The reaction people have to events can take me for a loop. I look in the fashion that I've always looked at things, and expect a few others to travel the same road. However, most of the writers are "source-based," and I'm the farthest thing from it. When I see news reported on, I have my own boxes to check. But when I saw this:
The Cubs, Marlins and Rockies voted yes. It was 33-5, according to multiple reports. Not sure who the other two are.— Kevin Fiddler (@KFidds) June 22, 2020
... one thought screamed louder than anything else.
I haven't done much research on any of the proposed agreements. Kudos to those who have taken that level of initiative, but poring over legal jargon isn't my cup of cocoa. However, when I heard the Cubs and Marlins agreed on something, I began checking my mental list of why those teams (and the Rockies, eventually), and not others. It took about 45 seconds. Maybe a minute and a half, but not much longer than that. Both teams probably have an inordinate number of players below two years of league service.
There might be other reasons, but teams have altered their roster composition recently. Bullpens are considered important, with the possibility of quite a few temporary minor league call-ups the norm. If one were to say players with 2.001 years of service time (two years and one day) are likely to vote no, and players under 1.000 years likely to vote yes, what would the breakdown be? I'm not going to run every roster in the league, but quite a few players have "a reasonable amount" banked.
If the money is secure, keeping your family entirely safe seems a reasonable goal. For players who haven't gotten their first million, voting "yes" to get a bit of short-term security seems useful. That's a bit how the NFL negotiations went. The Cubs have a handful of higher profile players, but many players at the back half of the 40-man roster are very inexperienced. This was by design this off-season, as the money spigot had been crimped. Relievers that might well.make the team have limited experience. If you were Trevor Megill or Adbert Alzolay, the temptation to get paid something would seem rather strong, and understandable. By loading up on relievers with under a year of experience, the Cubs get a huge payout if a few of the strike it as successful. Other teams tend to have six to 10 relievers with a solid-ish resume.
Players like Nico Hoerner are a bit exempt, as they have received hefty signing bonuses. A Pete Alonso figures to be well-enough off when MLB returns, he'll vote how he wants. However, the Cubs kiddie corps bullpen might have wanted the pay up front.
This is part of why I'm a bit withdrawn on the decision. I don't think health concerns will let the season play out, but I gave my timeline all night, and a few nudges. Nobody seemed interested in why the Cubs and Marlins decided to vote in favor. It was the only question that mattered to me.
I've over-simplified a bit, but in a generally one-way decision, an outlier can sometimes be explained. That the Cubs have a team with an extreme amount of inexperience goes a way toward explaining it. I'd imagine the Marlins are in a similar situation. The Rockies? The Cubs rarely play them in minor league games, so I have limited knowledge. At the very least I figured I could connect a few dots for a few of you.