Jayson Stark has some updates on the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement talks between the owners and the union. The topics that are relevant to the Pittsburgh Pirates:
-The owners, led by Bud Selig, are still demanding hard slotting in the draft. The union is holding firm in resisting that. I’ve written before that hard slotting is bad for the Pirates. All you need to do is look at how they’ve approached the draft over the last four years to see this. Hopefully Selig drops the hard slotting.
-The union is looking to change the free agent compensation system for Type A free agents. Currently a team must give up a draft pick if they sign a Type A free agent. In turn, that lowers the value of free agents on the open market. Take Ramon Hernandez, for example. He’s a Type A free agent, and would be a good fit for the Pirates. However, the Pirates would have to give up their second round pick, which might prevent them from pursuing Hernandez. In turn, that lowers the money that Hernandez could potentially receive by limiting the amount of teams that could pursue him.
-Stark mentions that the owners are willing to make the concession for Type A free agents in exchange for hard slotting. If I had a choice for the Pirates, I’d rather have Type A compensation with no hard slotting. Hard slotting will hurt a team like the Pirates more than Type A compensation.