Why MLB Shouldn’t Protect Mets Pick

According to various reports, the Mets are petitioning MLB to allow them to protect their 2013 first-round draft pick in the event they sign a free agent who rejected a qualifying offer — i.e., Michael Bourn or Kyle Lohse. However, there are strong reasons why MLB should stick to the rules.

First off, the rule is the rule is the rule. If MLB decides to make an exception in the very first year that the rule is adopted, well, what was the point of making the rule in the first place? Moreover, the Mets agreed to the rule when it was established.

But that’s not enough for most people. Because the Pirates failed to sign their 2012 first-round pick (a college junior named Mark Appel), they were awarded a 2013 first-rounder, and in the process pushed the Mets out of the top ten picks. The argument is that the Mets had the tenth-worst record in baseball, and had the Pirates signed Mark Appel, the Mets would be in that enviable class of teams who can sign top-tier free agents without giving up their first-round pick.

Dave Cameron makes the argument on Fangraphs thusly:

But, if the idea behind the compensation system was actually to promote competitive balance, then perhaps MLB should immunize the Mets from having to sacrifice their first round pick to sign Michael Bourn. Changing the rules in the middle of an off-season doesn’t seem fair, but the change would be narrow enough that no other team would be affected by the change, as the Mets were the only franchise pushed out of the top 10 by the Pirates failure to sign Appel. No other franchise could claim that the agreed upon rules had a material affect on whether or not their first round pick should be considered their “highest available selection”.

It’s a logical argument, but it’s not completely valid.
Yes, the compensation system is supposed to promote competitive balance. However, the system is fulfilling its intended goal by sticking to the “top ten picks” rule — it’s not failing by making the Mets’ pick subject to compensation. Further, another team (actually, several teams) WOULD be affected by the change — the Braves, who, if the Mets signed Bourn and kept their #11 pick, would get their compensatory pick one player later (as well as other teams that lost free agents who rejected qualifying offers). Picking one spot later may not seem like a big deal — unless you’re the team getting pushed back a spot.

But the main problem with the argument is that the rule specifically states that the “top ten picks” are protected — not that the “ten worst teams’ picks” are protected. It may sound like doublespeak, but it’s not. The rule was written this way deliberately — as Craig Calcaterra astutely points out:

The new CBA’s failure to address compensation picks kicking someone out of the top 10 in such a situation is not some mere oversight that inadvertently subverts the spirit of the rule and the intent to help out bad teams like the Mets. Rather, it was a very specific and conscious omission.

Indeed, the last CBA specifically protected top 15 picks from compensation and specifically exempted draft compensation picks — like the one the Pirates got for not signing Appel — from counting. The new CBA changes that to the top 10 picks and makes no mention of draft compensation picks. This is not merely a matter of “rules are rules.” It’s about the fact that MLB and the union actively removed protection for the Appel-pick situation. They saw it there in the last version, had someone highlight the text and hit “delete.” They knew exactly what they were doing.

Looking at this objectively, I can’t see how MLB can allow the Mets an exception to the rule, based on the argument that they had the tenth-worst record in baseball. Where I might believe they would have an argument is if the Pirates’ pick didn’t exist, and the Mets were tied with one or several teams with the tenth-worst record. For example, what if the Mariners (who were 75-87) finished with one more loss? And/or if the Padres (76-86) had two less wins? What if the Mets, Padres, and Mariners all finished with identical 74-88 records — tied for tenth-worst? Then what? Maybe the CBA already addresses that scenario, but if it doesn’t, how would the rule be applied?

I have one more point to make: if the Mets were dissatisfied with their being shut out of the “top ten picks” rule, why didn’t they start working on an appeal back in late October or early November — before free agency began? Had they been granted an exception back then, they could have been in play not only Bourn (and Kyle Lohse), but ALL of the free agents who received qualifying offers — including Josh Hamilton, Adam LaRoche, B.J. Upton, Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher, David Ortiz, and Hiroki Kuroda. Heck, maybe the Mets could’ve signed a few of those players, knowing their #11 pick was protected. That is the point of the rule, after all — to allow “bad” teams the opportunity to sign good players to improve right away, without adversely affecting their future.

What’s your thought? Can you look at this situation objectively — rather than through the eyes of a Mets fan — and bring forth a strong argument for an exception? Make it known in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Victor February 4, 2013 at 8:53 am
    Joe Janish is a Yankee Fan. He could care less if the Mets lost their selection. But if it were the Yankees in this position he would cite 5 Supreme Court cases to the point.
    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 9:28 am
      Joe Janish is most certainly not a Yankee fan. Joe Janish is a baseball fan.

      Why do I suddenly feel like Rickey Henderson?

      • lou February 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm
        the mets have the ten pick why shouldthey be penalized because the pirates did not sighn there pick
    • gidthekid February 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm
      joe. joe ma ma yankee fan..
  2. DaveSchneck February 4, 2013 at 9:20 am
    Joe,
    As a Met fan, I would like this pick protected right now. as I would like to see them add Bourn at a reasonable rate (3 yrs max). However, the points you make are valid and I don’t see MLB caving. That said, I don’t like the way the rule is written, and think it should be amended. I don’t understand how a team that fails to sign its pick in one season is awarded a protected pick in the following season. I don’t even see how a team is awarded a “make-up” pick in the following season, which the Mets received for failing to sign their # 2 last year. I recommend two alterations – first if you fail to sign any pick, oh well, no make ups the next season or 2. if you fail to sign a pick, your make-up pick is one round after the pick you filed to sign, so no “protected” picks will ever be bumped. All that is left is to settle the ties that you refer to, if this is not already clear. Joe, please give Uncle Bud my recommendations the next time he calls.
    • Izzy February 4, 2013 at 10:03 am
      A protected pick is not a reward Dave. While it may appear that way, it is an effort to protect teams from absolutely outrageous demands by agents. Last year, the Boras demands on Pittsburgh were so high that if the Pirates would have caved, they would have been well over the new rules for alloted spending for draft picks and been penalized by baseball. Without the pick moved back a year the Pirates would have been in a much worse negotiating position. Now, Boras has a much weaker position for his client next year as his options will be to be reasonable or have him play Indy ball and the Pirates aren’t punished for not caving. Its just a fluke that the pick happened to be # 10 and the Mets, maybe interested in signing Bourn are 3 11. In the old agreement with no penalties your point is well founded, but not today.
    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 10:29 am
      The Pirates were not awarded a protected pick specifically — they were awarded a pick in the same slot they had in 2012, plus one. Since they had the #8 pick in 2012 and didn’t sign him, they get #9 in 2013.

      The reason for the “make-up” pick is part of the overall process of driving down amateur signing bonuses and protecting teams who are unable to sign elite talent. Essentially what MLB is doing is forcing drafted amateurs to accept predetermined bonuses based on when they’re picked. The theory is that the system will prevent what happened in the past — where the very best amateur players would slip down in the draft to “rich” teams because “poor” teams couldn’t afford to sign them.

      Again, in theory, it’s supposed to work like this: the Pirates have the chance to draft one of the top prospects in the country, Mark Appel. However, there’s a signability issue, because he’s only a junior and can return to college for his senior year. If the Pirates’ compensation for drafting and not signing him is a second-round pick in the 2013 draft (as you suggest), then drafting Appel becomes incredibly risky, and they might pass. Appel then might drop down to another team that is willing to deal with the penalties associated with signing him “over-slot” and exceeding their assigned bonus budget. However, with the new rules, the Pirates were more comfortable taking the risk of drafting Appel, knowing that if they failed to sign him, the worst that would happen would be getting their normal first-round pick in 2013 with the addition of a #9 pick. So, in theory, the Bucs could get another crack at Appel next year — or at least, someone nearly as good.

      The new rules (and the draft itself) are absolutely against the spirit of capitalism, but this was the best Bud Selig could come up with to both drive down the bonuses and protect the small-market clubs.

      • DaveSchneck February 4, 2013 at 11:44 am
        Joe and Izzy,
        Yes, I understand how the Pirates got that pick, and I understand the negotiation leverage based on the rules. IMHO, I think the “poor” teams are already protected by the total spending limits and the harsh penalties associated with overspending. The Pirates gambled on Appel knowing damn well who the agent was and what the demands were. And for this, the get 2 #1 picks the following year, including a protected pick, even though they finished above the Mets in 2012. And, Boras may be the embodiment of evil to the owners, but he is no dummy and knows these rules. If too many teams pass on his “overrated” prospects, the lower their value is in the current or subsequent drafts. So, fine, if the Buccos were playing by rules that would have burned that #8 pick if they didn;t sign Appel, the may well would have passed, as would others, and as Appel fell in the draft, his leverage would have dropped with him, since everyone is making their decisions baseed on total amount to spend, not so much the recommendation for the one slot. Yes, these new rules are socialist, but even socialist rules need to be logical, so I say screw the carryforward mulligans. Come on Uncle Bud, how about one more bone for your boy Freddy!
        • Izzy February 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm
          Is everyone really mad at the rule, or mad because the luck of the draw said the Mets happened to be the team impacted by this? If the Phillies had finished at # 10 and were in the position wouldn’t we be celebrating their GMs angst? As for whether or not it was intentional, it should be easy to figure out. The players association said they would file a grivance if the Mets asked for a waiver and it were to be denied. If this were indeed an oversight MLB and the MLBPA should be able to modify the agreement in a few seconds. If MLB weren;t to agree, then one could reasonably assume the wording was intentional. And it could be as the old agreement protected the 15 worst teams not the 15 firsat picks. If they wanted the same rule why did they change the wording. They could have just changed 15 worst to ten worst.
        • DaveSchneck February 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm
          Izzy,
          I think the modification of the previous rule is dumb, Mets or not. As a Met fan, I am hoping they get a waiver. If it was the Phillies, as you suggest I would be rooting against a waiver, but still think the rule is dumb.
        • Izzy February 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm
          Maybe Freddy is afraid that one more bone may cause 14 other National League teams to end his career. They may not mind him picking a Gm or giving loans but helping them to get a perceived competitive advantage? Fred might not make it.
      • Spider February 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm
        I think we all get that the rule “as written” is pretty clear that only the top ten *picks* are protected. However, if it were just to afford protection (from draft pick compensation) to any 10 teams, then why do it in reverse order to begin with? The answer is that it obviously has competitive balance intentions such that the rule written as it is where a team like the Pirates (or it could have been the 93 win Orioles just the same) could effectively nudge a 74 win team from protection doesn’t make sense judged in proper context.

        Therefore, requesting MLB to clarify the rule does no harm at all and is needed bc obviously this situation is going to arise again. If MLB upholds the language as it is written, it will simply be an affirmation that the intent is to help suppress FA salaries, rather than as a competitive balance aide which is what it should be. All they need to do is keep the bottom ten teams protected *plus* whatever “do-over” picks occur for failing to sign a previous year’s pick.

  3. NormE February 4, 2013 at 9:21 am
    Not!
  4. Jason W February 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm
    As a Mets fan, I would love to have Bourn and protect the pick. I would expect the front office would do whatever it took to get the pick protected.

    But, with the way the rule is written, the Mets are screwed.

  5. TW February 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm
    The Pirates inability to sign Mark Appel is on them, not the Mets. The rule is flawed and needs to be amended.
    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm
      It’s not necessarily on the Pirates. MLB is just as culpable for creating the bonus limits, and for creating the ability for the Pirates to make a nearly “risk-free” pick in choosing him.
      • Jeff Gray February 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm
        Greg makes a great point. A team is given a chance to improve by having it’s first round pick protected. Especially a team like the Pirates who benefit greatly from revenue sharing. If they are to be awarded a pick, it should start at 11. This would encourage them to work out the deal and allow the teams who fall into the bottom 10 have their picks protected and afforded the same option as the Pirates had a year prior.
        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm
          Except the Pirates lost the #8 pick overall from last year. What if the Mets were the ones who picked #8 and didn’t sign Mark Appel? Would you be OK with them getting the #11 pick in 2013 instead of #8?
        • DaveSchneck February 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm
          Joe,
          Absolutely, I would be thrilled. If a team is dumb enough to draft a guy it can’t sign, the pick should be lost. And if the agent is dumb enough to posture so much, and have his client drop in the draft as a result, great. Under these rules, both the player and the team will have a strong incentive to make a deal close to the slot, instead of arguing over relative chump change. Do you think that Alderson would have let that #2 pick walk last year over a few thousand $ if they did not get a compensatory pick this year? No way, even these multi-million dollar execs aren’t that inept.
        • Jeff Gray February 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm
          I would hope that Sandy persuing a college Jr. would have had hard conversations with Appel with at least a handshake agreement prior to drafting him. If he then turned him down (no guarentees) oh well but thems the brakes. No protected pick but first pick available after that is more than fair
        • Jeff Gray February 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm
          sparks a good debate though
      • Jon C February 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm
        So if MLB is “culpable” for bonus limits that encourage risky picks — which you seem to think a bad thing — should MLB also bear some responsibility to mitigate the possible impact on teams with protected picks in the next year’s draft?

        In any event, it’s not “risk-free” for the Pirates. The development time for the value of their 2012 #8 draft slot is pushed back a year. Plus there’s risk that the 2013 draft won’t have the same quality of players as the draft pick they lost.

    • Met Greg February 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm
      I understand how and why the rule is set up. What I don’t understand is why the Pirates aren’t granted the 11th pick in the draft if the 10 worst teams are the ones with protected picks.
      • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm
        Because it’s not the “ten worst teams” who get protected picks, it’s the ten first picks that are protected. The Pirates didn’t sign their #8 pick last year, so they get another crack at it, only one slot later (#9).
        • Tal February 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm
          So what happens if the #10 team picks someone this year, doesn’t sign him – then they get the unprotected 11 slot the following year and were never really protected to begin with. In essence only the top 9 teams are REALLY protected. It’s somewhat of a flawed system.
        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm
          It’s a flawed system on many levels. This particular flaw hurts the Mets in this particular year.

          However, granting them an exception this year — or changing the rules — could come back to bite the Mets in the ass in the future.

          Be careful what you wish for.

  6. Bags February 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm
    As a die-hard Mets fan,
    The MLB should not cave on this… Should the pick be protected? Absolutley. But change the rule now for future drafts. Make the rule the 10-worst teams (record wise) no matter what get there pick protected… Even if any team gets bumbed like the Mets are getting bumped.

    Its a pretty easy fix.

    LGM!

    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm
      But what if 8 of the top 10 teams don’t sign their picks this summer? Then there’s the possibility that the top 18 picks of the draft are protected. How would that be fair to the teams that lose compensation free agents — who would then be picking eight slots later?

      There’s a reason they drew up the rule the way they did.

      • Spider February 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm
        what would be the harm if 18 picks got protected?
        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm
          The harm in protecting 18 picks is that the teams who lose the top-tier free agents wind up with sandwich picks drawing from a less-talented pool of players.

          Making an exception to the rule affects everyone, not just the Mets.

        • Spider February 5, 2013 at 11:58 am
          It’s really not clear where you’re going with the 18 protected picks hypothetical. The Sandwich round picks which go to teams who have FAs that turn down Qualifying Offers are completely independent of whether or not those Qualifying Free Agents sign with other teams or not, or if the teams they sign with have to give up a 1st round draft pick. That Sandwich Round pick goes to the team as soon as the FA turns down the QO.

          Regarding the “do-over” picks for draft picks that didn’t sign in the previous 1st, 2nd, or 3rd round if I’m not mistaken, that get inserted into next year’s draft, each one pushes every team behind it back by one pick… so it’s not something that just affects the Sandwich round. So I’m not sure why this is part of your narrative regarding the bumping out of protection of the Mets pick other than to say that an accommodation would need to be made for more than just one pick getting bumped from protection if more than one pick gets re-slotted into the draft’s top ten as a result of failing to sign a previous year’s “top 9″ draft selection.

        • Spider February 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm
          I’m still trying to figure out what Joe means by saying the Sandwich Round is already diluted…
      • metstastic February 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm
        Joe, I understand your reasoning with a scenario where there are 8 players that didn’t sign forcing 18 picks protected. I feel the problem should be fixed at the upper levels and that there should be NEVER a scenario where a player doesn’t sign… The draft shouldn’t be about money.. because when it does.. richer teams have an advantage. Easy solution is hard slots, capping what a player can sign at for each draft position.
        • MetsStrong February 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm
          Agreed. MLB should do like in the NFL. At least for the first round. Limit on how much a drafteed on a particular # can demand.
  7. RichC February 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm
    The rule being what it is should penalize teams like Pittsburgh, not any other team with a protected pick. In the case of the Mets, I feel they will sign Bourn to a shorter deal if the pick is not proteceted and exercise their right to possibly trade Bourn a la the Beltran route mid season if things don’t gel
    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm
      Penalizing the Pirates makes absolutely no sense based on the new CBA. MLB’s goal is to put a tight lid on bonuses paid out to amateurs. The Pirates actually offered “above slot” and would have been subject to penalty by MLB had Appel accepted their offer. The Pirates did everything they could within the new rules — and went slightly above — and still didn’t sign Appel. So how can MLB possibly penalize a team for following the rules that everyone agreed upon?
  8. Ryan February 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm
    “What if the Mets, Padres, and Mariners all finished with identical 74-88 records — tied for tenth-worst? Then what? Maybe the CBA already addresses that scenario, but if it doesn’t, how would the rule be applied?”

    Previous year’s reverse standings are the tiebreaker. Worse records there get the higher picks.

    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm
      Thanks, just read that in the CBA as well.
  9. BillC February 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm
    I think there is valid reasoning for both sides of the argument. My problem is with the rule itself. How do you punish a team’s ability to build within their own farm system for going out and trying to make their team better in free agency?

    Why not give teams that lose a free agent who was offered a qualifying offer a 1st round pick but don’t punish the team that signs him?

    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm
      Because the “other” part of the CBA is in controlling free-agent contracts and in turn, player salaries. The assumption is that if teams know they’re going to lose a first-round pick, they will only do so if the player is really worth it. And hence, it seems to be working.
  10. James February 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    Actually, changing the rule after this year would be really wrong to the Mets and should definitely not happen. If any other year but this year under this deal it works like that but this is the only “gotcha” year that would really be a direct penalty to the Mets.

    No, they should either wait till the next CBA or amend the rule for the Mets now.

  11. Joe A. February 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm
    The only reasonable argument for protecting the Mets’ pick is that there was no meeting of the minds on the language that appears in the CBA. In other words, the Mets would have to argue, with the support of the Union, that Calcaterra’s assumption about what happened during negotiations and drafting of the agreement never happened. There’s no way for any of us to know if that is true or not.
  12. gbaked February 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm
    ” Further, another team (actually, several teams) WOULD be affected by the change — the Braves, who, if the Mets signed Bourn and kept their #11 pick, would get their compensatory pick one player later (as well as other teams that lost free agents who rejected qualifying offers). Picking one spot later may not seem like a big deal — unless you’re the team getting pushed back a spot. ”

    not even close to true. That is the old way, under the new CBA, the braves get a sandwich pick no matter what.

    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm
      By “one player later” I meant their pick would be bumped by one. Yes, it’s a sandwich pick, but if the Mets get to keep their pick, then the Braves pick one spot later than they would otherwise. So, if, for example it turns out they will get the #34 pick, if the Mets sign Bourn and keep their #11, then the Braves would get bumped to #35.
  13. Greg February 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm
    Wow this is stupid.

    Let me make it simple.

    Imagine the Mets finish 60-102 in 2013 and have the 7th worst record. Now imagine that ALL 6 of the picks in the 2013 draft fail to be signed, the Mets would then get the 13th pick (6 ahead of them + 6 compensated picks + theirs) instead of the 7th pick, and it would not be protected.

    The point of the draft is to encourage bad teams to get better by paying for free agents and giving them good prospects.

    This is current situation is a mistake in the new CBA rules that needs to be fixed (as illustrated above why).

    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm
      What is it that you made simple? I see you created a new problem, but no solution.
      • Greg February 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm
        The solution is simple – you protect the 1st round picks of the bottom 10 teams. It’s not rocket science.
        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm
          But it’s not that simple, because there are 29 other teams affected by such a “simple” solution.
  14. Kevin Buckley February 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm
    As a serious Mets fan, this is a tough issue for me. Yes, I want to see the Mets improve, particularly at the expense of the Braves.

    However, the common denominator in this is Scott Boras. He put both Appel and Bourne in the situations they now find themselves. For the good of baseball, MLB should refuse to budge on this. So, I agree with Joe.

  15. s February 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    it was one of the stupidest changes to the cba at the time and regardless of the mets situation it should and likely will be changed in the long run. So you are then talking about a situation where the mets may very well be the only team to whom this ever happens. It should be changed now to avoid tha from happening and personally I’d go a step further and say any top ten pick that isn’t signed doesn’t translate into a top ten pick the owing season but slots in at eleventh or later. So if you fail to sign the num one overall pick tough luck. You pick eleventh next year.
    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm
      But then teams would be less inclined to take the risk of drafting top-tier talent with leverage / signability issues. So instead of the Pirates taking a shot at drafting perhaps the best amateur pitcher available, they draft someone of lesser talent who is more “signable.” And then Appel falls down to a team with less to lose in terms of risk — which is a team that picks later because it has had more success. So the rich get richer, so to speak — which is what the new CBA was trying to avoid.
      • Phil February 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm
        I’m sorry but your statements couldn’t be more wrong and its rather annoying the inaccuracies you display. If Appeal was to fall even lower the team signing him would have a lower draft pool. Sure they could sign him to a higher amount and use up the majority of their pool affecting the rest of their draft or they could go over their draft pool and face future consequences regarding the draft but neither of those sound like no lose situations to me
  16. HarryDoyle February 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    The simplest answer is usually the right answer. I think the rule was written as it was to save words and make it as concise and simple as possible. “The top 10 picks are protected” is much more concise than “The teams with the 10 worst records from the previous season are to have their picks protected.”

    I truly believe the thought of unsigned draft picks from the previous draft possibly affecting the order of the top 10 picks was not considered. If it was considered, I think language addressing it would have been included in the CBA. But since it wasn’t, and now that such a case has arisen, it needs be considered within the essence of the intent of the rule.

  17. TJ February 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm
    The problem with the rules isn’t that the protection extends only to the top ten picks (rather than the ten worst teams), the problem is the compensation picks that teams get for not signing their players. You’ve said you think it would be unfair for teams with free agents if the first 18 or 20 picks were all protected, but how fair would it be for the second-to-worst team to get an unprotected 11th pick, just because the top 10 for last year all failed to sign their picks? This may seem an unlikely event, but if there is a weak draft pool, it could easily be the best option to draft somebody you have no intention of signing, and make your pick next year, when better players may be coming out. Compensatory picks should be no better than sandwich slots.
  18. Oleg February 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm
    Objectively, a rule is a rule. Whether it was meant to omit the language or not is irrelevant. You govern the way the constitution is written. If you want a law (rule) changed then you make an official change instead of doing a case by case basis. If the mets want to get their pick protected they need to have the league issue an offcial addendum that would clarify the rule.
    As for the argument that other teams would have an issue – the correlation isn’t there. There’s no complaint from the Mets that they are picking 11th as opposed to 10th. The argument is that the pick should be protected. It’s a simple and logical concept, that in a vacuum no team would oppose. However, given the fact that this is so late in the offseason and the change may have had an impact on other teams pursuit of free agents, MLB should not change the rule or make any exceptions for 2013 and rather revisit this issue immediately before the deadline for signing 2013 draft picks or immediately after the end of season.
    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm
      Oleg, you make great points.

      This part though, is not necessarily true:
      ” that in a vacuum no team would oppose. ”

      I disagree — I would bet that the teams who lost compensatory free agents and are picking in the sandwich round might oppose an additional protected pick.

      Otherwise, your argument and proposal makes good sense. The bottom line is that the Mets should have made a stink back in October, after their won-loss record was finalized. The only reason it’s become an issue is because Bourn remains unsigned and Scott Boras is trying to create demand for his client, and the Mets suddenly think they might be able to get Bourn at a bargain price.

      • Spider February 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm
        of course they are making it an issue now otherwise it would just grandstanding. Moreover, the league has apparently even said they won’t rule unless/until the Mets come to them with a deal.
    • HarryDoyle February 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm
      To your first point, I don’t see any issue with the league issuing an official addendum.

      To your last point of “the change may have had an impact on other teams pursuit of free agents,” in what way would the change have that impact? I don’t see it.

      And to say that no changes should be considered now, but it should be considered later would certainly be unfair to the Mets were the rule to be changed. If MLB doesn’t change the rule now, that in it of itself sets a precedent so that it shouldn’t be changed in the future without some sort of compensation given to teams previously screwed by the rule (so far only the Mets).

    • HarryDoyle February 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm
      Joe, you said:

      “I would bet that the teams who lost compensatory free agents and are picking in the sandwich round might oppose an additional protected pick.”

      I would think every team picking between picks 1.12 and 2.09 would (short sightedly) oppose the change as every pick in that range is one spot later than it would have been if the Mets lost their 1.11 pick. The teams with a sandwich pick would have two picks bumped back a spot, so I can see them opposing it slightly more than other teams. Regardless, I don’t think that’s an issue unless MLB made an exception for this year only, but obviously that wouldn’t be the case.

  19. beerfinger February 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm
    Herein lies the problem with your argument: “Yes, the compensation system is supposed to promote competitive balance. However, the system is fulfilling its intended goal by sticking to the “top ten picks” rule — it’s not failing by making the Mets’ pick subject to compensation.”

    To promote competitive balance is to protect the 1st round pick of the 10 teams with the worst records the previous season. That much is clear. Therefore, this rule is most definitely NOT achieving the spirit of what it was intended to do.

    As for this happening the first year after the CBA, I also disagree with you there. If it was ever going to happen, it was probably sooner than later as the kinks are worked out.

    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm
      I don’t think there’s a problem with the argument, when you consider that the Pirates didn’t sign their #8 overall pick from 2012, and when you consider the Braves lost a top-tier veteran player. Protected picks were cut down from 15 to 10 in part because the sandwich picks after the first round were diluted. There had to be a cutoff somewhere, and it was made at #10. The moment an 11th pick is protected, you’re starting to dilute the sandwich talent again.

      If the Mets are granted an exception, that opens appeal for more exceptions. For example, under the current rules, if four teams all tie for the tenth-worst record, the team with the worst record from the year before gets the #10 pick. But, the other three teams could argue that because they also had the tenth-worst records, they should also have their picks protected. And if that’s granted, now the protected number of picks swells to 13 instead of 10.

      In short, but making an exception, you’re opening up a pandora’s box.

      • beerfinger February 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm
        The difference is the current rules actually have a clause which specifies what happens if multiple teams tie for 10th. It does not, on the other hand, have a clause for what is happening to the Mets.

        Furthermore, the Pirates had their #8 pick protected the year before. The fact that they didn’t sign him does not entitle them to another protected pick. The ONLY thing that entitles a team to that dubious honor is finishing in the bottom 10, which the Pirates did not. Therefor, they are gaining an advantage for their own mistake, thus creating less incentive for teams to sign their picks since they know they’ll get another one the following year. Another way to look at it: what if the Pirates this year AGAIN fail to sign their first rounder, but then go on and win the World Series? Should they AGAIN be entitled to another 1st round pick next year?

        This is where your entire argument falls apart and you admit you’re wrong.

        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm
          Agreed that the difference is that such a situation is already addressed in the rules. But that doesn’t mean a team can’t appeal the rules. And if it turns out the Mets’ pick is protected based on the fact that theirs was the tenth-worst record, then another team with the tenth-worst record could cite the decision as support of their argument for appeal.

          As I’ve stated in a comment earlier, be careful what you wish for. If an exception is made or rule changed today, it could turn out to bite the Mets in the butt at some point in the future.

        • Phil February 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm
          The exception made to adjust the rule is simple. You are attempting to making it more complicated talking about ties for 10th best record but all they have to say is the top 10 picks in the new draft not counting those who are getting replacement picks for players unsigned in the previous year
        • beerfinger February 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm
          Regarding your first point, that’s what contracts law is for. If, in the future, a team tied for the 10th worst record decided to appeal the fact that they DID NOT get their 1st round pick protected because their record the preceding season was better than another team also tied for the 10th worst record, they would have no legal ground to stand on. You can sue and/or appeal anyone for pretty much anything in this world, it doesn’t mean you’ll win.

          Regarding your second point, it’s not about what Mets fans are wishing for, it’s about doing what’s right. What is right, in this situation, is protecting the Mets’ 1st round pick (and unprotecting the Pirates’ for that matter). If, in some world, the Mets somehow in the future find themselves in the same exact situation the Braves are in and they get a 2nd round supplemental pick rather than a 1st round supplemental pick, then it will STILL be the right thing to do.

        • beerfinger February 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm
          By the way, no response to my querry about the Pirates? I would love to know what your thoughts are on that. What would you say if the Pirates again failed to sign their 1st round pick this year? Would they again get pushed up next year to another protected pick? What if they won the World Series this year? Even then?
        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm
          This isn’t without precedent. Teams in the past who did not sign their #1s were given compensatory picks that fell within the “protected” 15. Most recently it happened with the Rangers in 2010 — who bumped the Cubs out of the top 15. And the Rangers went to the World Series later that year. So yeah, even if the Pirates win the WS this year, they should still get a pick — because the rules are written the way they are for a reason that goes far beyond this one issue with the Mets and Michael Bourn.
        • Phil February 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm
          This is COMPLETELY without precedent. In 2010 there was no draft pool where losing a pick impacted the amount of money you could spend on players in the draft
        • beerfinger February 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm
          “…because the rules are written the way they are for a reason that goes far beyond this one issue with the Mets and Michael Bourn.”

          For what reason would the rules be written the way they are? Do you honestly believe that when this particular rule was written (in this CBA or any previous agreement), that the framers purposefully decided to screw the team with the 10th worst record?

          I doubt it. Chances are, it was an oversight. You’re probably right about 2010, the Cubs weren’t courting a Type A. My guess is, if they were this would have been solved then (if they had a halfway decent GM). That didn’t happen though, so now it’s on Sandy to resolve.

          Here’s another extrapolation that further demonstrates just how ridiculous this rule is. Imagine TWO top 10 teams this year failed to sign their 1st round picks. Or three of them. Four. Or, let’s take it all the way and imagine that ALL TEN teams fail to sign their 1st round picks this year. And imagine they ALL finish out of the bottom ten next year. Would we seriously suggest replacing the worst 10 teams next year with the worst 10 teams from THIS year???

        • Phil February 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm
          Beerfinger- this has nothing to do with 2010 as Joe is trying to make it seem. Teams got dropped out of the top 15 plenty of times because others weren’t able to sign their guys. The reason there was no stink made was because it wasn’t that big of a deal. With no cap on money spent on the draft teams would just spend more money on higher risk guys later in the draft to compensate for losing their higher pick. The problem is, with the new cba that is not possible and this is the first time such an issue has come to light
        • beerfinger February 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm
          Yes, I’m aware Phil. The way I see it, the argument you are making is in addendum to the argument I am making. The comparison to 2010 is valid insomuch as despite there being no draft pool, the mechanics of the rule were otherwise the same. My point is that the rule was just as wrong then as it is now. To your point, it may be even MORE wrong now because of the draft pool. But nonetheless, it’s still wrong.
  20. Derpy February 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm
    If the rule is seen to be incorrect or unfair and to be changed, it is utterly irrational to not change it now. This bizarre sense of honor that comes from ‘a rule is a rule’ is nonsense. If the rule is bad enough to warrant special consideration, then it should be done now. This problem may never come up again, and of you wait until after this off season to fix, or uphold, the rule, you are only doing a disservice to everyone.
    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm
      But it’s only seen as incorrect or unfair when looked at from the Mets’ perspective and in this vacuum of their situation. When the rule is looked at as part of the entire CBA, it is logical.
      • Derpy February 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm
        “But it’s only seen as incorrect or unfair when looked at from the Mets’ perspective and in this vacuum of their situation. When the rule is looked at as part of the entire CBA, it is logical.”

        That simply isn’t true. I think you will have a hard time finding people who actually agree with this rule. The main arguments you see are ‘a rule is a rule and it can never be changed’ and ‘they shouldn’t make an exception just for the mets, but they should change the rule for next off season.’ Neither of which are rational arguments.

        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm
          Well, a simple Google search provided me with more than a half-dozen people who believed the Mets should NOT be granted an exception.
        • Derpy February 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm
          If you can show me someone who is fundamentally opposed to the Mets getting a pick, and they use a reason that is not some form of ‘rules are rules’ or ‘you can’t change a rule in the middle of an off season’, I would like to see it. So far I have yet to encounter that.
        • Derpy February 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm
          Just to clarify what I mean, I have yet to see someone who argued that there can only be 10 protected picks. As in there is some specific reason for only having 10 protected picks given some actual evidence. As in, some specific economic reason, or some evidence that having 10 protected picks increases the value of amateur talent, or something along these lines. These would be legitimate, rational arguments. I haven’t seen this. I have seen ‘the mets should have appealed sooner’, ‘the rules say only the top ten picks, not the bottom 10 teams are protected’, ‘you can’t change rules in the middle of an offseason’, ‘this is what the CBA intended, even if they didn’t foresee the consequences’, et cetera. None of which are rational arguments. Rational meaning, in essence, a necessary behavior. Meaning, given all the evidence and arguments, this one behavior is the best. Sticking to a rule just because it is written down, even though it is causing harm, is not rational.
  21. TRex23 February 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm
    I have to disagree with you on this one Joe.

    It seems to me that the idea of protecting the pick of the ten worst teams was to allow them a method to get better quickly and become competitive again. They would be able to sign a premium free agent AND keep their high draft pick. It was meant to level the playing field.

    But here’s the thing. Having the benefit of a high draft pick comes with a certain degree of responsibility — as a tradeoff. And that obligation is that the drafting club SIGN the player they picked. They must be willing to invest financially in the pick commensurate with his position in the draft. If they don’t pony up the money to sign the player, they shouldn’t be rewarded by getting another high pick the next year.

    Now, I realize that sometimes a player won’t sign because he really just doesn’t want to play for the team that drafted him. But the reality is — in the VAST majority of cases — if the money is right, the player will sign, because the player risks a career-ending injury if he waits a year.

    The Mets finished in the bottom ten in baseball. Period. That is not in dispute. And as far as other teams being affected by choosing one pick later, aren’t they already doing that because the Pirates got bumped into the top ten?

    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm
      “But here’s the thing. Having the benefit of a high draft pick comes with a certain degree of responsibility — as a tradeoff. And that obligation is that the drafting club SIGN the player they picked. They must be willing to invest financially in the pick commensurate with his position in the draft. If they don’t pony up the money to sign the player, they shouldn’t be rewarded by getting another high pick the next year. ”

      The Pirates WERE willing to invest financially in the pick commensurate with his position in the draft. In fact their offer was above and beyond the new regulations that every MLB club agreed upon.

      • Jon C February 4, 2013 at 11:35 pm
        “The Pirates WERE willing to invest financially in the pick commensurate with his position in the draft. In fact their offer was above and beyond the new regulations that every MLB club agreed upon.”

        Which is totally irrelevant to whether or not the teams with the ten worst records in 2012 receive protected picks in the draft.

        • Joe Janish February 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm
          How do you figure it’s irrelevant? One of the goals of the CBA is to limit bonuses to amateurs while also giving small-market clubs a better chance to sign top talent that was previously falling further down to big-money clubs. The rule was written in such a way that if/when a team like the Pirates — who had a poor record in 2011 and aren’t big-market — would have a fair shot at a top talent like Appel. If the Bucs don’t know they have the “insurance” of the #9 pick in 2012, they might not take the risk of signing Appel.
  22. Phil February 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    You seem pretty certain that the rule was made like this on purpose which is completely false. You have absolutely no idea or evidence of such occurrence. There are many things that go into a new CBA and oversights occur all the time. Sometimes circumstances play out which weren’t expected and rules need to be altered after 1-2 years of existence, this being a prime example. You referred to the previous rules of the top 15 picks being protected however the two rules are completely different. Previously there was no draft salary cap restricting teams from how much they could spend. If you lost a first round pick it wasn’t as big of a deal because you could take bigger risks later with the money saved there. Now, the mets would not only lose a pick but approx 33 percent of their allocated draft budget. That makes this situation entirely different. This rules has two other big issues. It completely deflates the value of free agents on the open market which the players association will find a way to fix one way or another. In addition, this allows teams to technically “double dip” on their draft pools. If they deem it to be a weak draft at the top they can draft joe schmo, not sign him but keep the draft cap room for players in the later rounds and then get to keep the same pick (down one spot) and the corresponding draft pool allocation with it. That doesn’t sound fair to me at all….
    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm
      There is nothing about the draft that is fair, number one. There is nothing fair, either, about the slotting system. And, there is nothing fair about the compensation system. So it’s not a surprise that one of the rules inside the CBA also turns out to be unfair to one specific team in one specific year.

      Did you read the CBA, by the way?

      • Phil February 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm
        You assertion that this rule is not fair to one specific team one year is false. Do you mean to tell me that everyone signs their draft picks every year in the top 10? This is the first year of the new CBA with different rules and this just so happens to affect the mets first
        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm
          It’s only false from your point of view. If the Mets sign Bourn AND keep their #11 pick, it affects every single team that picks from #12 and beyond, because they’re all bumped.
        • Phil February 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm
          First off, the only thing it changes based on previous years is the teams picking from 12-15 since previously the other teams would get bumped anyways. The bigger issue, and the main reason why Alderson is adamant about keeping the pick is the draft pool allocation the pick provides. This was a new provision put in place just this year and will be a sticking point every year after when a team doesn’t sign their top 10 pick and in turn bumps someone else out.
        • Phil February 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm
          And I already answered your next question about why did no one complain before. I will answer it again for you though. The value of a pick in the previous cba was not as valuable because teams could budget their draft resources as they wished and sign guys to higher bonuses later if they didn’t have a first round pick. With the new rules you no longer have that option and just like in other sports with new cbas oversights occur because people don’t realize the true impact of new rules until they start to happen
        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm
          This situation is NOT without precedent. As recently as the 2010 draft, the Rangers bumped the Cubs out of the top 15 of “protected picks” (when it was 15 and not 10). No one made a stink about it, I suppose, because the Cubs weren’t going after a Type A free agent that previous winter.
        • Phil February 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm
          No as I mentioned in a previous post this is COMPLETELY without precedent because in 2010 there was no draft pool. The Cubs if they so inclined could give up their first round pick and used the money they themselves budgeted for the draft in later rounds. That is no longer the case and the real sticking point in this issue
        • HarryDoyle February 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm
          Joe, I don’t think that’s an accurate statement. I believe the Cubs’ pick was still protected even though it was bumped to the 16th pick.
        • Joe Janish February 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm
          Harry, I’ve been trying to corroborate that one way or another and having a hard time. If you can find the evidence somewhere online please post it here or send me an email. Thank you.
      • HarryDoyle February 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm
        “There is nothing about the draft that is fair, number one.”
        –Hyperbolic generality.

        “There is nothing fair, either, about the slotting system.”
        –Hyperbolic generality.

        “And, there is nothing fair about the compensation system.”
        –Hyperbolic generality.

        Your entire premise is meaningless as it lacks in substance.

        • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm
          Does it really matter? I’ve already provided substance and you disagree with it. I’m sure there’s nothing I can present that will change your mind. May as well move on to politics.
        • HarryDoyle February 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm
          Sure it matters. You’re argument is flawed. We’ll certainly have to agree to disagree though, which is fine.

          BTW, I’m a Mets fan and even though I think their 11th pick should be protected (as should all future picks in the same circumstance), I don’t want it protected as I don’t want Bourn signed to a backloaded deal, which I think will be the case if the Mets sign him.

  23. EK February 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    As a Met fan I do not feel they should get special treatment. If MLB wantes to change the rule to be “the ten worst teams” then that is okay. Or to be even more fair, to not give a team another chance if they don’t sign their draft pick – too bad if you couldn’t seal the deal.
    • Phil February 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm
      I don’t think this is solely a Mets issues. They just happened to be the first team affected by it. The rule itself is flawed and should be fixed. Its not as if this rule (given the new stipulations) has been in existence ever before so no one was fully aware of the ramifications or how the teams would respond to the circumstances
  24. HarryDoyle February 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm
    Joe, you said:

    “I would bet that the teams who lost compensatory free agents and are picking in the sandwich round might oppose an additional protected pick.”

    I would think every team picking between picks 1.12 and 2.09 would (short sightedly) oppose the change as every pick in that range is one spot later than it would have been if the Mets lost their 1.11 pick. The teams with a sandwich pick would have two picks bumped back a spot, so I can see them opposing it slightly more than other teams. Regardless, I don’t think that’s an issue unless MLB made an exception for this year only, but obviously that wouldn’t be the case.

    • Phil February 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm
      The entire argument is short sighted. First off, the value of a baseball pick is a lot less than any other sport. Their bigger concern would most likely be losing some extra draft cap allocation. Second, if you are going to argue that no one cared when it was the top 15 exempt instead of top 10 then you can’t also say teams 1.15 through 2.09 would oppose since this rule was in place forever. It would only be teams picking 1.12-1.15
  25. Andrew February 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm
    Why should a team be rewarded for not signing their draft pick from the previous year? Maybe the result should be if you don’t sign your draft pick by the deadline then you get a sandwich pick between the first and second round in the next draft?
    • Joe Janish February 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm
      Look previous in the comments for the explanation.
  26. argelys February 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm
    i believe that in that case it should be protected because it should not affect the mets the fact that the pirates didnt signed their draft pick the year before. so its harming a team because another team did sign a prospect it make no sense to me
  27. mattytunks February 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm
    this rule is flawed. no question. but it doesnt matter if another team is in the mets position.
    the pirates shouldnt get another protected pick. they couldnt sign the pick they had and if anything they should get a non protected pick (if anything at all) for their failure to sign a pick they knew was going to have high demands.
    Joe, you keep saying what if this, what if that. what if doesnt matter. the system is made to help teams get bettter by giving protected picks to teams that didnt do well last year, right? so why would it make any sense to let a team with a better record laast year push a team out of the portected picks because they couldnt sign the player they drafted.
    this is obviously an oversight and needs to be fixed no matter what team it affects.
    • Joe Janish February 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm
      If it’s so obvious then why wasn’t it fixed immediately?
  28. argonbunnies February 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm
    I like the rule about allowing bad teams to sign free agents and also draft high.

    I’m not sure if I like the rule about teams who fail to sign draft picks getting to try again next year.

    When push comes to shove, I’ll root for the rule I like to trump the rule I’m not sure I like. The Pirates should be picking 11th.

    • argonbunnies February 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm
      Why am I not sure if I like the failed signing compensation rule? Well, I’m not sure what evil it’s supposed to prevent, I’m not sure if it actually does that, and I’m not sure if it’s the most direct and downside-free way of doing that.

      If the Pirates suck, and Appel says, “You can’t pay me enough to go to that awful team,” then it’s in the best interests of baseball to simply give Appel the finger and make him sign for reasons of competitive balance. (Or, if not literally force him, then give him an incentive so strong that it works the same way.)

      If the Pirates are cheap, and try to lowball Appel, then they deserve to simply lose the pick. (Unless MLB is going to intervene and do what’s best for the franchise over the wishes of its owners. But if that were how it worked, Loria would be on a pike somewhere.)

      If neither party is acting in bad faith, and Appel is undecided on signing in 2012, and the Pirates know this, and they decide to draft him anyway, and try to convince him to sign, and it just doesn’t work… Well, that’s fine, and I sympathize with both parties, but the Pirates’ failed gamble absolutely should not trump the interests of a team who never gambled in the first place (in this case, the Mets).

      I’d say that it cannot be assumed that either party is acting in bad faith, and it’ll be very rare that it can be proven. So the default scenario is simply “failed gamble”. If you gamble and lose, I’m fine with there being actual loss involved. Like, next year you get pick #11.

      • DaveSchneck February 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm
        Argon,
        I like your logic and summary and the bottom line. Even if the Mets don’t get to the point with Bourn to petition, MLB should make the change for next year.
  29. Oleg February 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm
    I think combining the Pirates’ end of things into this argument over complicates the matter. If the argument is, “10 worst records have the pick protected” then it’s protected whether its bumped to 11, 13, or 15. MLB needs to at the least issue a statement as it pertains to this topic, or at least issue a statement that backs the current rule as its written at face value.

    As to the argument as a whole, I think the best point here is – Mets should have brought the issue up immediately after the season

    • Phil February 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm
      How do we know they didn’t bring this up right after the season and the league said (albeit hearsay) that we need to sign someone worthy of this becoming an issue before its an issue back then. At the time Sandy, in theory, could have said ok, we probably won’t be signing anyone worthy of such distinction so its a non issue. However, no one on the players side (and i feel pretty certain in saying no one or else this would have been a sticking point in the cba) thought this rule would have such a drastic effect on free agency
  30. Bob February 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm
    What is really messed up about this is that the Pirates could have and wanted to sign Appel but MLB wouldn’t allow them to spend more than a certain amount of money to sign him. It was a dumb move by the Pirates to even draft hiim
  31. Joe February 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm
    100 comments! Impressive.
    • BJH February 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm
      Janish had to have known taking that side of the argument would get plenty of attention and clicks, which is likely the primary reason he did it. Unfortunately for him he’s in Andy Martino territory of getting attention for all the wrong reasons.
      • Phil February 5, 2013 at 12:25 am
        Yea, this was most likely the case as he clearly had no response for my draft pool allocation comments and his arguments were filled with many holes that he attempted to deflect in his rebuttals
        • Joe Janish February 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm
          Phil, I replied to several of your comments. If I didn’t have a full-time job I would have replied to every single one of them, but there’s a point where it becomes redundant and tiresome to repeat the same exact thing over and over.

          What IS clear is that we disagree on the issue. That’s fine.

          If you are unhappy with the responses, please feel free to move on to another Mets blog. There are well over a hundred to choose from, and there might be at least two or three others where the main writer actively engages with the visitors in the comments section.

          Better yet, why not publish your own blog? I’d be happy to give you advice on how to get started.

      • Joe February 6, 2013 at 12:57 am
        He has made controversial comments before w/o getting this many comments. Twenty-something is a lot here.
      • Joe Janish February 6, 2013 at 7:22 pm
        Please do not ever compare me to Andy Martino. I’m clearly NOT a socialist nor a bleeding heart liberal.

        The primary reason I wrote this post is because I felt it was worth discussing. Based on the number of comments, I’m comfortable that I’ve met the goal of writing a post that would spark conversation.

        I don’t give a SH*T about clicks nor the amount of drive-bys who stop in and drop their two cents. This site always has, and always will be, about fostering a loyal group of people who enjoy discussing baseball as it pertains to the Mets.

  32. JNG February 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm
    And how was it fair the Mets received only a second round pick for the Marlins signing Jose Reyes? That certainly doesn’t help the competitive balance.