New Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner made the union’s annual spring stop at Roger Dean Stadium this morning to meet with the Florida Marlins.
It’s been two months since the release of the carefully worded settlement agreement among Major League Baseball, the Players Association and the Marlins requiring the team to increase its commitment of revenue sharing dollars to payroll as it moves toward its new ballpark’s opening, scheduled in 2012.
“We’re actually pleased with the way things have played out under the settlement,” Weiner said after meeting with Marlins players. “We’ve said publicly what we’re going to say about the specifics, but I have no problem saying that so far, we’re pleased with the way things have played out.”
Weiner said, of course, the union has concerns about other teams, which he wouldn’t name. He also wouldn’t say if he expects similar settlement agreements could be forged with other teams.
“I can’t predict that, I can’t say there is the level of attention that we’re paying is the same with respect to other teams as with the Marlins, and if it reaches the stage where we think that kind of agreement is appropriate, we’ll push for it.”
Weiner said it wasn't the objective of the settlement with the Marlins to serve as an example to other MLB clubs.
“It may have that effect. That wasn’t what we set out to do,” he said. “What we set out to do was say we think we have a potential problem with the contract and how can we deal with that? If it has precedential impact, it has that, but what motivated us was we have a problem, we think, how can we resolve that. And the Marlins and the Commissioner worked with us and we think we got a good resolution.”
Marlins pitcher Andrew Miller, the team’s player’s representative, said Weiner mentioned the settlement briefly.
“He said he thought it was a good thing, he thought it was something the union asked, they made that announcement and I think the direct cause and effect that everybody saw was probably the Uggla signing, whether that has anything to do with it or not, who knows,” Miller said referring to the team agreeing in January – days after the settlement was announced – to a one-year $7.8 million deal for second baseman Dan Uggla to avoid arbitration.
“The only persons who knows the answer to that is [General Manager] Michael Hill or [President of Baseball Operations] Larry Beinfest or [President] David Samson,” Miller continued, “but I think they were encouraged by that. Everybody is. I’ve been here for a couple of years now and we’ve been competitive regardless of the payroll. I think it’s just one of those things, obviously, the union wants teams to spend their revenue sharing money and whatnot and so it looks like the Marlins are doing that right now. “
Weiner and Miller said other discussion mainly focused on general topics and basic planning for the current collective bargaining agreement’s expiration in December 2011.