The prevailing story of baseball's offseason has concerned the slow-moving free-agent market. With each passing day, the season draws nearer and tensions continue to rise.
On Sunday, Major League Baseball Players Association issued. This one addressed the idea of a spring training boycott:
Here's the statement in easier-to-read form:
Recent press reporters have erroneously suggested the the Players Association has threatened a "boycott" of spring training. Those reports are false. No such threat has been made, nor has the union recommended such a course of action.
This seems like a case where streams are being crossed. A few days back, prominent agent Brodie Van Wagenen. The union had no part in that, and it's unclear if it has any legs whatsoever.
Players have apparently discussed a different route though. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that players have discussed not showing up to camp until the mandatory date -- or roughly a week later than usual. There were some flaws with that plan, as Passan highlighted:
The rapidity with which the market changed staggered the players, and channeling their fire into effective policy is the primary goal – and one at which they continue to work out kinks. During one of the conference calls, players rallied around the notion of not showing up to spring training until Feb. 24, the mandatory reporting date and at least a week after most players typically arrive. The excitement for the plan, which was first reported by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, was palpable. One problem: Not only would it run the risk of being deemed an illegal strike were the league to take the union to court, the players' copious use of text messages spreading the idea left a trail of evidence that proved the intent.
Combine Van Wagenen's tweet with the above, and you can see why the union is issuing statements on what would otherwise be a quiet Super Bowl Sunday.