Toronto Blue Jays News

Bullet dodged? Most important part of CBA talks for the Blue Jays

CHICAGO - JUNE 08: Bo Bichette #11 (L) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays look on against the Chicago White Sox on June 8 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - JUNE 08: Bo Bichette #11 (L) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays look on against the Chicago White Sox on June 8 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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There are a lot of issues that need to be worked out before a new CBA will be in place, but it sounds like the Blue Jays don’t have to fear the worst anymore.

Admittedly the “worst” would be if there was no MLB season at all. That said, as a Blue Jays fan I would almost argue that messing with the current model of service time for big leaguers could be just as bad.

One of the reported discussion points between the owners and the Player’s Association is around big league service time, and how quickly players can reach free agency. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not siding with the owners here by any means, but as a Blue Jays fan I had some legitimate worries about the potential for a more player-friendly system when it comes to service time and contract control prior to hitting free agency. Specifically, I didn’t want to see the Blue Jays lose out on a year of having Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Alek Manoah, and others on the roster.

While CBA talks are far from over and things could still change, it appears both parties have started to make some concessions in an effort to reach a deal. According to Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling’s article from yesterday, it sounds like an adjustment to this area of roster building was a “non-starter” for the owners, and the players may be willing to work around this particular issue.

"“While the union entered this negotiation seeking a quicker path to free agency for its players than the current six years of MLB service required, it quickly became clear that would be a no-fly zone for the owners and the pursuit was dropped. That means the Blue Jays will continue to hold club control over emerging superstars Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette through the 2025 season, at which point they’ll be eligible to test the open market as free agents.”"

While it never felt very likely that the league side would give up control of their talented and cheap young players, we’ve never known just how part the Player’s Association was willing to go in order to make an improvement in this area for themselves. One of their stated goals is to negotiate for better compensation for younger players, especially as the game evolves in a more youthful direction. As things have played out over the last few seasons, there have been a lot of veterans who haven’t been rewarded the way they hoped they would be in free agency, while young stars are years away from the open market and earning a fraction of what they should for their production. The formula many front offices have been using is increasingly working against the player’s earning potential.

I do think there will be some sort of move in the right direction for the players, and perhaps it comes in the form of a “bonus pool” or something in that realm. Zwelling alluded to this idea in his article as well, and it’s possible that some sort of bonus system could be created to reward to the top young players in the game. Without knowing all of the ins and outs of that discussion, it feels like a more feasible way to reach a middle ground between the two sides.

Next. The different stages of investing in the roster. dark

For now, it sounds like the Blue Jays can still plan to have Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette around for at least the next four seasons, and hopefully they can reach some extensions long before that deadline ever gets close anyway.

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