Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wins the Tip O’Neill Award for best Canadian-born “player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.” The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame gives out the award. I feel that it won’t be the last time Vlad wins the prize. I wonder if he can top the seven wins that Joey Votto has racked up over the years or the nine that Larry Walker won.
I’m not sure if we should consider Vlad Canadian, but I’m willing to in this case.
Others considered include Tyler O’Neill, Joey Votto, Cal Quantrill and Jordan Romano.
Last year’s winner was Jamie Romak, who had a terrific season in the Korean Baseball Organization.
Congratulations, Vladimir. Here’s to many more award-winning seasons.
In his Cup of Coffee newsletter, Craig Calcaterra talked about the big issue of the CBA negotiations “the calculation of service time and how much service time it takes to get a player to the point where he can make some real money.”
Baseball has made players serve out six years of service time before becoming free agents and three years before getting arbitration.
Teams have become experts at manipulating service time, maximizing the amount of time before the player gets to make real money.
As of 2019, players who had not yet reached arbitration eligibility accounted for 63.2% of all players to step on the field. They likewise accounted for 53.6% of days of service time accumulated. Meanwhile, they only accounted for 9.8% of player pay. These numbers are much higher than they were in past years in the free agency era. All of that is to say that Major League Baseball leans very hard on players who do not make that much money, relatively speaking.
Craig thinks the answer will be to raise the minimum wage for MLB players and some systems to encourage teams to use their best players and start them from playing service time games. Also, getting players to arbitration quicker would work well for the players.
It is a good read. Craig’s newsletter is well worth the relatively minimal cost.
Beyond that, there isn’t much for baseball news at the moment. Mets are still looking for a manager. I see that Buck Showalter is on their shortlist. He wouldn’t be on my list, but I remembered Edwin’s home run in the Wild Card game in 2016.