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Saturday, November 26, 2011

5 losers in new MLB-player deal include a colorful Twitter personality and some All Stars, per Ken Davidoff

11/22/11, "LOSERS

1 Ambitious underachievers. The most disappointing component of the deal, undoubtedly, is the restrictions on amateur draft and international spending. Why dissuade teams from trying to get better? Why, for that matter, provide any incentive for two-sport athletes to turn elsewhere? It makes no sense.

2 Cheating morons. Like most drug-testing programs, the HGH blood test will serve as much as an IQ test as anything else. There's no in-season testing, so a player could theoretically go through spring training clean before resuming injections. Of course, the efficacy of HGH altogether is up for debate, but this provision was done clearly for public-relations reasons.

3 The Astros. One hundred six losses in the National League equals how many in the American League? 149? Good grief. At least they'll get nine home games annually with the Rangers and yearly visits from the Yankees and Red Sox.

4 Mariano Rivera. Participation in the All-Star Game will be required unless the player is injured or excused personally by the commissioner. Rivera, no fan of the Midsummer Classic, might have to travel to Kansas City next July.

5 Logan Morrison. The Marlins' outfielder, baseball's most enthusiastic and colorful Twitter personality, will be "subject to a policy governing the use of social media," along with the rest of his playing brethren.

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WINNERS

1 Big-market clubs. The Yankees will continue to grumble about the game's socialistic setup, but they have to feel pretty good about the details here. The luxury-tax threshold will increase from $178 million to $189 million starting in 2014, which will mitigate the 50-percent tax on teams that exceed the threshold for the fourth time --

  • a group that includes the Yankees and no one else.

Furthermore, the new draft-compensation system should help rich teams. A year from now, the Yankees would be more likely to offer a one-year deal for about $12.5 million to free-agent Nick Swisher -- and take on the risk that he'll accept it -- than would a small-market team.

2 Good and very good players. They'll no longer have their free-agent markets suppressed by the attachment of draft compensation. Only the elite players -- think Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and C.J. Wilson from this year's class -- will be subject to draft compensation, and those are the types of players for whom teams don't mind surrendering draft picks.

3 Instant-replay enthusiasts. Once the umpires sign off on it, and they will, we'll have replay for fair/foul calls and trap plays. Next up: Safe/out calls.

4 True small-market teams. Starting in 2016, revenue-sharing will be limited to the clubs in the 15 smallest markets, as per a list already determined by players and owners. Big-market freeloaders such as the Washington Nationals will be on their own.

In addition, small-market clubs will be eligible for additional draft picks following the first and second rounds, and those picks can be traded.

5 Players with two years' service time. The class of "Super Twos," those between two and three years service who are eligible for the lucrative arbitration process, increased from the top 17 percent of the class to the top 22 percent."

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