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BCB Mailbag 6: Collective Bargaining Agreement and Hot Stove Season

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Answering the burning questions from you, the reader.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers Press Conference Rick Wood-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah I know, it’s Saturday. But there was a bunch of other stuff that needed to be covered yesterday so cut me some slack, would ya?! Let’s dive into your questions:

stigmo asks:

CBA

Does the new CBA help or harm small-market teams like the Brewers? Or does it maintain the status quo?

The CBA does actually kind of help the small markets. Not losing a first round pick to sign a QO free agent will be nice when the team is in compete mode, and the hard spending caps on the international market will help the team be able to be competitive for those free agents.

As Ullsperj points out later on down the line of questions, though, these “competitive balance” measures seem to come at a big cost to the players. It means more money going back to ownership instead of being spent on international talent. I’m not sure how that’s any better than the proposed international draft that the union fought so hard against. The new luxury tax rules act almost as a sort of soft cap which could limit player salaries, and the compensation rules regarding free agents who make over or under $50 mil could discourage spending in that area, too. Buster Olney wrote that an agent he spoke with believes the new agreement increases the likelihood of a work stoppage in five years, when this CBA expires.

nullacct asks:

Why do I need to log in on every article separately and when will the madness end

It’s supposed to be some sort of extra security measure. We as authors have some different stuff that we have to do now, too. For me, I’ve noticed it logs me out every time I close out of a browser on any device, so I’ve been just leaving it minimized on my laptop.

Hyatt asks:

What's the first base backup plan?

Thames could be hit by a bus on April 2nd. Will they finally move Braun and open up a space in the outfield for our plethora of OF prospects, or is there another thing I haven’t thought of yet?

I wouldn’t be surprised if they signed someone who is capable of playing first base but could also play at other positions around the infield. Someone like Steve Pearce, who would be able to platoon with Thames at first and also provide depth at several other positions around the diamond, could make sense on a short-term deal. Otherwise Hernan Perez could see some at-bats over there, whoever ends up being the backup catcher, and then they’ve got some emergency depth in the upper minors like Garrett Cooper and Dustin DeMuth. I do not think that Braun will get moved to first base anytime soon.

AKBrewerfan asks:

Explain why the logjam of talent in the OF is a good thing.

Please.

You’ve got to remember not all these guys are going to work out to become starting-caliber outfielders. Plus, at least one or two are sure to be used as trade bait to address other positions of need as the buildup toward becoming competitive continues. Stearns has said that he’s been taking the best talent offered to him in trades, which at this point has happened to be a lot of outfielders. It’ll all work itself out.

drezdn asks:

What position do you think Slingin' will most actively try to fill this hot stove season?

I don’t think that our regular third baseman for 2017 is currently on the roster. Whether it’s in a trade (Jeimar Candelario, Chase Headley) or via the free agent market (Valbuena, Hwang, Plouffe), I think Stearns ends up bringing someone in before the the winter ends. Even though they already signed him for next season, I’m guessing Scooter gets dealt and Villar takes over at second base on an everyday basis.


Thanks for the questions, everyone! Let’s do it again soon!