year. Start doing the math, and you’ll quickly realize that even for this player who was among the more fortunate, it couldn’t have been easy.

That’s part of why Wisdom’s breakout success with the Cubs last year, at age 29, was such a pleasant story. It was fun to watch, but it was also just nice to see for him. You hope that it continues, even knowing that he’s set to make the minimum, or just above it, for two more years, and then he can start arbitration (at age 32), and then maybe reach free agency at age 35. Through that time period, Wisdom has to try to earn as much money as possible to support himself and his family for however long he can, since he will have dedicated 15+ years of his life to this particular craft, and transitioning to a post-career job is not always easy. And he’ll only make that money if he REALLY defies the odds and not only is awesome for ages 30 and 31, but then also projects to continue being awesome way into his 30s.

Have I painted the picture appropriately on how, even for fortunate draftees like Wisdom, who then later “make it,” the business of this game can be pretty challenging?

Anyway, I offer all that up because Wisdom was the latest Chicago Cubs player to speak out about the CBA negotiations, and the first who has not already made substantial money in the big leagues. That doesn’t make his opinion MORE valuable than that of, for example, Jason Heyward and Willson Contreras, but it does offer that even a player in a very different situation can have the same perspective on what’s happening.

Patrick Wisdom was on 670 The Score to discuss, and I hope people listen to what he had to say on both the CBA talks and on life as a minor leaguer:

“There’s no Opening Day because the league has not negotiated in good faith,” Wisdom said on the Parkins & Spiegel Show on Wednesday. “We’re fighting to make it fair on both sides. I understand it’s a business, and I understand both sides need to come together and communicate and negotiate to get something done. We can’t just keep having days where there’s nothing going and we can’t have 43 days before anybody talks. I think that’s another reason why we’re at where we’re at right now. If we would’ve had this week of negotiating 40 days ago, we’d be in a much better spot. But it is what it is now ….

“That is fair – yeah, I’m conflicted,” Wisdom said. “Like you said, I spent a lot of time in the minor leagues – so not represented by the union – and I was able to go out and play, we didn’t really have these kinds of conflicts. So now that I’m in it, it’s new to me. And I understand it fully, I understand we we’re doing this and why the two sides need to come together and what they’re arguing about. I get it. But my old self is like, ‘Yeah, but we need to play. I need to play games and earn money and provide for my family and put food on the table.’”

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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.