Major League Baseball agent Brodie Van Wagenen said Friday that due to free-agent frustrations, a player-organized boycott of spring training may be in the works.
Wagenen, who has represented MLB players such as Yoenis Cespedes, Robinson Cano and Ryan Howard, stated that players are “outraged” with the lack of free agent signings made this offseason and says the inaction “feels coordinated, rightly or wrongly” by the owners of the 30 ball cubs. It could lead to the first MLB strike since 1994.
“Players in the midst of long-term contracts are as frustrated as those seeking employment,” Van Wagenen said in the statement tweeted out Friday morning. “Their voices are getting louder and they are uniting in a way not seen since 1994.”
Van Wagenen cited the players’ salary increases from 2007-2012 and 2012-2017, stating that the respective 23 percent and 13.8 percent growth was satisfactory for players and owners. But he said this offseason, the free agent market changed “drastically” compared to recent years.
That statement went on to say that algorithms that are used to calculate players’ values show that many are not getting the money they deserve.
Van Wagenen said that several club presidents and general managers are “frustrated” with the lack of funds needed to sign quality players still available and it raises suspicion of “institutional influence over the spending.”
He finished the statement by emphasizing the fact that baseball franchise values are at an all-time high and that the entertainment is provided solely by the players. United, they have the ability to fight through fines and lawsuits that would only end up hurting the MLB owners in the long run.
“I would suggest that testing the will of 1,200 alpha males at the pinnacle of their profession is not a good strategy for 30 men who are bound by a much smaller fraternity,” Van Wagenen said. “These 1200 players have learned first-hand that battles are won by teamwork, and they understand that Championships can’t be won by individuals. They are won by a group united by a singular focus. Victory at all costs.”