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Adam Wainwright thinks something needs to change (and he is right) - A Hunt and Peck

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And he explains why.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals
The Jack Flahertys of MLB are counting on the Adam Wainwrights
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The state of baseball, particularly free agency, has been discussed several times this offseason. Weird things are happening and the reason behind them is complicated. It drives many folks to think and problem-solve and that generates discussion. This is a good thing. The more voices involved and the more perspectives given add levels of nuance to the situation and help push towards a better resolution.

Last week Adam Wainwright was asked about free agency and the Cardinals veteran voiced his concern of a potential mid-season strike to “The Morning After”, a St. Louis based radio show on 590 The Fan hosted by Tim McKernan, Jimmy “The Cat” Hayes from Fox Sports Midwest, and Doug Vaughn from KMOX:

Later on in the week, Waino elaborated on what he said on Twitter:

Waino is still a little new to Twitter and didn’t thread his tweets, but Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle compiled screenshots for easy reading:

In the Interview Waino discusses Sabermetrics and how that has changed the landscape of free agency, which is somewhat true and somewhat a misguided thought, I believe. Sabermetrics are great for finding undervalued players, but a good player is still a good player. Advanced stats will still tell us Bryce Harper is a darn good hitter and they will tell us that even if his batting average happens to be a little lower than usual. Sabermetrics are not why players like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have not been signed. Yes, advanced stats and recent history have made giving out long-term contracts to older players (which Harper and Machado, who are a year older than me, are not, for the record) less and less appealing, but the problem is deeper and Wainwright is so close to nailing it in his Twitter thread.

The current system is full of exploitation! From minor leaguers to the young major leaguers, there are thousands of players that are not being paid the money their labor is generating. the idea is that those lost earnings will be recouped in free agency, but Spring Training has begun and there are 100s of unsigned free agents. Former Viva El Birdos site manager and current Fangraphs writer Craig Edwards laid it down pretty simply in a Twitter thread of his own:

This system of being underpaid during a players youth does not work anymore. Minor League players are not compensated for their work, young players are underpaid during their peak seasons before they are able to earn a big payday that never actually comes. This system provides financial incentive for owners to not field a competitive team. Teams tank and rebuild on the backbones of young, cost-controlled talent and make billions of dollars doing it. The system is broken and the only people that can fix it are the veteran players. Unfortunately, it is too late for most of them to help themselves, but they can help future players.

If they don’t, it will just keep happening.

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