In the quiet 2019 offseason ~ Is MLB-Player Loyalty Long Gone?
In 2019 off-season, not really the 2020 Free Agent frenzy of the past couple of years. Actually ~ seemingly 'quiet' on most fronts. Therefore, bring me to look at ~
MLB PLAYER LONGEVITY
The above is not to reference total years played, but the team(s) they play with.
Not many St. Louis Cardinals fans are really interested in what I have to say about Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo. But, he is one player who I hold a lot of respect for. Clarification, I hold my own admiration for him - WHEN my Cardinals are not playing the Cubs. Then it goes to 'rival mode'.
This morning I read an MLB article about 'Rumors ..." of the off-season prior to the Winter Meetings ~ beginning soon on Dec. 9 ~ and what may transpire.
And still a lot of 'summation' from information gathered is being written about.
IS LOYALTY REALLY GONE AMONG MLB TEAMS AND THEIR PLAYERS ... AND VICE-VERSA.
Three players come to mind immediately. Three players, currently, who have been with their original team in their MLB tenure.
St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina (16 yrs) and Adam Wainwright (14 yrs); along with, Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto (13 yrs). I can't even imagine them with any other team. Nor, do they want to be with another.
But, 'loyalty' goes both ways ~ An organization that wants to keep players on board - and players who 'want' to stay. Free agency has given an abundance of players the 'freedom to roam'.
My purpose in mentioning the Cubs. Thinking just how 'fickle' (?) - (not sure that's the term I want, but will go with it) an organization can be. To do whatever it takes to get a team together that can win. The ultimate 'fantasy team' in real life. A revolving door policy, so to speak~
Loyalty seemingly is out the window these days in major league baseball. To keep the supposed lost interest in the sport alive. Also, Revenue - 'Economics' for the player, agent and organizations.
Out on a limb, I feel, the St. Louis Cardinals organization is one of the BEST in the loyalty department ~ even with all the disgruntled more than willing to 'give up players' just because they aren't cutting it. Just because they seemingly are not doing their part. No wiggle room by the disgruntled that their game can be turned around to help make a difference.
A lot of fans want "shiny and new”, switching out players like turning 'on and off' a facet. What ‘in-stone’ guarantee is there that what a player does/has done/ for one team will transfer that strength to a new team? A lot of variables for a new player with a new team - new league.
Yes ~ the MLB is very competitive. But, personally, I like the faith that the Cardinals hold in certain players - the confidence shown, and dedication to 'deals made' out of respect of what a player has given to them. "The Face(s) of the Franchise", I feel, is important to them in years of dedication and 'determination' for the team. They know better than anyone what may be going on in each player's life - on the field and off. Fans are not privy to such ~ an in many cases, they don't care to know.
I feel the Cardinals, also, hold the faith that the player will give his all. To a fault? Maybe in some cases as we as fans see no apparent rhythm or reason of the 'why".
BACK TO THE CUBS ~
REPORT: Even Rizzo not off-limits for Cubs
(From: "Rumors: Cole, Strasburg, Lindor, Rizzo", www.mlb.com ~ News - MLB-rumors-trades-and-signings.)
"Dec. 3: Even star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a Cubs stalwart since 2012, isn't off-limits when it comes to the trade market in an offseason during which Chicago has been described by various executives around the game as "aggressive," "manic," "motivated" and "obvious" in their intention to trade a big name, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan."
"Other names that have often been mentioned as possible trade candidates are third baseman Kris Bryant, shortstop Javier Báez and catcher Willson Contreras. Those names had been floated in rumors early in the offseason, but if Rizzo is also in the mix, it underscores just how much change the Cubs are foreseeing after falling short of the postseason for the first time since 2014, two years before they won their first World Series in 108 years."
I cannot imagine Anthony Rizzo (FA-2021) in any other uniform than that of the Chicago Cubs. He's been with them nine seasons and, to me, he is the cornerstone - face of their franchise for the Chicago northenders. Trade him off? To me that is inconceivable. But would the Cubs organization be so crass as to do so?
Kris Bryant ~ 2nd year arbitration and made $12.9 MM last season and you know he will be looking for more ~ Cubs looking avoid a hearing?
Again, 2B/SS Javier Baez (2nd yr AE/$5.2 MM-2019) is among conversations ~ as is expected ~ excellent player. Again, I feel should the Cubs seriously consider to trade him ~ RE: 'Cutting your nose off to spite your face" syndrome. Who would be better at shortstop and offensively than Baez?
Willson Contreras (1st yr AE/$684,000-2019) - well, in my opinion, he is expendable. Sorry, he is just one of the very few players I just have no 'liking' for. Just my own ... opinion.
However, yes - players will be moved - part of a trade; or, negotiations for 'bigger bucks" - long contracts are opportunities and a goal for the free agent. But there are some players ~ granted very few, for sure, that should remain with their original team. Not only due to ability - but to make history. To show they are worth having them around until they decide - "It's time to hang-up the cleats'.
The article just gave me a dose of reality this morning that Rizzo's name would even be mentioned as a possible trading chip for the Cubs. And for whom? To me, he has quite a few more seasons left in him and is a 'player' who makes a difference.
The business of baseball is not, by far, my favorite part of the sport. Even though, I'm not making the decisions of the 'logistics' of moves made. No, I don't wear rose-colored glasses either. Yes, there are players that do need to be moved; but, feel some players are worthy of keeping.
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