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01/05/2003 Archived Entry: "Today's MLB News: Collusion?"
Today's MLB News by Eric Gartman
The baseball players' association has asked agents to keep detailed records of negotiations involving free agents, a possible prelude to another collusion case against owners. Management has reponded that there have been no violations of any agreements and that the fairly low salary offers are due to a weak economy and lack of players in their prime.
Are the owners colluding again against the players? At this point it seems very unlikely. The last time the owners were caught colluding, in 1987, there were several top players on the market, none of whom received any good offers. This year there are fewer top names on the market, and several big contracts were in fact signed. Jim Thome, the most attractive free agent, received a huge contract. 37 year old Tom Glavine got three years and 36 million, and even little-known David Bell managed a cool 16 million. The only big names that were not signed were Frank Thomas and Ivan Rodriguez. Thomas is coming off a poor year, and no teams are willing to pay the oft-injured Rodriguez the 10 million annually he is seeking. Is baseball in collusion? I highly doubt it.