This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"What this contract does is underline the challenge facing the MLBPA in the next CBA negotiation. For all the attention paid to free agents who have gone unsigned, or who signed contracts for far less than their comps in 2012 or 2002 might have, the real war is now over the likes of Ozzie Albies: excellent young players jammed up by a system that values service time rather than performance. Albies isn’t alone; there are dozens like him who have to be both good and healthy for nearly four seasons to gain any leverage at all in salary negotiations. Francisco Lindor was a top-ten player in MLB from 2015 through 2017, and he made $623,000 last year, about 10% over the league minimum. Corey Seager was one of the best players in baseball in 2016 and 2017, and was paid $605,000 in 2018. Aaron Judge has a section named after him at Yankee Stadium, one of the best-selling jerseys in the game, and a 2019 salary of $684,000."