Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pedro Alvarez to the restricted list

The MLBPA has contended that Pedro Alvarez agreed to his deal the midnight deadline and filed a grievance. The Pirates have requested for Alvarez to be placed on the restricted list, claiming that he refuses to report and Scott Boras is asking for more money. This is very, very, very bad news. I'm going to go invent swear words.

UPDATE: These types of situations are not my forte (if they are, please post in the comments), but here's my gut take on this: I'm almost certain that Coonelly is doing the right thing here, that the MLBPA grievance was filed at the behest of Boras, and that Boras and Alvarez have no case at all. I'm also almost certain that we will never see Pedro Alvarez in a Pirates' uniform. (edit: So this is probably an overreaction. Maybe. Keep on reading, please)

UPDATE AGAIN: DK's post (linked above) clarifies: the union is filing the grievance based on when Alvarez signed, which has lead Boras to ask for a "re-negotiation" of the terms. I'm guessing this has to do with the fact that that Alvarez didn't actually sign a contract and only verbally agreed, so I don't know how applicable the Hosmer situation is here because I don't know the details. If a grievance hasn't been filed on behalf of him, it's a good reason to think the situation is different

Here's what I'm guessing is happening: Boras was the driving force behind that grievance and he's using Alvarez as a pawn to make a point about the signing deadline. This is not going to be a short process. The signing deadline effectively cripples agents like Boras and he wants nothing to do with it. He's apparently willing to use Alvarez as a tool to destroy the deadline and he's going to go to any length he can to do it. Whether Alvarez is willing to play along is another story that we'll have to wait on, but the fact that it's gotten this far is pretty good evidence that he's complicit.

How does this end? I'm not a lawyer, nor am I familiar enough with the MLB labor agreement to say anything for sure, but I have some guesses. If the Pirates agreed with Alvarez late, we lose him. I'm pretty sure it's that easy and there's no room for renegotiation there. I don't think we did (but, I mean, how can I know that for sure?), which means it's coming to Boras's contention that Alvarez deserves more money. I have no idea what his basis for that is and how he can make that claim this far after the deadline, but he'll fight to the gates of hell for more money because he doesn't owe anything to the Pirates. Would he drop this charge if Alvarez asked him? Would Alvarez ask him? When does this need to be worked out by? Do the Pirates want a player in their system that's cause this much trouble? I have no idea what the answer to any of those questions are. But I don't like what I'm hearing so far today.