Every-Thing Sports

The fix for MLB's broken system

MLB.com

Two months and two days ago, I wrote about MLB's broken system. if you read the article (which you should have, and if you didn't, shame bell for you), I mentioned towards the end that I would flesh out my fix. Well folks, today's the day! I've managed to overcome my adult ADD, second-guessing myself, the Game of Thrones series finale, and a couple personal issues to bring you my fix for MLB's dumb ass contract and call-up rules.

Contract Length

Astros George Springer

George Springer

Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

MLB rules benefit the teams way more than it benefits the players. Teams can hold players in purgatory, or what's commonly called "team control" and "arbitration" based on when they get called up from the minors.

George Springer is the poster boy for this because he won't get a chance to be an unrestricted free agent until he's 31 years old. That's because the Astros held him in the minors until they were ready to call him up and start his service time clock. I propose first and second round picks get four year deals with a fifth year based on arbitration. Third and fourth round picks get three years with a fourth year of arbitration. Fifth and remaining rounds get three year deals and two arbitration years since they're drafted later and aren't as likely to pan out. Teams could choose to sign guys to a fair market extension and avoid the arbitration year if the player has proven himself worthy, a la Alex Bregman before this season began.

Arbitration Years

Astros Forrest Whitley

Astros' top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Arbitration years will continue to be negotiated like they are currently. The difference in my system would be when it occurs. As I laid out earlier, depended on where you're drafted will determine your arbitration years. If a team holds a player in the minors, they'll have to resign him at a fair market deal after his one arbitration year. Forrest Whitley, Astros' top pitching prospect, would be eligible for an arbitration year or extension after this season. Under my rules, it would either force the team to bring him up ASAP, or hold him down in hopes of not having to pay him big money on an extension.

Contract Extensions

Yordan Alvarez, Astros. top hitting prospect

Yi-Chin Lee, Staff photographer, chron.com

Contract extensions will be signed and handed out NBA style. Your team you are signed to and/or drafted by will be able to sign you to a longer term deal worth more money overall. However, this system is also based on the NFL system which rewards players that outperform their rookie deals. So if Yordan Alvarez has one full year left on his rookie deal before he's eligible to sign a new one, would it benefit the Astros to get him up to the big leagues to see what he's worth? Maybe so. Or, maybe they would benefit from keeping him down. If so, they could underbid him on his next deal and risk losing him to another team as an unrestricted free agent? What if the Astros could give him six years and an extra five to eight million per year? What if he doesn't want to resign with them and takes less to go elsewhere to have a btter shot at winning like Kevin Durant?

Post-Option Year Offer

J.B. Bukauskas

Greg Fisher, Tri-City Valley Cats

Let's say a guy is playing in his contract year because the team opted into his option year, but he hasn't quite proved himself worthy of a full extension. In this situation, similar to Jadeveon Clowney, he would be eligible for what I would call a post-option year offer. This would look very similar to the NFL's franchise tag. The exceptions would be that this is a one time only tag, and it would be an average of the option year they were just on (representative of their draft position) and the top 15 players at his position. After the post-option offer year, a player would be free to sign with whoever offers him a deal. For example, If J.B. Bukauskus isn't the pitcher the Astros think he is after his last year of his rookie deal, they could use this offer to give it one more year to see if he's worth the investment.

There's so many confusing decisions made under the current system. I chose to feature these three prospects because I feel like they'd already be up at the big league level contributing for this team if it weren't for the somewhat oppressive and archaic MLB roster rules. MLB as a whole could use some major changes. This was just the first in a list of several that I feel strongly about. I'll be writing about more of them in the coming months. The season is just past the quarter mark so we have plenty of time to discuss and dissect baseball. If you haven't already, I suggest you take a look at Barry Laminack's MLB preview. Use this as a program description to the season. Keep an eye out for my next MLB improvement article. Until then, stay tuned every week for my unique perspective on things.

Blue Jays demolish Houston on Father's Day

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 12-0 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston was seeking a series sweep on Father's Day after taking the first two games of the series with Toronto. Here is a quick rundown of the series finale:

Final Score: Blue Jays 12, Astros 0.

Record: 48-24, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Trent Thornton (2-5, 4.36 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brad Peacock (6-4, 3.67 ERA).

1) Toronto jumps ahead early, gives Peacock trouble

The Blue Jays ambushed Brad Peacock in the top of the first inning, getting a leadoff triple then a one-out sac fly followed by a solo home run, grabbing a quick 2-0 advantage. Peacock seemed to settle in after that, allowing just one hit along with a few walks over the next three innings, but Toronto would double their lead in the fifth.

In the top of the fifth, Peacock allowed a leadoff double then a one-out two-run home run to Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Yuli's brother, extending the Blue Jay's lead to 4-0. Peacock would finish the fifth but that would be it for him in a disappointing start. His final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HR.

2) Thornton handles Astros' offense in return to Houston

Trent Thornton, originally drafted by Houston but traded away in the deal for Aledmys Diaz this offseason, was on the mound for Toronto on Sunday looking to show the Astros what they were missing out on. He accomplished his mission, holding the Astros to just six hits over six and two-thirds innings while keeping them scoreless over that span.

They'd have no luck against Toronto's relievers, either, getting shutout for the fourth time this season.

3) Jays keep scoring against the bullpen

After Peacock's day ending with five innings of work, Cionel Perez came in for the sixth to try and keep the game close. Instead, he allowed a leadoff single, a double, then a three-run home run to extend Toronto's lead to 7-0, an RBI-single to make it 8-0, then a second three-run home run later in the inning blowing the game open at 11-0 with a seven-run inning.

Perez was able to get through the next two innings without allowing any more runs, then with the game very out of reach, Houston put Tyler White on the mound to throw the ninth. White allowed a solo home run to push the lead to 12-0 but would get through the rest of the inning to end the pitching day for the Astros.

Up Next: Houston will travel tonight to kick off a full week of games starting with a three-game series with the Reds in Cincinnati. The first game of the series will start at 6:10 PM tomorrow and will feature a pitching matchup of Wade Miley (6-3, 3.14 ERA) for the Astros going up against Luis Castillo (6-1, 2.20 ERA) for the Reds.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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