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Thursday Newsletter time: Optimism sacked again as owners, players let labor progress fall apart

Thursday Newsletter time: Optimism sacked again as owners, players let labor progress fall apart

Max Acosta and Luisangel Acuna Photo Credit Texas Rangers Newsletter-Jeff Wilson
Texas Rangers coaches and officials were hopeful a new collective bargaining agreement would be reached Wednesday.

SURPRISE, Ariz. – The best way to describe Texas Rangers big-league coaches and officials Wednesday was cautiously optimistic.

Just last week they were also optimistic that the MLB lockout was about to end, as owners and players talked into the night before things fell apart March 1.

They took it hard then, and escaped Surprise for a dinner out with a cocktail or two.

When the third day of minor-league spring training ended Wednesday, there again was a sense that the two sides were about to reach an agreement.

And, once again, things fell apart.

Another week of games was canceled by commissioner Rob Manfred after the union failed to accept one of three options for an international draft that would eliminate draft-pick compensation.

The sides immediately began to bicker, with the players once again acting as if they had done nothing wrong. Manfred pointed out otherwise.

By dinnertime, though, the sides were talking about the last remaining sticking point. The union has never supported an international draft, with 2022 Hall of Fame inductee David Ortiz speaking out against it during these negotiations.

The fear is that it will limit opportunities for players to sign and erase the freedom to sign with the team of their choosing.

There is also the notion that creating a draft would hurt the quality of international baseball as many believe happened in Puerto Rico when it was added to the MLB Draft.

An international draft might also take dollars out of agents’ pockets and even some current and former players’ pockets. Don’t think that didn’t come into play Wednesday.

But the draft, as proposed by the owners, would require all teams to select 20 players. The top selection would make more than $5 million.

Teams would be allowed to sign undrafted free agents.

It wouldn’t begin until 2024.

The Rangers, who have generally been opposed to an international draft in the past, signed 17 international players in January. Their top signee, outfielder Anthony Gutierrez, signed for $2 million.

Something isn’t adding up. Maybe it will today and a full season can be salvaged after all.

As things stand now, the first four series of the season have been canceled. The Rangers would open the season at home April 14 against the Angels. April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day, and to not honor that day with baseball would be a shame.

Nothing, though, seems to matter to either side more than money.

Scott spent 18 years in the Rangers organization as a player, manager and executive from 1977 to 1994, beginning when he was drafted in the 25th round of the 1977 draft as an infielder from Dallas Baptist.

He played five seasons in the Rangers farm system before transitioning to coaching in 1982. He became the team’s director of player development in September 1984, when Tom Grieve was hired as general manager.

Scott spent 10 seasons in that position before returning to managing teams in three independent leagues, including the Fort Worth Cats of the Central League and American Association.

He later returned to affiliated ball with the Mets and Marlins, and was inducted into the Professional Scouts Hall of Fame in 2018.

A celebration of his life is expected to be held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at a later date.

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Video of the Day

Another pitcher to keep an eye on in 2022 is right-hander Mason Englert, the 2018 fourth-round pick who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019 and didn’t make his professional debut until last season.

He got through it healthy at Low A Down East, learned what he needs to improve, and made the corresponding adjustments in the offseason. One of those was taking his diet and fitness to another level.

Englert is also a friend of the Rangers Newsletter and a good dude.

He looked sharp Wednesday in a bullpen session in Rangers camp. Take a look at this video from the Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast YouTube channel, which you should subscribe to if you haven’t already.

ICYMI …

My goodness, we’ve been busy here at the Rangers Newsletter, between interviews, videos, meeting new people and just talking to the ones we already know. So, you guys might have some catching up to do. Here’s our latest in case you missed it.

Two big prospects aren’t at camp

Rule 5 draft no-man’s land

Josh Jung in a sling, good spirits

Who we wanted to see this week

Doggy video!

You think that reaction his harsh? What until you hit him with a Draw Four card in Uno. Enjoy. See you Friday.

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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