Today, DK has another article in the PG about the total misunderstanding between Jack and Freddy, their agents and the Pirates' front office.
Seriously this is getting ridiculous. Now I think the players and their agents are losing the PR battle. I can understand why public opinion was on the players side initially, particularly with Freddy's option, and the sentiment that the team lowballed both of him. This is an opinion I don't share, but I understand it.
But, even at the time, I said the point of view of both players and their agents that they couldn't counteroffer was ridiculous and both players should get new agents if that was the case. Well, both players have held to that stance and have not made a counteroffer even though Pirates' management has signaled that there may be some room for negotiation.
Jack, I think has significantly misplayed his hand as I have said before. Freddy and his agent clearly believe that his option will vest. Jack has said he wants to play with Freddy. Freddy, unless he is traded, will be under contract with the Pirates next year if his option vests. But, Jack will only sign an extension if Freddy does. I know I'm repeating myself, but what is Jack going to do on September 10th when Freddy's option (hypothetically) vests? Is he going to go back to the Pirates, hat in hand, and see if the offer is still on the table? Is he going to make a counteroffer then?
I like both guys and appreciate what they have given to the franchise. I also happen to believe both are overpaid. What I am tired of is both saying they want to be here so adamantly, but not even having the sense to counter.
Vlad and I have argued about the market this coming offseason and going forward. I think the market for only but the best players is going to fall off a cliff. Vlad has continually suggested that the owners might be colluding. I can link to a half dozen articles relating to the NBA and the NHL indicating that a financial pullback is already happening this offseason and both leagues expect things to get worse next year--when guys like Tom Hicks are going bust, people take notice. I have been told by owners in two of the three leagues that they are looking to pullback or looking to prepare their franchise for sale.
I don't know exactly what Jack and Freddy should do, but as linked here in Rob Neyer's article:
the landscape might be changing pretty rapidly and I think Jack, Freddy and their agents may be looking backward rather than forward. That might cost them both, particularly Jack, some real jack.