Commissioner Rob Manfred (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Why does everybody, including Commissioner Manfred, think opt-outs are bad thing?

Rob Bradford
December 18, 2015 - 7:24 am

It's all the rage: opt-outs. David Price got one after three years of his seven-year deal. Zack Greinke just took advantage of his to get a handsome raise. Jason Heyward now has one, as does Johnny Cueto. It's a trend Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred evidently isn't a fan of. "The logic of opt-out clauses for the club escapes me,: Manfred told FOX Sports. (To read the entire article, click here.) "You make an eight-year agreement with a player. He plays well, and he opts out after three. You either pay the player again or you lose him. "Conversely, if the player performs poorly, he doesn't opt out and gets the benefit of the eight-year agreement. That doesn't strike me as a very good deal. Personally, I don't see the logic of it. But clubs do what they do." It is a dynamic that could be surfaced when negotiating the new collective bargaining agreement, which expires on Dec. 1, 2016. But, while opt-outs undeniably are a good thing for the players, I don't think it's all that bad for the team. Tell me if Johnny Cueto opts out after two years, and he's pretty good but not great (which, is a very real possibility) the Giants wouldn't be doing jumping jacks that they got two pretty good Cueto years at $48 million. In that time you can develop pitchers to take his place, potentially targeting players who you are more comfortable riding into their 30's then the guy who is going to cost you more than $80 million over the next four years. Even for a guy like Price it might not be a terrible thing. He could be awesome the first two years, and then have some hiccups in the third season that makes the idea of a mid-30's pitcher stick around at $30-million-a-year-plus for four more seasons a bit uncomfortable. And, you know what? Even if there is that sense of doubt from the team, it probably won't reach the level where the player doesn't take the opportunity to make more money. Of course, the argument you're always going to get is that the team is going to have to replace that talent. Look at what the Dodgers are going through now with trying to solve the Greinke departure. But in some case the three or so years allows a franchise to get their stuff together, develop top talent players they might not have had at the time of the initial signings and start turning the page. There is obvious risk for these teams, but let's not pretend there isn't potential reward. So, with all due respect to the Commissioner, I do embrace the logic of these opt-outs.