MLB: Prominent baseball agent suggests spring training boycott

  • FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2017, file photo, Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer (35) and Mike Moustakas (8) celebrate after they scored on a double by Alcides Escobar during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Kansas City, Mo. Agent Brodie Van Wagenen, co-head of CAA Baseball, said Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, that baseball players should consider boycotting spring training because of the slow free-agent market. J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, Greg Holland and Lance Lynn remain among the dozens of unsigned players with the Feb. 14 start of spring training less than two weeks away. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

NEW YORK — A prominent baseball agent said players are angered over the slow free-agent market and suggested they consider boycotting spring training.

Brodie Van Wagenen, co-head of CAA Baseball, floated the idea in a statement released Friday, less than two weeks before spring training workouts are to start in Florida and Arizona. He also raised the possibility of a collusion grievance, as did another agent, Seth Levinson of Aces.

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“The players are upset. No, they are outraged. Players in the midst of long-term contracts are as frustrated as those still seeking employment,” Van Wagenen said. “I would suggest that testing the will of 1,200 alpha males at the pinnacle of their profession is not a good strategy for 30 men who are bound by a much smaller fraternity.”

J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb, Greg Holland and Lance Lynn remain among the dozens of unsigned free agents.

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“A boycott of spring training may be a starting point, if behavior doesn’t change. Players don’t receive their paychecks until the second week of April. Fine them? OK, for how much? Sue them? OK, they’ll see you in court two years from now.”

CAA represents more than 150 baseball players, including Robinson Cano, Yoenis Cespedes, Buster Posey, Shohei Ohtani, Adam Jones, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.