NEW YORK (AP) — Players' union head Tony Clark has asked the commissioner's office to investigate comments attributed to unidentified executives in an ESPN.com story estimating what they would offer shortstop Stephen Drew and designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who remain free agents.
The story said executives were asked if they had a need at one of those positions, what would their offers be. The range was from $3 million to $12 million.
Clark said Friday in a statement: "I am angered that numerous, anonymous baseball executives have blatantly and intentionally violated our collective bargaining agreement."
"These statements undermine the free-agent rights of the players and depress their market value. Today, I have called upon the commissioner's office to investigate immediately and thoroughly the sources of these statements and to take appropriate action to enforce our agreement."
Both players turned down $14.1 million qualifying offers from their former clubs in November. If a club signs Drew or Morales before the amateur draft in June, it would forfeit a high draft pick.
"Over the years, I have learned that it is a waste of time to pay attention to anonymous quotes which may or may not be genuine," Rob Manfred, MLB's chief operating officer, said in a statement. "Given that the regular season is well under way, it is hard to imagine that anonymous comments would have any effect whatsoever on the market for any individual player. There are many other factors that better explain the current situation faced by a very small number of free agents."