The A-Rod Suspension and the New Moral Hazard

Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the entirety of the 2014 season. You already know this, and if you haven’t yet, go read Wendy Thurm’s breakdown of the arbiter’s ruling for more information on the judgment itself. I’m not all that interested in talking about Rodriguez that much more, personally, as this is a story that has been so thoroughly covered that there just isn’t that much more to say.

However, I think that the precedent of the season long suspension, and the near unanimous agreement that we’re going to see significantly increased suspension lengths for failed PED tests in the next CBA, creates an issue that Major League Baseball is going to have to contend with eventually. As we’ve seen in the A-Rod case, the relationship between the team and the player has essentially disintegrated, as the interests of the Yankees were clearly aligned with the interests of Major League Baseball; both wanted Rodriguez suspended for as long as possible.

By virtue of the suspension, the Yankees have just received a $25 million rebate, which could allow them to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold and lead to significant long term savings from the resetting of the tax brackets. After years of benefiting from Rodriguez’s on-field performance while he was presumably using PEDs, the Yankees are now benefiting from the fact that Rodriguez is being punished for using PEDs. And that is essentially the definition of a moral hazard.

A moral hazard is defined as a situation where one party making a decision is incentivized to take on undue risk because the cost of that risk will be paid by another party. It is a term most often used in the insurance industry, but the Yankees benefiting from Rodriguez’s suspension might be one of the best popular culture examples of the theory in recent history.

Because, as this suspension shows, the incentives are now almost entirely aligned for teams to (secretly, of course) provide aging overpriced players with access to as many PEDs as they want to take. If the player takes them and performs at a higher level, then the team directly benefits from the player’s PED use. If the player gets caught using PEDs, then the player is suspended without pay, and his contract is removed from the team’s books for the length of the suspension. The incentives created by Rodriguez’s suspension mean that, ethical principles aside, the Phillies should begin shipping Ryan Howard a daily crate full of steroids.

Right now, there is no system in place to punish the employers of PED users in any way, other than the possibility that they might lose a player in the midst of a pennant run if he fails a test during the season. Of course, even when that happens, as it did with Melky Cabrera and the Giants or Nelson Cruz and the Rangers, the team generally has the ability to make a trade that offsets the loss of the suspended player. The costs to a team of employing a PED user are just not very high, and now that MLB has a precedent for season long suspensions, the potential benefits to a team have increased if a player on an albatross contract starts using PEDs to try and delay their decline. The incentives are now strongly aligned for teams to want their overpaid former stars to start juicing.

If MLB gets an upwards adjustment in suspension length for failed drug tests in the next CBA, these incentives will only get stronger. Even if you don’t think that a team would go as far as to actually provide a player with PEDs, they wouldn’t even have to be directly involved in the acquisition process to potentially benefit. Once a player’s contract becomes an anchor on a team’s payroll, the organization would be similarly incentivized to leak information to the league about a player they have suspicions about, which could lead to an increase in the number of “random” tests a player is subject to, and an increased chance of that player being suspended and the team receiving a large rebate on the contract they signed.

This is all hypothetical, of course, but we don’t have to look too far to find instances of MLB teams exploiting bad incentive structures to their own gain. Even in the Masahiro Tanaka story, the league is concerned that teams might operate outside the agreed parameters of negotiations in order to funnel more money to Rakuten in order to land Tanaka’s rights, and the abuses of the international free agent signing system have been well documented by Ben Badler and others. It is simply poor policy to expect these organizations to act against their own best interests, and right now, it is in the best interests of the teams to have their unproductive expensive players use as many illegal substances as possible.

There are a few things MLB could do to reduce this moral hazard, though none are perfect solutions.

1. Require the team to continue to pay the contracted price for a suspended player, though in lieu of paying the salary to the player, the payments would then be evenly disbursed to their competitors within the same division. These payments would also continue to count against the luxury tax.

2. A team that has a player on its active 25 man roster that is suspended for using PEDs forfeits both their first round draft choice in the next amateur draft and the draft pool allocation that goes along with that pick. If a team’s first round selection falls between #20 and #30, then they also lose their second round pick, and the pool allocation for both of those selections.

3. A team that has a player suspended for PED use in the last year of his contract is forbidden from using the qualifying offer for that player and any other free agents it has in the upcoming free agent class, thus raising the cost of re-signing their own free agents, even the ones who didn’t get suspended.

The first rule would be the most fun, I think. Can you imagine the Red Sox being able to finance the acquisition of another player to upgrade their roster with money they received from the Yankees that would have otherwise been paid to Alex Rodriguez? Sending money to your direct rivals to help them beat you would be a pretty bitter pill to swallow, and the lack of financial relief from having your overpaid veteran get suspended would remove most of the poor incentives that are currently in place.

The second and third penalties may cross the line and push things into an area that could create unfair markets for players who might be incorrectly suspected of PED usage, and I’m not saying I necessarily support their adoption, at least not without the player’s association getting significant requests of their own baked into the next CBA. However, the first modification would only really have an effect on a team when a highly paid player is suspended, and wouldn’t do much to deter teams from wanting to employ low cost PED users, so perhaps an additional rule like #2 or #3 would balance things out a bit.

We’re almost certainly going to see big changes in the next CBA when it comes to the penalties for players caught using PEDs. Given the Rodriguez suspension and these changes, perhaps it is time for MLB to start thinking about penalties for their employers as well.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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bkgeneral
Guest
bkgeneral
2 years 8 months ago

I would be a proponent of the MLB team having to pay not only the player contract amount, but also matching that number to a fund that is used to investigate PED abuses. PED cheating is a 2 way street, and Dave does a great job of pointing that out.

Gormogon
Guest
Gormogon
2 years 8 months ago

Your suggestions create an incentive for the team to obfuscate justice as well. I think you want to make any solution as neutral as possible. Besides, they still have to pay the rest of his contract, and that’s penalty enough.

bdhudson
Member
Member
bdhudson
2 years 8 months ago

They signed him to a contract based on performance that was widely suspected to be PED-assisted. They just got a 25M break on that idiotic decision. How is being held to the consequences of their own idiocy penalty? It’s just what happens when you make a bad deal. By that logic, Arte Moreno should be personally injecting Pujols to get off the hook for that albatross.

Jack
Guest
Jack
2 years 8 months ago

“They signed him to a contract based on performance that was widely suspected to be PED-assisted.”

Wrong. There weren’t any publicized rumors about A-Rod prior to the Selena Roberts story in early 2009.

Richie
Guest
Richie
2 years 8 months ago

Canseco had fingered him already, hadn’t he? With the clown’s fingering record being perfect at that point, I believe. Sure remember hearing AROD and ‘roids linked well before 2009, tho’ I don’t recall hearing how.

bdhudson
Member
Member
bdhudson
2 years 8 months ago

Canseco had come out and said he was shocked that A-Rod’s name wasn’t on the Mitchell report, but you’re right, the evidence was less damning. Aside from his association with a Rangers team that was juiced to the seams. The Mitchell report and A-Rod’s extension hit on the same day, and Canseco came out a few days afterwards, so you’re right, the timing isn’t as glaring as I had originally thought.

ctownboy
Guest
ctownboy
2 years 8 months ago

In 2007, A Rod went on 60 Minutes and was directly asked if he had ever taken steroids. A Rod said no.

Later that year, when he had a chance to opt out of his first big dollar, long term contract he did. He then signed a bigger dollar long term contract.

Only after signing this second contract did A Rod admit he used PED’s in the past. But, of course, his admitted PED use came BEFORE the MLB rules against it.

If Tony Bosch can’t be truste3d because he is a liar then how can A Rod be trusted?

If A Rod is such a stand up guy then why did he wait until AFTER opting out of his contract and getting an even larger contract did he admit to PED use?

If A Rod was/is clean and Bosch is a liar, then why did the OTHER baseball players associated with Bio Genesis willingly accept suspensions from MLB and NOT fight them? Are we to believe it is just one big conspiracy against A Rod? A conspiracy so large that even OTHER MLB players are involved? So large that other MLB players will willingly have their reputations damaged, their careers put on hold and their salaries taken away just so they can et back at A Rod?

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

“then why did the OTHER baseball players associated with Bio Genesis willingly accept suspensions from MLB and NOT fight them”

You mean, except for the guys who did fight them, like Gio Gonzales?

Matthew
Member
2 years 8 months ago

ctownboy. Million of innocent people accept plea deals despite being inncocent. Because the you options are parole or the possibility of 5 years in jail, you tend not to gamble with your life.

9 players were minor leaguers, who couldn’t risk the loss of money. 2 were free agents. Ryan Braun already tested postive. Cruz and Peralta had a lot of lose in free agency. Everth Cabrera has made peanuts and probably could barely afford legally costs.

A-Rod is the only one who could afford/has the ego to challange it

ctownboy
Guest
ctownboy
2 years 8 months ago

Gio Gonzalez’s name came up on the Bio Genesis records. Gonzalez said he didn’t do anything wrong. MLB investigated and agreed.

Gonzalez didn’t hire a slew of high priced attorneys to fight MLB.

Gonzalez didn’t walk out of an arbitration hearing.

Gonzalez didn’t not testify in his own hearing.

Gonzalez didn’t not file a libel suit against MLB.

The OTHER players associated with Bio Genesis COULD have denied taking PED’s. They COULD have fought back, hired attorneys and gone to an arbitration hearing. However, they didn’t. They accepted what MLB offered and went down wothout a fight.

That tells me where there was smoke there was fire…..

ctownboy
Guest
ctownboy
2 years 8 months ago

GilaMonster,

Correct me if I am wrong but I am pretty sure in instances like this that the players first option is to have the Players Association act as their first line of defense.

In this case, I think the players spoke with the Players Association and the PA said they would have their attorneys defend them if they were innocent but they should take a deal from MLB if they were guilty.

I am pretty sure A Rod had this same option and decided against having the Players Association attorneys defend him and, instead, hired his own attorneys to go out and fight this.

Matthew
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Other than Everth, Most the loss of money is on contracts/free agency.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

“Million [sic] of innocent people accept plea deals despite being inncocent”

False. Totally false, or at least *hugely* overstated. It no doubt happens on occasion. Millions is a laughably high estimate though. MUCH more often is the occasion where a plea is accepted in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt or high likelihood of a guilty verdict, or in a toss-up where the accused doesn’t want to take their chances with a judge or jury when the sentence could be substantially worse than was offered in the plea deal.

Rex Manning Day
Guest
Rex Manning Day
2 years 8 months ago

Exactly the opposite. Rodriguez got the contract he did specifically because there were no rumors around him. The team, and plenty of other people, thought A-Rod would make a serious run at Bonds’ home run record, and the prospect of a “clean” player reclaiming that record was expected to be especially lucrative.

There were plenty of reasons that A-Rod’s contract was stupid, but contemporary PED suspicions aren’t one of them.

Jon L.
Guest
Jon L.
2 years 8 months ago

Even suggestion #1 creates an unfair system where a team could be punished for essentially being defrauded by a player. I think you’re upset that the Yankees are being rewarded for A-Rod’s suspension, an outcome that lies somewhere between neutral and unjust, but your fix would create injustices that would be worse than those associated with the original problem, as well as straining relationships between players and the teams motivated to aggressively police them.

Lee Morgan's best solo
Guest
Lee Morgan's best solo
2 years 8 months ago

Re: remedy #1. Yes, the team is in a sense being punished for being defrauded by its player…but is it unfair, really? I mean, the team has ipso facto already profited by the use of the fraudulent player in the first place — or at least potentially profited. Thus the punishment is simply balancing the scales.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 8 months ago

That’s only if the team knew that the player was roiding and they didn’t do anything about it

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 8 months ago

@ Matt — the team benefited even if they didn’t know he was roiding. Their knowledge of the roiding plays no part in whether or not they benefited.

Dean Travers
Guest
Dean Travers
2 years 8 months ago

As long as teams are also punished when their players / managers get DUIs, domestic violence arrests; like two brand new hall of famers for instance. Is using PEDs worse than punching your wife in the face?

Iron
Guest
Iron
2 years 8 months ago

That is a false dichotomy. The criminal justice system is a perfectly good place for non-baseball related punishments to be delivered.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

“Even suggestion #1 creates an unfair system where a team could be punished for essentially being defrauded by a player.”

Couldn’t care less.

Allow the teams to police/test/etc themselves if its a big problem to you.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

“Even suggestion #1 creates an unfair system where a team could be punished for essentially being defrauded by a player.”

I like the idea that it’s part of the team’s duty to make sure to hire players who won’t defraud the team. You know–like other employers generally have to do.

Pennant
Guest
Pennant
2 years 8 months ago

Of course he is upset the Yankees (or management)are gaining an advantage. So what? unless the yankees injected ARod, this is ARods fault. But no, but reading between the lines according to FG, it is always “The Man” who is at fault, and The Man can never be seen to benefit by accident of another. the reality is ARod is just a big a jerk as a lot of CEOs aka “the Man” only A Rod is abusing the game that made him a very rich man. Take a year off ARod,do your time like Mike Vick, and win the MVP award in 2015. That’s what you need to do.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
2 years 8 months ago

The idea that a player can juice for years and the team is completely 100% unaware…. I’ve never bought it.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

^^This!! We know teams have their own player assessment and valuation methodologies that are much more sophisticated than what we have access to. Like they wouldn’t be applying that same sophistication in other areas, particularly when, if convicted, a key player would be forced to serve a lengthy suspension and/or their $15M/year investment could suddenly start playing like a $5M/year scrub.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 8 months ago

Not sure they are not already doing that somehow. A surprising few players are getting caught in the testing. There were reports a few years ago that teams were able to tip players off about when collectors were coming since they were notified in advance. Maybe that’s changed, or maybe not.

ASURay
Guest
ASURay
2 years 8 months ago

I’d rather see the money in option #1 go to some drug abuse prevention/counseling organization than to other teams. I would also stipulate, if possible, that the team/player not be allowed to write that money off as a charitable donation.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 8 months ago

I personally think the money should go towards the healthcare of retired players with concussion/head trauma issues. But any kind of charitable source is much better than just going in to the owner’s pockets.

MrFpadresfan
Guest
MrFpadresfan
2 years 8 months ago

You’re right, the yankees should pay for old boxers and linebackers medical bills because their player cheated. That’s justice

Pennant
Guest
Pennant
2 years 8 months ago

what they sign Tanaka? Yankees still spending money, will that be okay? But apparently tanaka’s wifre prefers west coast

bdhudson
Member
Member
bdhudson
2 years 8 months ago

As the rules are currently written, do teams that can be proven to have had prior knowledge of PED use face penalties from MLB?

Jack
Guest
Jack
2 years 8 months ago

What happens if a player signs a big deal, gets traded, and then tests positive a few days/weeks/months/years after the trade? Which team is penalized?

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

The team he’s on when he test positive.

Allow teams to make trades contingent upon tests (just as they are contingent upon physicals)

Luke in MN
Guest
Luke in MN
2 years 8 months ago

But it’s not like you can do a one-time definitive test for PED use. Bosch said he was giving A-Rod pills that he could take before a game and would not show up in tests by the end of the game (and indeed, A-Rod doesn’t seem to have failed a test).

Players have a strong incentive to deceive the teams as well. It’s the teams after all, which they want to convince to give them 7-, 8-, 9-figure contracts, and that’s far less likely if teams suspect you’re a PED user.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 8 months ago

Do you think Cards were onto this when they signed Jhonny Peralta despite his PDE-suspension?

Menthol
Member
Member
Menthol
2 years 8 months ago

Classiest organization in baseball, right?

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

.. right cause they were the only ones bidding on Peralta.

I don’t think they’re really any more or less classy than the other organizations, but I can’t blame them for (perfectly legally) acting according to the incentives for signing PED users that exist under the current system.

CircleChange11
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

As a StL fan, I thought bringing McGwire in as a hitting coach following his PED issues was a move contrary to their image.

But theyve also had drunk driving issues with players and manager.

I dont think teams can be immune to societal issues. I think teams have to make decisions they can live with and I dont hear StL’s front office painting themselves as the moral police or standard.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 8 months ago

And, for what it’s worth, the team has since banned alcohol from its clubhouse.

James
Guest
James
2 years 8 months ago

I think 2-3 are too harsh considering that ANY player could theoretically be using. Imagine a team signing (to a one year deal) a middle reliever (say a Rich Hill type) who has just come off a good but not spectacular year. There is no obvious evidence that this player has taken PEDs but he gets busted. Can you really justify docking a team’s first round pick and ability to offer a qualifying offer over a middle reliever? Plus, these guys could be said to be more likely to abuse PEDs since it puts them from AAA to borderline MLB, meaning a big jump in pay. To them, there is no reason to try and protect the team (though if they’re caught they’ll likely not be signed again). Can you really punish a team for not knowing 100% what all your players are doing? Even the most strict precautions could have a player like that fly under the radar and hurt a team (and this situation could happen to any team, from the A’s to the Pirates to the Yanks).

vivalajeter
Guest
vivalajeter
2 years 8 months ago

I agree with you. I’ll go so far as to say that #2 is flat out stupid, and if it went into effect then there would be articles on fangraphs, espn, etc, that talked about how stupid it is.

The Mets have the 10th pick in the draft. They should lose that pick, and the associated dollar pool, because Jordany Valdespin got busted for PEDs? That’s absurd. The Mets were already sick of the guy and realized he was contributing very little to the organization, to the point where they were ready to release him. He did very little to help the team. And they should lose a #10 pick because he decided to juice? That’s excessive.

Ignore Arod for a second. Francisco Cervelli has played 20 games over the last two years for the Yankees, and he was suspended for PEDs. He does almost nothing to help the yankees. They should lose their first round pick because he juiced? And the Phillies should lose their pick because Bastardo juiced?

Look, it’s clear that the Yankees are benefiting by not having to pay Arod’s salary this year, and it doesn’t seem fair. But that doesn’t mean you swing the pendulum too far to the other end, and unfairly penalize teams when a marginal player gets busted.

Cody
Guest
Cody
2 years 8 months ago

This scenario laid out automatically assumes ill-intent on the team’s behalf. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? What if the team did not promote (or know about) banned substance usage by the player? Should they still get penalized for ignorance?

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 8 months ago

There is no “innocent until proven guilty.” Maybe there could be some commission to look into it, but right now, teams NEVER face any punishments. They are innocent and never considered guilty.

Cody
Guest
Cody
2 years 8 months ago

Fair enough. But the answer is not guilty until proven innocent. If it can be proven that the team promoted (or even knew about and did not intervene) the use of a banned substance by a player, then fine. But that idea did not appear no where in Cameron’s article. It was simply assumed the team was guilty.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

I disagree. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a no tolerance policy in this, as long as the teams are allowed to test players.

Gabes
Guest
Gabes
2 years 8 months ago

I’d like to see the team required to hold the suspended player on their 40-man roster for the duration of the suspension as well, thus hindering their ability to quickly paper over the lost production as the Tigers and Rangers did this past season.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

25-man roster maybe. It would still be pretty easy to work around if he’s just held on the 40-man.

Wil
Guest
Wil
2 years 8 months ago

This all depends on the player and the depth of the club. If it’s an aging player who is easily replaced, a club definitely would benefit from simply covertly allowing PED usage.

If he’s a starter and the club has no depth behind him, (Especially true if you’re trying to be competitive) the risk of losing him would probably out weigh the benefit of his improved PED based performance.

Bob M
Guest
Bob M
2 years 8 months ago

Wouldn’t the simplest solution to the problem be to make a suspended player’s salary count towards the luxury tax threshold calculation?

Then, as in the case of the Yankees, there is no incentive for the team to find creative ways to get a player suspended.

Matthew Murphy
Member
2 years 8 months ago

The luxury tax threshold only affects a select few teams, so changing that wouldn’t have any impact in the vast majority of the league.

Matthew S
Guest
Matthew S
2 years 8 months ago

Not really, as the luxury tax is something that only a handful of teams really care about.

Bryce
Member
Bryce
2 years 8 months ago

Why not just have teams pay the player’s salary into the revenue-sharing pool?

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

I think it crazy to financially penalize the team if one of their player’s gets caught cheating with PEDs. The Yankees signed Arod to play baseball. Why should they have to pay for him not to play, if the reason that he isn’t playing is that he chose to break the known rules of baseball? A penalty to the team already exists. They are a worse team without Arod, albatross contract or not.

This isn’t some unique situation. Organizations that sign bad contracts will always look for ways to get out of them (though the suggestion that organizations might be feeding their bad contracts PEDs seems more than a little far fetched). Last year the Yankees wanted to keep Arod on the DL after he insisted he was fine. Were they happier collecting insurance on the contract (assuming they were)?

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

“They are a worse team without Arod, albatross contract or not.”

No, they’re not, and thats the problem. Giving them back 25M in exchange for Arod makes them a better team.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

Well there are two separate but related issues:

A) *On the field*, as they are currently constructed, they are objecetively worse without A-Rod. Bad contract or no, A-Rod is a better option at 3B than anyone else they’ve got from a production standpoint.

B) *Financially* they are better positioned without the A-Rod contract this year, as it should get them below the luxury tax threshold and reset the penalties as Dave alluded to.

Now, if they’re in win-at-all-cost mode, they can plow that $25M back into their on-field product and probably generate a better return (WAR/$) than A-Rod would provide, which would leave them (A) better off on the field, but (B) in no better shape financially.

So they are better off either financially OR on the field, and at least one or the other, but not both.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

“So they are better off either financially OR on the field, and at least one or the other, but not both.”

importantly, and as the cherry on top of their Pretend PED Ignorance Sundae, it’s their choice of which.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

You can’t just run down to the Home Depot and pick up the $5M/WAR third baseman that you want. In the real world you are limited by what is actually available to you. Arod is still better than any 3B alternative that I am aware of. They don’t have much roster flexibility to pour that money into other positions, besides, there just aren’t any great players left outside of the pitching market, which the Yankees would have been in, regardless.

Xeifrank
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Yes. This makes the most sense.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 8 months ago

The team, however, shouldn’t benefit from ARod’s choice to use PEDs.

Allowing them to avoid paying the salary, thus allowing them to avoid the salary cap threshold, sign another player(s) to replace him, or pocket the player’s salary provides the moral hazard Dave’s talking about.

At the very least, the team should have to pay the salary, whether it goes to other teams, to drug abuse programs, or to some other charity/institution. The Yankees are benefiting from this suspension, not even facing the consequences of handing out a bad contract. This isn’t healthy for the game as it creates a moral hazard.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

The Yankees should benefit in the sense that they’ve been been duped into signing a guy to play a position that he isn’t playing. The Yankees are the ones paying the cost for Arod’s absence. It is crazy to penalize them twice. Why should any other team benefit financially from Arod’s suspension?! The Redsox had exactly as much to do with Arod’s decision to take PED as did the Yankees (i.e. none).

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

no!

There’s two sides of an MLB player contract for a team. There’s the money that’s committed to the player, which is a cost. Then there’s the on-field play the player provides the team, which is the benefit.

The PED suspension voids not only the benefit, but also the cost.
Because in A-Rod’s case, as is often the case in the tail end of big free agent contracts, his cost exceeded his benefit, the cancellation of the contract ends up being a net benefit for the Yankees.

This can easily be seen by examining the cost–$25 million. This is sufficient to buy on the free agent market something like 3-5 Wins. No projection system expects A-Rod to acquire anything like 3-5 Wins. So for them, the cancellation is a net positive. They can now buy +1-2 Wins above what the had when A-Rod’s contract was in still in effect. (as mentioned below, they also have the liquidity of cash, which they didn’t have before when their money was invested in his contract)

It would only be a punishment if only the benefit part of the contract was cancelled, but not the cost. This is exactly the “punishment” Dave, and others (including me) are arguing for.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

Yes, I agree with this idea in principle, but in practice there probably aren’t better places to put the money because of the Yankees unique situation and because of how shitty the market is. In any case why shouldn’t the Yankees benefit?! This is how labor contracts work. You sign someone to do a job. They don’t do it because of their poor behavior. You void the contract and use the money for someone else. Seems perfectly normal to me.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

ok.
Let’s say you are a bank. You hire a trader to do a job. They do the job, and proceed to also do very illegal things on the job which earn you, the bank, a lot of money.

To me, it seems very fair to penalize not only the trader (by firing him and making him repay the money), but also the bank (by making the bank repay whatever the trader can’t pay, and also exacting an additional penalty). The additional penalty to the bank is an incentive to force them to watch their traders better in the future.

Part of the enforcement of rules relies on buy-in from both employer and employee, or you get these moral hazard situations where its in the employer’s best interests to subtly encourage his employee to commit illegal acts, as they (the employees) bear the burden of their penalty.

Generally, it’s in everyone’s best interests to limit the usage of PEDs in baseball. It drives attendance and popularity down, it hurts the players (in the long run), and it’s not profitable. However, so far, enforcing the rules has been difficult. This additional team penalty represents another way to push the enforcement of the rules, by acting on an important part of the MLB ecosystem which so far, has very little incentive to prevent PED use: the teams.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

This is a reasonable analogy, and I agree that it is in everyone’s interest to get PED out of the game. Cheers.

In practice can we actually quantify that the Yankees have benefited from Arod’s PED use?

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

Cheers to you sir! Glad that we could reach an amiable understanding.

“In practice can we actually quantify that the Yankees have benefited from Arod’s PED use?”

my guess is, no. I posted this in another thread:
http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-200434080-00003
It’s a review article which suggests that athletes gain 5-20% muscle mass through steroids, depending on the study.

But there’s way too many variables to come to any rigorous conclusions for any one player (the specific type of drug, the dose length, the regimen, the training regimen, etc., etc., etc.)…

Wally
Guest
Wally
2 years 8 months ago

If the teams had a potentially large penalty to pay if a player takes PEDs, this would incentivize teams to create in house rules that may make it harder to take PEDs. I wonder how far they could go with this given the CBA, but you could see team rules like “you’ll only use our trainer” or “you’ll only work out at our gym” kinds of things.

Steve Holt!!
Guest
Steve Holt!!
2 years 8 months ago

Regarding your comment about the “random” test frequency… My understanding is that the testing frequency is pretty low, and constitutes once at the beginning of the season, and one other time during the year at maximum. I recall reading that somewhere recently. With that in mind, and the new, short half-life cremes, it is a wonder anyone ever gets caught. The major change with the new cba is, I would think, going to be related to testing frequency…

Spiggy
Guest
Spiggy
2 years 8 months ago

I recall reading that Bautista said he was “randomly” tested 16 times in the season following his breakout. Given the last 20 years in baseball I’m not saying that suspicion is entirely unwarranted, but that hardly seems random.

Steve Holt!!
Guest
Steve Holt!!
2 years 8 months ago

That was under the old cba, wasnt it??

Top of the Muffin TO YOU!
Guest
Top of the Muffin TO YOU!
2 years 8 months ago

I like your exclamation points.

Steve Holt!!
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Arrested Development-ism.

the SnarkMaster
Guest
the SnarkMaster
2 years 8 months ago
Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah, Ryan Braun also faced a lot of testing after he got off the hook for his first failed test. It’s certainly not random.

Steve Holt!!
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

In response to my earlier comment, seems that I am mistaken. A-Rod was tested 12 times between late 2010 and mid 2012. It may be the blood-draws, rather than the urine tests, that are restricted in numbers.

Bill
Guest
Bill
2 years 8 months ago

These options create different problems. For Yankees (for example) to obfuscate and for competitors to try to induce a failed test.

Matthew Murphy
Member
2 years 8 months ago

I agree that under the current system the player has more to lose than the team, but suggesting that this will cause teams to encourage their aging players to take steroids is a bit of a leap. However secretive they are, if word gets out I’m sure that there would be some significant punishment, along with the PR nightmare it would cause.

Also, in some cases, the teams do assume a significant risk. Since most FA contracts provide surplus value at the front end and dead weight at the back end, a suspension early in the contract will give the team their money back, but they’ll be losing that surplus value. I wonder if this is why the Cardinals frontloaded Peralta’s contract ($30.5M in the first two years, $22.5M in the last two years).

Sam
Guest
Sam
2 years 8 months ago

Same thing with Melky. I wouldn’t put it past the organizations to be that smrt. But they are also conniving money machines, so I also wouldn’t put it past them to sneakily provide PEDs to aging players in an attempt to void their huge contracts. Sounds crazy; like fiction. But so was Jules Verne.

Anon
Guest
Anon
2 years 8 months ago

The Cardinals frontloaded Peralta’s contract due to their payroll situation. The 2014 & ’15 payrolls are lower than budget, and the future payrolls have potential to be higher due to all the players with between 1 and 3 years of service time. Also, frontloading the contract makes a trading Peralta in year 3 or 4 of the contract much easier.

Anon21
Guest
Anon21
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t think direct funneling of PEDs to albatrosses by teams that Dave starts by considering is likely. Not because teams are run by ethical people, but because

1. The Commissioner’s Office has a strong incentive to ensure teams aren’t directly helping players get PEDs, because if it’s proved that that happened, MLB’s Congressional headaches return with a vengeance. And team employees who participated in a scheme like that might even be shouldering some potential criminal liability, which tends to sharpen the moral instincts of even the most hardened assistant GM.

2. If the player could prove in an arbitration appeal that the team and league conspired to funnel him PEDs and then catch him using those PEDs in order to weasel out of his contract, I don’t think anyone can predict what would happen. Being forced to pay the contract anyway would be the least of their worries; a threat to contractual integrity of that magnitude might provoke a strike.

So I think direct provision is unlikely. But the fun (scary?) thing about moral hazard is that no one needs to be explicitly intending the bad consequence to occur to make it more likely. If a GM, in signing a guy with PED whispers (e.g., Gio Gonzalez) is thinking “This is a lot of money, but maybe in the end I could get off the hook for some of it”—even in the back of his mind—that shapes his offer, it shapes the attitude he and his organization take towards things the player says or does, shapes their medical decisions about that player, and shapes the perception of whether team and player interests are tied together.

Any GM
Guest
Any GM
2 years 8 months ago

Umm, yes. ‘Getting involved in the funneling of PEDs to my players’ will not be making my General Managerial to-do list in this particular dimension of reality.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 8 months ago

I can see #1 making some sense… but rather than paying the other teams in the division (why should the red sox get an advantage over the Rangers just because the Yankees happen to be in their division), couldn’t the team just pay the money to charity? It would be a nice message for baseball and the team still get hurt by having to pay the money (and have it go against the luxury tax). Win-win.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
2 years 8 months ago

It punishes the Yankees more for it to be intradivision. Although I’d rather it goes to the poorest team (legitimately, not like the Marlins) in the division.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 8 months ago

but why do you have to punish the team? All you have to do is take away any incentive for them to want to get a player suspended. If you make them pay the money, then there’s really no gain for the Yankees to have A-Rod suspended, and therefore they wouldn’t do it.

As much as A-Rod is not worth his contract, their still a better team (wins and losses) if he plays. If they had him get suspended and they can’t save the cash, it would be terrible for the team… therefore they wouldn’t do it.

I guess if the goal is to be punitive, then fine, but I thought we were just trying to avoid the moral hazard.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 8 months ago

also, by making the red sox better (as compared to the rangers, just an example), you are essentially punishing the rangers to some extent as well.

Breadbaker
Guest
Breadbaker
2 years 8 months ago

But since all teams are competing for the same World’s Championship, and all teams in a league compete for the same wild card, why benefit the teams in one division as opposed to their other competitors?

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
2 years 8 months ago

I like option 1 as I suggested in the comments of Wendy’s article. Maybe say they also have to put that much money toward a charity. So essentially, the Yankees would be down 50M”

Matthew S
Guest
Matthew S
2 years 8 months ago

We have to be careful not to incentivise teams to go the other way and try to cover up drug use.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Why? There’s always going to be incentive to cover up good, cheap players using.

Right now they’re incentivised to cover it up for good players, and expose it for bad ones.

D
Guest
D
2 years 8 months ago

Something must be done. A very similar moral hazard would exist if financial institutions suffered zero consequences when one of their traders breaks the law. But both the employees and the company are penaliz…oh wait, neither the institution or trader suffers much. It’s not the same thing if there are just no consequences at all.

Brian McCann...
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

I will police the financial institutions from my new office in the Bronx…

Youppi!
Guest
Youppi!
2 years 8 months ago

to me, this begets the question whether team doctors should be testing/are testing their own players for peds at times when the chemical might be detectable. (i have no idea whether they can do to that to their employees/currently do.) but i have a hard time believing teams and team staff do not know who’s possibly on something, hence the moral hazard dilemma.

off the top of my head while eating a brownie supplement,
1. is biased to intra-division teams. what about the skanks paying the rangers since they’re fighting them for the WC, not the bjays?
2. implies the team has to be aware of the player cheating and punishes them (and the other 24 guys), even if a team is clean and doesn’t incentive the player to cheat in an awesome Machiavellian twist. too many problems.
3. why focus on the last year only? is this the Nelson/Peralta Rule?

why not continue to pay the salary, but donate it all to a league-approved charity? this way the player loses, the team loses, and someone else wins. there does need to be a team penalty that is financial, and not possible lost wins from games not played.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

But why should the team be penalized beyond the loss of their player? The team doesn’t want their players suspended.

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 8 months ago

Normally that’s true, but the Yankees certainly wanted A-rod suspended.

jpg
Guest
jpg
2 years 8 months ago

You can’t possibly be this stupid. Read the fkin article! How much more clearly does it need to be spelled out? There 25 million reasons the Yankees want A-Rod suspended. When you factor in the luxury tax implications there is probably another $50 mil at stake.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

I am actually that stupid unfortunately. Smarts dont come easy to me.

I actually think that since there is little chance the Yankees will be under the luxury tax, they would actually rather have Arod this season, since they are trying to compete this year, and since they are clearly a worse team without him. My guess is the Yankees wanted either the longest possible suspension, effectively voiding the rest of the deal, or the shortest possible suspension.

In any case, the Yankees might feel that they were duped into signing that contract, since Arod did not disclose the fact that he was cheating to obtain the performance levels they thought they were getting. They might feel like they’ve been punished a lot by Arod’s PED use. Certainly punishing them further would be punitive.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

“Certainly punishing them further would be punitive.”

In addition to being a wonderfully obvious sentence, that’s exactly the point.

We want the teams to not want to hire PED-using players. For this purpose, we want to punish both the players as well as the team that hired them. The Yankees are not punished by losing A-Rod, because they also got 25$ million. That is enough to buy ~3 wins, which replaces his production handily.

And on top of that, they get as a benefit of A-Rod’s suspension the liquidity of cash (where before their asset was a terrible contract), which they can choose not to invest or to invest differently. It is unquestionably beneficial to them that A-Rod was suspended–I don’t see any other way to view it.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

Ha, that is a silly sentence! Good observation.

I get that everyone here wants to punish the Yankees. Personally I think it is more to do with them being the Yankees than it is to do with fairness. There is absolutely zero evidence that the Yankees purposefully signed a PED user. This site constantly berates sports writers who wont vote for suspected PED users for the HOF when there is no real evidence that they used, besides the obvious physical changes (e.g. Bagwell). This is a similar situation. When the Yankees signed that contract, there was no evidence that Arod was a PED user. In fact, as soon as the Yankees found out, if I remember correctly, they looked into voiding the deal.

Youppi!
Guest
Youppi!
2 years 8 months ago

agreed, but the argument is premised on the assumption that the teams ultimately would want their high dollar, mostly washed up older players (read: Arod, a Ryan Howard type) suspended to recoup unproductive salary. otherwise, it’s not inherently beneficial to a team to lose production.

braun may have benefited the Brewers this year only insomuch as they sucked anuway and he was hurt and they didn’t have to pay him to heal his wrist.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Because the player and the player’s salary are not separate. They are related.

AROD’s contract cost exceeds his value, so having him suspended and getting the contract off the books makes the Yankees a better team, because they can get more value out of the $25M they get back than they get out of ARod.

In another example, I’m sure the Red Sox would love to see Ryan Dempster test positive.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

Nice idea in theory, but when you take a look at the market, what is there?

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

I think the Red Sox should benefit if Dempster tests positive. They are the ones losing a player. Certainly the Yankees shouldn’t benefit from Dempster getting suspended!!!

Complete Idiot
Guest
Complete Idiot
2 years 8 months ago

I agree 100% with DNA+.
there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that the Yankees wanted Arod to get suspended.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

…I’ll take all the support I can get. Cheers.

Montreal
Guest
Montreal
2 years 8 months ago

Vous nous manquez, Youppi! Et l’original Newsroom comédie de situation!

D
Guest
D
2 years 8 months ago

I’d like to imagine a day when teams would police their own players by doing things such as:
1) test their own players regularly. (I assume the CBA prevents this.)
2) include drug tests as part of pre-contract or pre-trade physicals. (Again, this is probably disallowed.)
3) keep better tabs on their players’ workouts.
4) disallow offseason workout programs outside of their management.
5) invest more on health, nutrition, sleep management, etc., plus hire more staff to support each.

The penalties are harsh, but it should be up to the teams to do their best to prevent it from happening.

walt526
Guest
walt526
2 years 8 months ago

If I were a member of the MLBPA, I’d be most concerned about establishing rules of evidence and ensuring that improperly gathered evidence not be inadmissible in an arbitration hearing.

The two primary pieces of evidence included documents that MLB purchased for $125k and the testimony of Anthony Bosch. Bosch’s testimony was secured by MLB dropping him from a lawsuit and he (and his former employees) were primarily responsible for authenticating the documents. In other words, both pieces of evidence rely heavily on Bosch, who only cooperated under threat of a lawsuit. Essentially, MLB secured all of the evidence against their primary target (Rodriguez) by reaching a plea agreement with a lower level criminal.

This tactic is common is criminal prosecutions (particularly drug-related cases, although usually it’s the user giving up the dealer). But MLB is not a law enforcement entity and the capability of a large corporate entity with vast legal resources to wage a civil lawsuit against an individual is not analogous to a district attorney’s office pursuing legitimate criminal charges. Maybe Wendy can weigh in on how courts evaluate evidence in civil trials secured by threatening legal action against a witness, but it doesn’t seem to me like a private entity should be able to bully a potential witness in the same way as a state prosecutor could.

In criminal cases, ill-gotten evidence is generally inadmissible–to avoid the moral hazard of law enforcement profiting from violating the rules. If I were MLBPA, I’d want to strengthen the definitions of how evidence against a player can be gathered. And I’m pretty sure that limiting the use evidence that was purchased or testimony of third-parties compelled to testify against players under threat of lawsuit would be among the items to discuss.

Given the sophistication of PED providers to avoid detection, using evidence other than a positive drug test seems reasonable. But the scope of what the evidence can be and how it can be obtained should be more carefully and explicitly negotiated between MLB and the MLBPA. My impression is that MLB was not restrained in any meaningful way by the CBA or JDA in their investigation of Rodriguez and that’s something that MLBPA should be deeply concerned about going forward.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

Well said.

ctownboy
Guest
ctownboy
2 years 8 months ago

I think you are looking at this from a legal system point of view and not a baseball system point of view.

In the legal system, there are more narrowly defined sets of rules in place of what conduct can and can not be done. In MLB, the Commissioner has been given almost unlimited power in some aspects of the game. Tell me in the legal system what is equivalent to the Commissioner’s “best interest of baseball” clause?

As far as restricting MLB from investigating, why? In this case, it has been said that A Rod (or people he is associated with) tried to buy Bio Genesis documents so as to keep them away from MLB. In what you are wanting to do, a player can test negative for steroids and then, when MLB tries to investigate, they get limited as to what they can and cna not do. Meanwhile, the player, if guilty, can buy the documents that prove he is guilty, destroy them and then go on his merry, cheating way.

With MLB being able to ALSO buy incriminating documents, it potentially drives the cost up for the player who wants the documents to disapper while also giving an incentive for the owner of the documents to hold out for A) more money and B) hte possibility of lesser or no legal consequences for what they have done.

walt526
Guest
walt526
2 years 8 months ago

Of course the rules of evidence in a criminal proceeding don’t apply to a private arbitration hearing. However, the parameters of what evidence can be brought into that private arbitration hearing and how that evidence may be collected can be the subject of negotiation. As I said in my initial post, if I were a member of the MLBPA, then I’d want reasonable limits established. MLB engaged in a wide range of investigatory tactics that it had previously not utilized.

Whether one feels that the ends justify the means in Rodriguez’s case is rather beside the point. Going forward, MLBPA has a substantial interest in constraining MLB’s future investigations. It may be that what they agree to includes everything that was done in Rodriguez’s case, but some pre-established parameters should be established to ensure due process.

At present there are very weak or nonexistent protections from unfairly obtained evidence to be used against MLBPA members whose teams have an interest in invalidating a guaranteed contract. Dave’s article is about reducing moral hazard and, in addition to realigning incentives of clubs to not benefit from an aging star’s suspension, reasonable restraints on the collection of evidence will help prevent this process from being abused in the future to MLB teams’ financial benefit.

Glasnow or Glasnost?
Guest
Glasnow or Glasnost?
2 years 8 months ago

You’re missing something, Walt. The Union is no longer primarily concerned with protecting the rights of the PED cheats. This isn’t 1997.

The players have finally concluded (check some quotes on the matter from Mike Trout or Matt Holliday) that the PED cheating needs to stop once and for all — for the good of the clean players.

coldseat
Guest
coldseat
2 years 8 months ago

Not sure if the moral hazard argument is completely fleshed out. Did the Brewers benefit from Ryan Braun being suspended? The Player ultimately control what goes into their bodies & that’s where the responsibility should lie. What is a better incentive to stop Wall Street abuses: To fine the financial firm or to put individual executives in jail/have their wealth stripped?

TFF
Guest
TFF
2 years 8 months ago

If you levy sufficient fines against the firms, you’ll stop abuses cold. As it is, Wall Street firms tacitly encourage their traders to abuse the system, profiting from illegal actions. The traders cooperate because most of the time they do not get caught (and reap huge bonuses). As you say, the situation is not dissimilar.

coldseat
Guest
coldseat
2 years 8 months ago

Fining teams would not be the same, unless you propose to give teams the right to drug test its players, have them followed by private investigators, or some other privacy breaching enforcement mechanism…..the financial firms should know about fraud because they have auditors & all the $$$$ records that it is required by law to look at……there’s no equivalent in the MLB context & its tough to penalize a team w/o willful culpability.

Polkcountydude
Guest
Polkcountydude
2 years 8 months ago

As a CPA I can tell you that external auditors don’t have the responsibility to detect fraud, even significant fraud. Our only responsibility is to detect material fraud, which could be billions of dollars for these large financial institutions. Though it is theoretically different for internal auditors. So individual traders do have an incentive to defraud because it is likely that auditors will not detect the fraud. Anyways, back to baseball, I think the analogy is pretty good. The managerial incentives to overlook employee wrongdoings are pretty similar between baseball and finance.

TFF
Guest
TFF
2 years 8 months ago

The remedies are gimmicky, though the first has some rationale. MLB has some sort of a slush fund (Development Fund?) into which fines are paid. Direct the forfeited salary into that fund, for the good of the game as a whole.

bjsworld
Guest
bjsworld
2 years 8 months ago

I’d set up penalties for teams like I would players. Treat first time offenses different than subsequent offenses. Let the consequences start fairly mild but ramp up quickly. This offers some protection to clubs that just happened to have a bad player and penalizes clubs severely who condone PED use.

The other thing I would do is place more risk on any club that signs or trades for a former PED user. This would severely hurt the player as their marketability would be down and hopefully incent clubs to do a better job in their homework when dealing with previous offenders. Guys like Perralta wouldn’t reap the rewards of being a PED user as there is no way the Cards would have paid him so much if they personally could be on the hook for penalties if used again. Right now a player has a tremendous amount of incentive to use in his walk year to drive up his FA cost.

Chicago Mark
Guest
Chicago Mark
2 years 8 months ago

Wow! How fucked up is our society that Dave thinks about this……And I buy into it? This is sad. Winning, making money….at what cost?
Good job on this one Dave.
Damn you!

tkn
Member
tkn
2 years 8 months ago

Perhaps a team’s punishment should be based on its culpability, rather than vicarious liability. If the team knew the player was doping, that might call for a strong punishment. If the team should have known of the doping, but did not have actual knowledge, that might call for a lesser punishment. And if the team did not know nor had any reason to know of the doping, then no punishment would be imposed on the team.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

How do you determine?

This just seems like moving the liability from the organization to middle men.

waynetolleson
Guest
waynetolleson
2 years 8 months ago

Why are we talking about this? We’re talking about this because A-Rod is a cheater and a liar who went to extraordinary lengths to conceal his cheating and criminal behavior.

That’s what the story is. This isn’t “just any case.” This case set a precedent because A-Rod set a precedent in being a cheater.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Pretty much every baseball player is a cheater.

The problem here is that the NYYs profited heavily from ARod cheating, and then profited against by getting him caught.

IE, the fact that ARod was a cheater was good for them.

Analogy guy
Guest
Analogy guy
2 years 8 months ago

Players popping greenies = stealing the tiny shampoo bottle from the Motel 6, plus perhaps a washcloth.

A-Rod = ripping the Holiday Inn television set from its moorings and smuggling it out of the hotel in your steamer trunk while skipping out on the bill at 3 a.m.

waynetolleson
Guest
waynetolleson
2 years 8 months ago

“The problem here is that the NYYs profited heavily from ARod cheating, and then profited against by getting him caught.

IE, the fact that ARod was a cheater was good for them.”

I’m speaking as a Yankees fan, and I honestly don’t see how people argue A-Rod was positive for the Yankees.

The Yankees made the playoffs every year from 1995-2003. They most likely would have made the playoffs in 1994, the strike season. They would have made the playoffs in 1993 had there been a Wild Card.

The eight seasons prior to A-Rod’s arrival, the Yankees made eight trips to the playoffs, six trips trips to the WS, and won four titles.

The first eight seasons A-Rod was in NY, the Yankees made seven trips to the postseason, and one trip to the WS, which they won. They lost in the first round four times, and lost two LCS, one which they got swept, and one where they lost a 3-0 series lead.

The Yankees were a much better team when they spread the money around the entire roster instead of targeting drama queens like A-Rod.

I just don’t see how any part of the A-Rod Years have been good for the Yankees franchise. Granted, A-Rod has tremendous entertainment value. He’s like a villain wrestler. You just know whatever tactic is the most cheap, selfish, and classless, that’s the route A-Rod is gonna take.

Breadbaker
Guest
Breadbaker
2 years 8 months ago

Yes, because all the players on the Yankees from 1993 to 2003 remained in exactly the same positions on the Yankees when A-Rod arrived and were exactly as young and talented. The Yankees didn’t trade for A-Rod because they were forced to do so, they thought he would improve their team. He won a couple of MVP awards, too, I seem to recall. So clearly Scott Brosius would have been a better option.

waynetolleson
Guest
waynetolleson
2 years 8 months ago

” He won a couple of MVP awards, too, I seem to recall. So clearly Scott Brosius would have been a better option.”

Scott Brosius + $15-20 million spent on other players to help the team would was, in fact, a much better option than spending $25+ million/year every year on one position.

the SnarkMaster
Guest
the SnarkMaster
2 years 8 months ago

“I’m speaking as a Yankees fan, and I honestly don’t see how people argue A-Rod was positive for the Yankees.”

From 2004-2012, Rodriguez was worth 48.8 WAR, the 3rd highest total in all of baseball (behind only Utley and Pujols). He batted .292/.387/.538 for a wRC+ of 143, solid baserunning, and roughly replacement-level defense. He was a tremendous benefit to those Yankees teams, even if they didn’t win many championships.

I recognize that success in YankeesLand is measured only in binary terms of Championship or Not, but for the fans of other clubs, we generally appreciate having Hall of Fame quality players on our teams.

waynetolleson
Guest
waynetolleson
2 years 8 months ago

“From 2004-2012, Rodriguez was worth 48.8 WAR, the 3rd highest total in all of baseball.”

A-Rod gave the Yankees about $190 million worth of production for a cost of $234 million. So, I trust had the Yankees not had the magnificent, steroid-taking douchebag named Alex Rodriguez at 3B, the organization could have spent that $230 million elsewhere, and would have gotten more than 50 WAR worth of production without nearly the amount of drama and BS.

We’re not talking about one player. We’re talking about a TEAM. Obviously, A-Rod was a tremendously productive player up until a couple years ago. Unfortunately, as great as he was, A-Rod still didn’t live-up to his contract, which hurt both the Rangers and Yankees chances of winning.

Yes, you do judge things by championships. The Yankees won four championships and made six trips to the WS from 1995-2003. The Yankees have made one trip to the WS since A-Rod’s arrival.

The Yankees were a better TEAM when they spread the money around. The Yankees will be a better TEAM with Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury as opposed to Robinson Cano and Francisco Cervelli. Baseball is an individual game, but it’s a team sport.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

I’m not sold on this potential problem actually playing out. A team that got players to use PEDs without their knowledge or consent would be liable (both civilly and criminally). Any “encouragement” would seemingly be something that a player could bring to the attention of MLB. I know Curt Schilling talked about the Red Sox doing this, but he didn’t have any proof and nobody backed up his story. I can’t see a team risking this. But if the player is stupid enough to do this, I don’t feel sorry for them.

Eminor3rd
Guest
Eminor3rd
2 years 8 months ago

The problem is that I bet the Yankees COULD have done a LOT to help defend ARod, were they subject to a penalty if he got caught…

What you propose leaves incentive for PEDs as still high for both player and team, it just incentivizes the team to help hide it instead of help it get leaked.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

“it just incentivizes the team to help hide it instead of help it get leaked.”

The team already has plenty of incentive to hide it when the player is playing well.

Making them liable would remove the incentive to out the player when hes no longer playing well, and some of the incentive to employ this type of player at all.

Paul AB
Guest
Paul AB
2 years 8 months ago

I dunno if the Yankees COULD have anything to help him.

ARod certainly had the best lawyers money could buy, he didn’t need the Yankees to buy more lawyers for him.

waynetolleson
Guest
waynetolleson
2 years 8 months ago

“The problem is that I bet the Yankees COULD have done a LOT to help defend ARod, were they subject to a penalty if he got caught…”

I don’t know if that’s true. A-Rod is a criminal. They’ve aided and abetted this criminal for too long. This guy has been trafficking PED’s from the Dominican to Miami to Toronto. He’s basically an international drug dealer.

The FBI is involved in this. The Yankees can’t stick their necks out too far for this guy any more. He has been a complete embarrassment and failure. The Yankees were a better team when they were platooning Charlie Hayes and Wade Boggs, or Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile. For all his talent, A-Rod is very psychologically frail. He is not a winning athlete.

Michael
Guest
Michael
2 years 8 months ago

If this hypothetical problem is really something we need to be concerned about, then the best solution is to stop watching baseball. Like any sport/industry, the scumbag 1% tends to overshadow the quality human beings that make a living off baseball. I don’t think any baseball organization will behave in the manner this article presumes because most of us are fundamentally decent human beings. If that statement makes me naive, then we all need to evaluate why we continue to funnel our money into the sport.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

“because most of us are fundamentally decent human beings”

I don’t think I could disagree any more vehemently with anything.

People are fundamentally selfish.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 8 months ago

We can be selfish and also fundamentally decent.

It’s truly sad that there are people like you who believe that people are not fundamentally decent. I can’t imagine how angry and stressed out people like you must be all the time, having such a negative view of others.

I feel bad for you and hope that you find some way to change your outlook or your view of the world and others. There is a lot of good in the world. Please take time to notice it.

Seattleslew
Guest
Seattleslew
2 years 8 months ago

“People are fundamentally selfish.”

Sadly I have to say I agree, but selfishness is part of growing.

Humans have always hurt each other. Some repent and forgive while others let that pain control them.

Glasnow or Glasnost?
Guest
Glasnow or Glasnost?
2 years 8 months ago

Most are fundamentally decent, yes. As in, not malicious. Absolutely could not agree more.

Okay, but if you knew for a fact that you wouldn’t, couldn’t be caught, would you steal a penny from every man, woman and child in the U.S.? I think an overwhelming majority of us would take the dirty money, and rationalize it as a very very nearly victimless crime. (And that’s how graft starts; steal just a little bit from everybody and it’s like you almost aren’t stealing at all. Shrug.)

People are generally conformist and rational, and if societal (or sporting) structures significantly incentivize dishonorable behavior, a substantial percentage of people will take the bait.

Harry
Guest
Harry
2 years 8 months ago

so where can I sign up Dan Uggla for PEDs and suspensions? Need to have him gone before ST…

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

One thing I think a few people are missing is Dave’s rhetorical exaggeration of teams supplying players with PEDs.

Obviously they don’t need to literally ship crates of steroids, nor would they. However, there are ways that they could subtly push players towards use. The team could mention that a player is underperforming, particularly in regards to their fitness. They could suggest that players go to specific gyms or training facilities where folks like Anthony Bosch hang out. Given sufficient pressure on the players to improve their fitness, this approach might be enough to push players to use.

Great column, well done.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 8 months ago

Agreed. It would never be overt but the situation MLB has created does incentivize teams to either subtly encourage PED use or, as Dave suggested, even plant rumors of their players’ PED use.

awalnoha
Member
awalnoha
2 years 8 months ago

Pay salary to charity.
Forfeit wins – either all while player was on active roster, some set value base on number of team offenses (1ped user 5 wins, 2 users 10 wins etc…) could also be based on players WAR and each team that lost to the offending team could get 1W.

If you want to see teams institue their own testing in contracts, forfeiting wins will help alot.

Matthew
Member
2 years 8 months ago

I think the moral of the story is that MLB is using insufficient evidence to convict players of PED use.

The A-Rod case was built on an unreliable paid witness saving his own skin, hearsay, and circumstational evidence. Yet he got the strongest punishement of all? While Ryan Braun tested positive, obstructed justice, and more evidence was found of his guilt. Yet he gets off easy. Since MLB is drunk with power, I feel like they could find out Player A was friends with A-Rod and “must know” about PEDs, threaten him a suspension, and offer him a deal without a positive test.

I think we need to looks at a multiple layer suspension policy. Did a player test postive? Did they knowingly take the PED? Did they advise other players? Did they active seek PED?

A convicition without a positive test is just dumb.

ctownboy
Guest
ctownboy
2 years 8 months ago

A Rod is a confessed liar.

He is associated with a business where other MLB players have been accused of cheating and accepted suspensions without a fight.

He never took the stand in his own arbitration hearing.

He is said to have wanted to buy the documents from Bio Genesis. Why? So he could hand deliver them to MLB? I doubt it.

As far as Ryan Braun goes, he took a drug test, failed it and then went to arbitration to fight the failed test. In arbitration, he argued (and won) that the procedures for handling the specimen were not correctly followed.

He THEN was found to have been a patient of Tony Bosch at Bio Genesis. MLB presented him with the evidence and gave him the choice of taking a 65 game suspension or fighting them. He took the suspension. This, even though, he hadn’t failed another test and even though the penalty was worse than if he had failed a test.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 8 months ago

It’s important to note here that Bud Selig never took the stand in the arbitration hearing either.

And, failing to take the stand does not make one “a confessed liar.”

ctownboy
Guest
ctownboy
2 years 8 months ago

No, failing to take the stand in your own arbitration hearing does not make one a confessed liar.

However, being asked numerous times over numerous years by numerous people if you have taken PED’s and going on “60 Minutes” in 2007 and being asked point blank if you have ever taken PED’s and saying no each and everytime and THEN in 2010 admitting that you DID take PED’s for three years DOES make one a confessed liar.

Matthew
Member
2 years 8 months ago

He is a confused liar, but so is Bud Selig.

Ryan Braun still failed a drug test. Sure the specimen was mishandled, but he attack the character of the tester and got away with it.

A-Rod never failed a drug test. The character of Bosch could have easily been attacked and I honestly have no idea how he is a credible witness.

He never took the stand at his arbitration hearing, but compare this to a criminal matter. Accused criminals almost never take the stand. It is insane that Selig never took the stand too. He after all is the only one how understands the logic/details of the A-Rod punishment

Matthew
Member
2 years 8 months ago

I’m not saying A-Rod is innocent. I am saying this whole production is a sham in which MLB has been abusing their power. It just looks terribly biased to me.

Matthew
Member
2 years 8 months ago

And it probably is biased considering one is from the MLB, I doubt the MLBPA really fully supports A-Rod, and an independent arbitrator is probably afraid of being fired after the Braun incident.

Glasnow or Glasnost?
Guest
Glasnow or Glasnost?
2 years 8 months ago
Glasnow or Glasnost?
Guest
Glasnow or Glasnost?
2 years 8 months ago

Youtube for gila.

Steve Holt!!
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Agreed, well said.

No one in their rational mind, with the 2003 doping confession, the 2006 positive test fail (for amphetamines), the 2009 link to Galea, and the biogenesis information, could argue that A-Rod is (i) not a doper, and (ii) in any way honest. Worse than that, he is a serial doper, and a serial liar.

The reason MLB has come down on him so hard is because of a combination of both. It is a sad situation, rather than one where A-Rod should be portrayed as a victim.

In addition, he has not been convicted of anything, he has been excluded from the benefits of the large baseball “club”, and not allowed to play because he has broken the rules. That is all. And it is costing him a massive amount of money, hence the legal wranglings.

Reality
Guest
Reality
2 years 8 months ago

Any act by a team to intentionally dose a player with illegal drugs without that players knowledge would be a criminal act. The PR blowback alone would require top down organizational changes, maybe even requiring the owner to release his stake of the team.

That is a huge risk that no owner/GM would consent to in order to save $25M.

Jeff Loria
Guest
Jeff Loria
2 years 8 months ago

I wouldn’t be so sure…

Luke Luke
Guest
Luke Luke
2 years 8 months ago

Why doesn’t the team with the PED player forfeit games? Giants WS season clearly tainted bc it enjoyed Melkys enhanced performance for much of season.

me
Guest
me
2 years 8 months ago

A big reason why something like #1 might happen is that i don’t think the MLB is happy when players coming off of suspensions turn around and sign big contracts like Peralta or Melky. If the team signing those players will be responsible for paying them during their suspension they will be much less likely to receive these big contracts. This will reduce the incentive for the player to take PEDs which would be a positive outcome.

Dan Uggla
Guest
Dan Uggla
2 years 8 months ago

Why are the Braves so insistent the past few days that I come in for a flu shot?

Isn’t it a little late in the flu season for this?

Steve
Guest
Steve
2 years 8 months ago

Comment of the article. ^

Sorry, ATL.

Fred Freeman
Guest
Fred Freeman
2 years 8 months ago

I’ll inject you THE RIGHT WAY!

Brian McCann...
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

But I thought I injected you the RIGHT WAY!!

http://www.fangraphs.com/not/brian-mccann-fun-police/

Jon S.
Guest
Jon S.
2 years 8 months ago

How about the contract money goes to charity and the team loses a roster spot for the duration of the suspension?

Ed
Guest
Ed
2 years 8 months ago

And the contract continues to count against the luxury tax.

The only changes that’ll occur in the next CBA is the MLBPA taking it even further up the a**. It’s been their position for 10 years and they don’t have the unity or leadership to avoid it. Sad times for the players. There is so much money in the game they forgot what their predecessors fought for.

Paul AB
Guest
Paul AB
2 years 8 months ago

A Rod is a special case, in that he is insanely rich and totally out of control.

I see his lawsuit was filed, he is suing both MLB and the Players Association.

Poor Alex, everyone in the world is against him and he has done nothing wrong.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 8 months ago

As a high school economics teacher, some of my favorite columns here at fangraphs are those that deal with real economic situations — such as game theory or moral hazards — in the context of baseball. They are really fun and interesting to ponder and discuss.

I agree entirely that this is the definition of a moral hazard and baseball needs to do something to fix it. I’m not sure that there aren’t other potential solutions, but I love the fact that we’re able to discuss a real-life example of something that I discuss in my classes with my students.

Thanks.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 8 months ago

This is a good article. There clearly is a Moral Hazard. I would be surprised if players agreed to longer penalties unless they eliminated loopholes that allows the commissioner to manufacture penalties out of thin air and then not testify in arbitration hearings.

The players also have to get something in return.

1. Eliminate the QO for free agents over 28.

2. Eliminate the tie in of revenue sharing rebates with the luxury tax.

Failure to do this suggest the MLBPA leadership is co-opted by the MLB and is not properly representing the players. The threat of a lock out is the only thing that keeps management in line, use it.

Copperweld
Guest
Copperweld
2 years 8 months ago

A team promoting players to use PEDs would result in potential/likely criminal and civil liability, in addition to the public (read: financial) backlash once uncovered. Oh, but they’re going to do this in “secret.” Dang, why didn’t I think of that? Because some overpaid, under-performing aging vet who gets busted for PEDs which were promoted by the club is going to get his lil secret when he’s no longer being paid by said club and his reputation is smeared.

Maybe they’ll make him double pinky swear not to tell.

This article is a vapid piece of tripe wrapped in a sandwich of irrelevancy and confusion. With a garnish of crazy.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

as I mentioned above, teams could encourage players to use PEDs indirectly.

A possible scheme might be…
1. Tell a player he is underperforming physically, and needs to train harder.
2. Regardless of how the player responds, insist that their normal training regimen is no longer sufficient.
3. Recommend privately (and not via email or other recorded medium) that a player try a new training facility or trainer. The team has some knowledge or suspicion that the facility or trainer is associated with other PED-using players.
4. Continue to insist that the player step up their training regimen until they take the hint/get offered PEDs by the trainer/someone at the facility and accept.

In this way, the team maintains plausible deniability the whole time. If the player says the team suggested the facility, the team denies any knowledge of such a suggestion, and then it becomes the cheater’s word against theirs. Better yet, the team could get the suggestion to the player via an intermediary.

WMT
Guest
WMT
2 years 8 months ago

Agreed. I tried to say it more nicely than you, but this article is really dumb.

Drew
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Why is it taken for granted that the Yankees “greatly benefitted from his PED use”?

The old PEDs made him hit good argument?

Drew
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

No team would purposely give PEDs to a player because the risk of player suspension, health issue, or MLB sanction is far greater than the limited (if any) positive effect that drugs would have on a player’s performance.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 8 months ago

They would not do it directly, but they would put the player in contact with someone who would. Schilling mentioned a Red Sox medical staffer asked him if he would consider using HGH to help with his shoulder recovery in 2008. In that same year, security staffers were busted by cops for PED’s

WMT
Guest
WMT
2 years 8 months ago

It’s not a moral hazard when the team (and the individuals involved) can be held responsible and punished for dealing steroids and off-script meds to the team’s overpaid players. Not only would these acts be illegal and potential felonies (as well as subjecting the team and the individuals to potential civil liability), the commissioner’s office would undoubtedly punish teams (and members of team management) who undertook such actions.

Likewise, “secretly” committing insider trading isn’t a moral hazard simply because the perpetrator can benefit from it, if he gets away with it.

The article doesn’t make any sense because it doesn’t show how the team (and/or the individuals involved) would be insulated from the risks involved.

Steve K
Guest
Steve K
2 years 8 months ago

I have noticed that no one has mentioned the problem with number 2) the draft picks. It penalizes draftees by removing money from the draft.

Steve
Guest
Steve
2 years 8 months ago

this puts too great of an unfair burden on teams. Teams are not allowed to test players outside of what is proscribed by the CBA, which I think calls for testing to be done by the league. So a team signing a player not formerly on their team would have no way of knowing if the player were a PED user outside of his past drug tests. So if the team signs a player who was using PEDs but didn’t get caught yet, and then he gets caught, couldn’t the team argue that the MLB was negligent in how they tested?

Breadbaker
Guest
Breadbaker
2 years 8 months ago

Here’s my plan: any time a player for a team (either team) is determined to have used PEDs while playing, the team has to repay all the ticket money to the fans who attended. I’m still waiting for my refund from MLB for having to watch the spectacle of Rafael Palmeiro, who was already known to MLB to have failed his drug test, hitting his 3000th hit at Safeco Field, when play stopped so the visiting team could go and congratulate a guy they wouldn’t so much as speak to not many days later. If PEDs make it an unfair competition, then you shouldn’t be able to charge admission as though it is not WWF.

Hank
Guest
Hank
2 years 8 months ago

Right now, there is no system in place to punish the employers of PED users in any way,

Why should there be? This article seems to be based on the presumption that there needs to be.

Unless teams are encouraging PED use, these are grown men with free will and are choosing to use PED’s. I don’t understand the premise that teams need to be punished for an independent decision a player makes on his own. If a player is suspended for using a corked bat or pine tar in his glove, should the team be punished for it in a similar fashion to what you are proposing? Doesn’t the same “moral hazard” exist with any form of cheating?

Also the idea that it is basically only ethical issues preventing teams from either supplying or conspiring to supply controlled substances is ridiculous. There would be both legal exposure (jail or fine) and baseball exposure (you don’t think MLB would crack down on a team found out to be supplying PED’s or encouraging use). It’s nice to say well just do it secretly and they won’t get caught… I’m sure that’s what ARod and Braun and (insert name here) were thinking at some point too.

The other risk to the club – What happens if a player gets caught and rats out his club, especially if he’s toward the end of his career which is when you are suggesting teams do this. You want to play crazy hypothetical like the Phillies giving Howard PED’s, suppose the Yankees were supplying ARod PEDs (or pushed him to Boesch through a 3rd party), you don’t think at this point he would try to take the organization down? Think teams would take this risk? Even if a team was willing to roll the dice and thought there wouldn’t be enough for baseball to punish the organization, the brand and PR hit alone might be enough of a deterrent.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 8 months ago

“Unless teams are encouraging PED use”

Jhonny Peralta doesn’t seem all that discouraged.

More seriously, there is an institutional incentive here. Holding the team responsible is a means of removing that incentive more than it is a means of ‘punishing’ teams. At most, it would be a punishment for complicity.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

This has to be one of the most ridiculous takes on the whole subject I have seen:

1. As has already been pointed out several times, the risks of a team conspiring with a player to take PED’s is just too great. BTW, if ARod sued the Yankees for encouraging him to take PED’s, and could prove it in court, I would be on his side. Something tells me that is not going to be the basis of any suit he files. Besides, he had the opportunity to tell his side of the story to the arbitrator and chose not to.

2. Even if a team asked a player to take PED’s, there is no moral dilemma for the player. He just has to say no and report the incident to the MLBPA and the Commissioner’s office.

I also fail to see how Bud Selig testifying or not testifying has anything at all to do with an independent arbitrators determination that the penalty was justified or not. All the arbitrator has to do is compare the penalty with the rules of the CBA and see if the penalty fits under those rules or not. He does not need Selig’s testimony to do that.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 8 months ago

Curt Schilling alleged that a Red Sox medical staffer asked him if he would consider using HGH to speed up his recovery from a shoulder injury in 2008. At that time Schilling was considering surgery but the Red Sox wanted him to pitch through the injury.

The same year security staffers on the Red Sox got busted for PED’s.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 8 months ago

The rules in the JDA and CBA are vague. Selig would be able to testify as to what his rationale was vis-a-vis other cases like Grimsley.

Pennant
Guest
Pennant
2 years 8 months ago

I would like to propose that if a Fangraph writer was so biased and blind to defend Braun as clean in 2012 that he not be allowed to write about anything PED related for 5 years. I am thinking these articles are like trolling on steroids, they are so ridiculous, untenable, and transparently biased. Maybe put this on The Onion, where it belongs.

Steven
Guest
Steven
2 years 8 months ago

Dave never claimed Braun was clean. He defended a decision that viewed the chain of custody as important enough to throw out a negative test.

I am thinking that if a Fangraph commenter produces such a asinine comment that he or she not be allowed to go on Fangraphs for 5 years.

Tanned Tom
Guest
Tanned Tom
2 years 8 months ago

See you in 2019.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
2 years 8 months ago

Not that I think NYY is guilty of anything, but I generally agree with this article. Although in this particular case, they might not have known as ARod’s steroid use, the idea of an organization promoting behavior against MLB policy or withholding information of such behavior from MLB authorities during a player’s prime is certainly possible. NYY already built their team under the premise that they were not going to have the money for A-rod’s contract, so I think they should be required to pay forward the money that is the real burden of the contract (the last few years) towards some sort cause, either MLB or not. I can only remember how us small market teams could not compete with NYY’s wallets, so I think it is only fair that they pay for the real mistake which was the bad contract.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
2 years 8 months ago

*By not have the money I mean not in their own pockets

Fred
Guest
Fred
2 years 8 months ago

I would assume there are already penalties in place to prevent teams intentionally promoting PED usage. If there aren’t, there certainly should be.

What the article seems to suggest is to punish teams without any evidence of wrongdoing. I am not sure why it matters that a team benefits from voiding a contract late in its term unless there is evidence of the team having acted inappropriately. All the supposed scenarios can be punished in a relatively straightforward manner without resorting to the wide range of perverse incentives created by these “solutions.”

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 8 months ago

Is there any incentive at all for either the owners or the players to agree to such an extreme scheme?

From the owner’s perspective, this will clearly hurt them from time to time despite the fact that they have little real control over whether their players use PED (large spending owners would presumably be penalized more often). From the player’s perspective, unfounded suspicions could reduce their market value or make teams reluctant to sign them. Consider a player like Jose Bautista. He came out of nowhere to become the best hitter in baseball for a few years, despite being well beyond the age where he was still considered a prospect. All sane observers would suspect the possibility of PED use, even though, as far as I know, there is no actual evidence. If you are an owner would you give the guy a big contract if you suspect the possibility of a massive penalty? If you were Bautista would you resent not getting the contract your play suggests you deserve because of unfounded PED suspicions?

Also, a question for FanGraphs readers: If Bautista gets nailed tomorrow for PEDs, would you be comfortable with the Jays giving money to the Yankees or sacrificing draft choices, etc.? Does it feel different when the penalties are going to SABR darling Anthropolous and the rewards are going to the hated Yankees?

Stringer Bell
Guest
Stringer Bell
2 years 8 months ago

This is stupid. If the player gets suspended, his salary can go to various charity organizations. Otherwise, how about we stop with the stupid ass suggestions and stop feeding into this overreaction of PED use?

Pontificator
Guest
Pontificator
2 years 8 months ago

In the NHL, all suspended player salaries go back to the PA to be used for retired player programs. Thus, teams that employ suspended players still pay the salary, it still counts against the cap, and the PA has incentive to cooperate (or less incentive to be adversarial).

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
2 years 8 months ago

#1. Simple, make the team play a man down when a player is suspended for PED’s. Other sports do it for penalties. This hurts the team instantly and the other players, creating incentive from both sides to not have that player on your team. #2. Create a clause that that voids your contract if you cheat by using PEDS. That reduces the players incentive to use PED’s and #1 would make it harder to get a contract with a new team.

Jason
Guest
Jason
2 years 8 months ago

Unless you’re suggesting that teams will surreptitiously spike a player’s food/drink with banned substances, this is much ado about nothing. As you concede, the only players to whom your concern would apply are older, declining players to whom teams have substantial contractual commitments. What economic incentives do those players (ARod and Ryan Howard are good examples) have to take PEDs? The likelihood they’ll ever sign another contract is low.

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