Pat Neshek believes that free agency is in a dormant state because of the current collective bargaining agreement.
The Philadelphia Phillies reliever dropped the bombshell comment while speaking to reporters on Wednesday – the first official workout day for many pitchers and catchers in spring training.
“It’s sad to see. It stinks,” Neshek told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark. “They want to go cheaper, the front offices. I think we signed a bad CBA, personally.”
The league average for a 40-man roster is $121 million. However, there are currently 12 teams that are spending less than $100 million on rosters, according to Clark.
Those teams are reportedly the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Tampa Bay Rays.
“When the revenues are going up and the portion that’s being paid to the players is consistently declining, there’s going to be an issue,” Neshek said. “It’s going to get pretty ugly. The smart front offices, a lot of those guys might not have jobs anymore because we’re not going to have baseball. It’s a respect issue.”
Other players, including Clayton Kershaw, questioned why some star players are still free agents.
“It’s not great. It’s not great for the game by any means,” Kershaw said, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times. “It just doesn’t seem right that they’re not in spring training, or close to it, at this point.”
Meanwhile, Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale is shocked that former teammate and seven-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel is without a team.
“It’s crazy to me,” Sale said, according to WEEI. “I don’t want to get too far into it with the politics of baseball and all this stuff, but he’s as good as it gets. He 100 percent makes any team better that he plays for. It’s crazy to think that there really hasn’t been a whole lot of traction with him. I think with half the league just showing up for checks, it doesn’t help … not trying to win, those kind of things.”
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