Monday’s roundup: Clark expects continued peace
Mesa, Ariz. — Major League Baseball has had 21 years of labor peace, something Player’s Association executive director Tony Clark said he expects to continue in anticipation of talks after the current collective bargaining agreement expires this year.
“I am cautiously optimistic,” the former Tigers first baseman said Monday after meeting with Cubs players (he’s visiting all the major league camps during spring training). “Labor peace is not the goal. A fair and equitable deal is the goal.
“Over the last 20 years or so, we have been fortunate enough to find ways to work through it. I would anticipate there being challenges here as well and we will have to determine whether or not we can work through it, but I am again cautiously optimistic we will be able to do so,” he added.
The CBA expires Dec. 1. It’ll be Clark’s first MLB negotiations, and says both sides are interested in getting a deal done.
“There would appear be an opportunity to a find common ground that would be fair and equitable for everyone involved,” he said. “If you are not interested in getting a deal done and lines in the sand are drawn, that’s when (stoppages) happen.”
Clark touched on several other topics Monday, including the length of the regular season, the new second-base slide rule, qualifying contract offers, one-game playoff series and teams tanking games for more draft pool money.
One thing he would not speak about was Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant’s grievance that contends the Cubs manipulated service-time rules last season to prevent him from becoming a free agent until after the 2021 season.
“We don’t talk about grievances,” Clark said. “I wouldn’t even acknowledge if there is one or not.”
Around the horn
The Angels might have to fill two holes in the starting rotation, with Jered Weaver seeng a spine specialist and C.J. Wilson suffering another setback with his troublesome shoulder.
Wilson struggled in a bullpen session last weekend, and manager Mike Scioscia said it’s uncertain when he’ll return to the mound. Wilson will throw off flat ground this week.
Weaver was back in Los Angeles to see doctors Monday — the day he was supposed to make his third start. The right-hander’s velocity has dropped considerably amid health issues.
... Jhonny Peralta returned to the Cardinals training site, wearing a cast and with his left arm in a sling. There’s still no updated timetable for the shortstop’s return from thumb surgery.
Peralta said he’ll be in the cast for two weeks and then stitches will come out.
Jedd Gyorko is the likely starter at shortstop until Peralta returns. Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz also is getting a look.
... Last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel worked against a stacked Nationals lineup and allowed one hit over three innings as the Astros earned a 1-1 tie.
The left-hander retired the first eight men — including stars Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman — before giving up a hit to journeyman Brendan Ryan. He struck out four.
... Maikel Franco, the spring home run leader, hit two more home runs to give him six and drove in four runs in the Phillies 8-7 loss to the Orioles.
... Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom (back stiffness, 2.54 ERA in 2015) was scratched from his start against the Tigers.