This has been circulating the internet but I think it deserves a space here. This morning the New York Post aired a story written by Larry Brooks about the Brandon Dubinsky holdout. And to be quite frank the story is brilliant. Here are some highlights:
By the winter of 1998, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera had established themselves as integral parts of what was then the Yankees' embryonic dynasty. Jeter had won Rookie of the Year and Rivera had mastered, if not invented, the role of bullpen set-up man for the 1996 world champions. They each followed with superb seasons in 1997, Rivera as the closer, for the club that lost the ALDS to Cleveland.
Surely each merited significant raises off the $550,000 for which they had both played in 1997. The problem was that second-year players had no leverage whatsoever under the terms of Major League Baseball's collective bargain agreement. As such, the Yankees renewed each contract for $750,000 apiece for 1998.
That meant that in 1998, while starring for the team that went 125-50 in winning the World Series, Jeter earned less money than utility man Luis Sojo, who played for $800,000, and Rivera earned less money than matchup reliever Graeme Lloyd, who was in at $875,000.
Said Jeter in spring training upon his contract being renewed: "I can't negotiate."
Said Rivera: "I've got to wait for my turn."
Read more of the article and get my analysis after the jump.
Here is more from the article:
Players and management each own tools under the CBA. They are there to be utilized; no apologies necessary.
A Group II free agent coming off Entry Level without arbitration rights such as Dubinsky, has no leverage absent an offer sheet. Dubinsky, who recorded 41 points last season and 40 points as a rookie, was not able to attract an offer sheet. If he had, he would have owned the hammer. One can be quite sure Dubinsky would not have apologized if a competing club's offer sheet had backed GM Glen Sather into a cap corner.
Sather thus owes Dubinsky no apology for using the CBA to his advantage. The Rangers have offered Dubinsky $700,000 on a one-year deal when, indeed, Sather could have stood on a qualifier of $522,500.
The Rangers now could reduce their offer to Dubinsky, who is seeking $1.4M, to the league minimum of $500,000 if they so choose.
Could Sather come up to, say, $850,000?
Sure he could and he probably should if that would get the deal done immediately. Let's not pretend that the Rangers wouldn't be better off with Dubinsky in camp. But there is no indication that Dubinsky, who is seeking approximately $1.4M this year, would accept that offer. And the Rangers have no reason to negotiate against themselves.
Fact is, under terms of the CBA, the Rangers are under no obligation at all at this stage of the process to offer Dubinsky a one-year deal of any kind that would serve as a bridge to salary arbitration next summer, when the center could be in line to get $3-3.5M off a good season.
Sather could pull his one-year offer at any moment and present Dubinsky with a two-year, take-it-or-leave it contract worth, say, $1.1M total. That, of course, though would set off a chain of events that would lead to Dubinsky's departure from Broadway. But if this current stalemate persists, it is likely to lead to Dubinsky leaving the Rangers in a trade, probably sooner rather than later.
The Blueshirts don't have a first-line center. They want to give Dubinsky, who did not have a particularly impressive sophomore season last year, the first chance to grab that spot and make it his own. Dubinsky is going to have to decide, and pretty soon, whether he's going to accept it.
Derek Jeter waited his turn. So did Mariano Rivera. They had no choice. Neither does Brandon Dubinsky if he wants to be a Ranger.
Look this is what we talked about on the radio show with Jim Cerny last night and these have been my thoughts from the get-go. If Brandon Dubinsky was on the other side of the table he would have no problem pinching Glen Sather into giving him his money--deserved or not. Larry Brooks could not have said it any better when he said:
Dubinsky, who recorded 41 points last season and 40 points as a rookie, was not able to attract an offer sheet. If he had, he would have owned the hammer. One can be quite sure Dubinsky would not have apologized if a competing club's offer sheet had backed GM Glen Sather into a cap corner.
I know many of you are upset with with Glen Sather over this situation, and you really shouldnt be. Let me be perfectly clear here: Brandon Dubinsky will not get the 1.4 million dollars he wants this year, at least not from the Rangers. Glen Sather has yet to budge and I don't think he will or should.
While it does hurt the Rangers that Brandon Dubinsky is not at camp it hurts Dubinsky much more. John Tortorella is pissed that Dubinsky is not at camp. Dubinsky is missing critical conditioning and aerobic drills. Dubinsky is also missing--we will assume a deal will not be made for the next couple of days--valuable pre-season games. He is not getting "reps" as a first line center since he is not attending camp--which is funny because he is using the fact that they expect him to be a first line center as a negotiation point.
At the end of the day the Rangers have replacements for Brandon Dubinsky. Vinny Prospal can easily play as the Rangers first line center, which would throw Drury as the 2nd line center and Ansisimovas the third line center. You all might get mad at me for saying this but I think that Dubinsky is being "childish" about this.
When the Rangers offering him a one year 700K deal Dubinsky should have accepted it. So what? He doesn't make the money he thinks he deserves for one year. Suck it up and play as a first line center with Gaborik. His numbers will improve even if his play doesnt. And then he can take Sather to arbitration and make his money there, if he earns it. But as for right now he deserves what he is being offered a one year 700K deal.