Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Free agency...

Today I thought I might do a little research on free agency. I wanted to understand more about how it all worked with franchising and transition players. As I started delving into it all I found out it was a lot more complicated than I had originally thought. So today I will talk about how free agency came to be, and tomorrow I will get into more specifics.

It all started back in 1931 when Browns owner Phil Ball filed a lawsuit against Judge Kennesaw Landis for a restraining order in an attempt to keep him from granting free agency to some of his farm club players for contract violations. It really didn't come to fruition until 1969 when Curt Flood challenged the legality of a team's claim to the right to perpetually renew a player's contract. He filed suit against MLB and lost, but the case went all the way to the supreme court.

In December 1975, the players finally won their right to free agency. The very first free agent was Catfish Hunter who signed for the Yankee's for 3.7 million. The process has undergone many changes over the years to increase sports spectators and team revenues. Thus spawned CBA's or collective bargaining agreements. Because the free agency and cba gave the players too much power the owners decided to check and balance the system with salary caps. Free agency is also limited by the team’s ability to protect certain athletes (Franchise and Transition players) from leaving by paying a salary equal to an average of the top players at his position. Salary caps are caps on the amount of money any one team can spend on players in the year but teams are allowed to amortize the large amounts of signing bonuses over the life of the contract.

Tomorrow I will elaborate more into defining the specifics.

Today's quote is by Theodore Roosevelt
"Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly, I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it."

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