Friday, a 20-year-old Cuban lefty named Cionel Perez signed with Houston for $2 million. The Yankees could have nabbed him, but for one eency-weency little problem: Two MILLION dollars! Hey, money doesn't grow on trees, folks. We're talking about two MILLION big ones - that's right, smackers, simolians, slibbahs, slipgams, sleotazees, green simberry scoodlebots...
Nevertheless, ingrate millionaire Perez is complaining about the deal in an open letter to MLB and the Union of Concerned But Spineless Negotiators, also known as the players association.
“I am happy to begin my professional career but I feel abused by this system,” Perez wrote, though he then bent backwards to kiss his Astro masters' asses - (he is, after all, getting paid two million green simberry scoodlebots.)
So why is this terrible, ungrateful man showing the gall to whine? What's wrong with him? He should be the Happy Latino Camper. After all, he gets to leap the Great Wall of Trump and live in the land of flavored hummus and affordable jeans... plus, he's got two million gumpworsleys.
Well, he's getting screwed - that's why. In October, Perez signed with Houston for $5.15 mill, but a physical turned up a potential elbow issue, so the Astros pulled out and low-balled him. From there, everything gets complicated - lawyers humping lawyers - but the nut of it is that Perez ended up with little choice but to re-sign with Houston for $2 million, even though he claims the Orioles would have paid him $10 million, if not for MLB caps on international spending.
But that's not what really pisses him off. Perez notes that the Astros will spend $4 million to sign him... of which he will receive $2 million - (not counting what his agent will skim.)
The reason: Houston was over the international spending cap, so it must pay a $2 million luxury tax fee on Perez.
So if you're scoring at home... here's a guy who is theoretically worth $10 million on a true open market, he ends up signing for $2 million - minus agent fees - and all that other money? Well, it will line the pockets of filthy rich owners, executives and lawyers. Basically, the MLB apparatus just banked $2 million without lifting a paper clip. What a scam. Bernie Madoff would be jealous.
Folks, this is the system that eventually will turn the New York Yankees into the San Diego Padres. This is how the greatest tradition in professional sports is going to wither and die.
Oh, in a few years, we'll field a good team. But then, we'll watch our star players sign elsewhere, because the richest sports franchise on the planet went over the luxury tax limit and, thus, can't afford to keep them. Nor will the Yankees be able to use their fiscal might to sign international free agents; we cannot exceed the official spending caps that will be screwed into place.
Cionel Perez may or may not turn out to be a star, but he's already generated big money for owners in Tampa, Milwaukee, Kansas City, etc - wherever chintz is king. All they have to do is sit on their hands, bank the checks and draft high. Eventually, they'll become powerhouses.
“I hope that you understand how these rules in my case are extremely unjust and that you make every effort for the necessary adjustments and considerations to be made,” Perez wrote. “Today should be the happiest day of my life, and I cannot help but feel like I’ve just been robbed.”
It's just a letter. And I'm sure it's already reached the circular file. But who knows, maybe next time, it'll be a lawsuit.