MLB investigating whether Mets, Yankees miscommunicated about Aaron Judge: Sources

MLB investigating whether Mets, Yankees miscommunicated about Aaron Judge: Sources

Major League Baseball Investigating whether the comment is responsible Mets Sources about the team’s reluctance to pursue free-agent outfielder Aaron Judge are a violation of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

a Article published The Mets’ television network website said on Nov. 3 that the Mets would not bid against it Yankees for the judge. Details of the incident drew the attention of the players’ association, which asked the commissioner’s office to investigate whether there had been improper communication between the respective owners of the clubs, according to sources briefed on the situation.

separate Comment by Astros owner Jim Crane Justin Verlander was seeking a similar deal, he said on his team’s website Tuesday Max ScherzerOf course, the Players Association may seek scrutiny if the union deems it a violation of the CBA.

The Union reserves the right to file a grievance in either or both circumstances. To win a complaint, the union would have to prove that the markets for Judge and/or Verlander were damaged, which could be difficult considering they are two of the most coveted free agents of the offseason. But the union is sensitive to the threat of owners plotting to withhold free-agent salaries, as they did in one of sports’ biggest manipulations more than 30 years ago.

recent CBAs are specifically prohibited Shares player contract information, saying, “Players shall not act in concert with other players and clubs shall not act in concert with other clubs.” The league is expected to request in its investigation that Mets owner Steve Cohen and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner provide records of any phone, text and email conversations between them during the questioning period.

The article states that the Mets’ position on Judge has not changed since April when team sources said the club would not battle the Yankees for the outfielder when he became a free agent in the offseason. The article also said Cohen and Steinbrenner “enjoy a mutually respectful relationship and don’t expect to overshadow it with a high-profile bidding war.”

Officials from MLB, the players’ association and the Mets declined to comment, and the Yankees and Astros did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Thursday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressed the report at the owners’ meeting.

“I am absolutely confident that the clubs behaved in a way that was consistent with the contract,” Manfred said. “This was done on the basis of a newspaper report. We will put ourselves in a position to credibly demonstrate to the MLBPA that this is not a problem. I’m sure that’s going to be the result. But obviously, we understand the emotion surrounding that term and we will proceed accordingly.”

Three times in the late 1980s, independent arbitrators ruled The owners worked together Free agents avoid bidding competitively. The settlement of the three lawsuits resulted in the owners agreeing to pay the players $280 million. The players later alleged that the owners were also involved in collusion in 2002 and 2003 and that the owners Agree to pay the players $12 million without admitting guilt as part of the 2006 CBA.

In addition to specific language in the CBA regarding collusion, the agreement contains details that the parties are not permitted to publicly disclose regarding the contract negotiations. Both provisions will remain in effect in the new CBA, which the parties are in the process of formally codifying.

If the union files a grievance with the Mets and Yankees over the situation, an arbitrator will determine whether collusion has occurred. The union must prove that the judge has been harmed separately. He will stand to receive three times the damage.

Crane’s comments fall into a different category. Agents say a club official who speaks publicly about contract negotiations potentially influences the market, effectively using the media to create the type of information bank clubs employed in the era of manipulation. The CBA includes a pledge from the league that clubs, “shall not operate an information bank on free agents.”

As reported by, “Crane said Verlander is seeking a contract similar to Max Scherzer, who signed a three-year, $130 million deal with the Mets a year ago.” The CBA states that neither player nor club can “comment to the media about the value of an unsigned free agent, regardless of whether negotiations have taken place.” It also lists a “non-exhaustive” list of prohibited comments, including, “Player X is asking for more than Player Y is getting.”

“I know him well, so we were pretty candid,” Crane said of Verlander. “He’s looking at the vibe, which I think he only has one or two … JV probably has a few years left, and he wants to make the most of it. I think he’s going to test the market on it.”

In theory, Crane’s comments could scare away potential suitors of Verlander, depressing his market. Crane has taken on a greater role in baseball operations since the Astros were fined for illegal electronic sign theft in January 2020, according to sources familiar with his operations at the club. The team is currently without a GM following Crane’s decision last Friday to part ways with James Click.

Its Ivan Drelich athletic Contribute to this story.

(Photo: MLB Photo via Daniel Shire/Getty Images)

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