Friday, March 24, 2017

The new disabled list

I've seen nothing more about the planned confab about the status of Glen Perkins' rehab. One of the reasons for it: The new labor agreement apparently requires the player to agree both to being put on the disabled list and to which list.

There are, I believe, three disabled lists: the seven-day concussion DL, the 10-day DL, and the 60-day DL. (It's possible that doing away with the 15-day DL involved merging the concussion list with the "regular" list, but I doubt it.) Besides the mandatory minimum durations, the significant difference is that the 60-day DL removes the player from the 40-man roster.

The Twins have already put Trevor May on the 60-day DL this week; this opened a 40-man spot that they filled by elevating Craig Breslow. I expect at least one more non-roster invitee to make the 25-man roster, and the Twins would probably like to open a 40-man slot by putting Perkins on the 60-day DL.

Probably. Let me emphasize: I have no inside information on this. I don't know the status of his rehab (and apparently the front office doesn't either). I don't know if Perkins is inclined to resist a mandatory two months on the sidelines.

But considering this new DL protocol in the abstract: This may have simply codified something that was already standard practice. Certainly there have been numerous occasions -- with the Twins and with other teams -- in which Player A sustains an injury, resists being DL'd, and the team goes along with that, going shorthanded in  the expectation that Player A will be able to take the field in a matter of days.

Sometimes that works. Sometimes it backfires.

I have the sense that the Twins were intentionally less patient with the self-diagnosis approach with Paul Molitor as manager than they were with Ron Gardenhire. They may not have that option now.

Presumably trimming the minimum stay on the DL by five days will make it easier for a player to accede to going on the shelf. (It should be noted: active roster, 10-day DL, 60-day DL -- they all get paid; nobody's getting a pay cut by going on the disabled list.)

But I can envision a player -- or, more likely, an agent -- trying to use the player's DL veto to leverage a new contract. You want my roster spot? It's gonna cost you. If and when that happens, it will probably be ugly.

Presumably this provision was something the union sought, and presumably it was on the basis that players are being DL'd unnecessarily. I suspect it will lead to more friction between teams and individual players.

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