Does An MLB Team Have A Moral Obligation To Not DFA Players Right Now?

Before yesterday’s game, the Mets designated Tyler Bashlor for assignment to add David Peterson to the 30 man roster. With the Mets needing a starter and Peterson not on the 30 or 40 yet, the Mets needed to make this move to add him. Looking at the Mets roster, you can certainly make the case Bashlor was the player who should have been designated for assignment.

However, with all that is happening right now, it is fair to ask whether the Mets did the right thing by designating Bashlor for assignment.

Baseball is a business, and there are always tough decisions to make. The Mets made one of them, and on paper, it made sense. However, when you look at what is happening with the Miami Marlins, you do wonder if morally it was the right move to put Bashlor in a precarious situation.

The Miami Marlins have seen over half their roster test positive for COVID19. This has put the Marlins in a precarious spot as they don’t know when their players will be able to return to play. As such, they are in the position where they basically have to go out and claim nearly every player who is put on waivers. With one of the things the Marlins desperately need is pitching, Bashlor may soon have to make a decision.

If the Marlins claim Bashlor, he is going to have to decide between going to a Marlins team we all know is infected with COVID19 or opting out of the season. If he opts out for the season, there is a possibility his MLB career is over, which is something players like Brock Holt have spoken about when begrudgingly deciding to play.

That is an awful situation for a player. On the one hand, he may have to pick playing for a team and exposing himself to a virus which has created long term health issues for other player. On the other, his career, the thing he has worked for his entire life, could be gone. It’s why we see players like Chase d’Arnaud sending out tweets saying he is available to play.

In the end, Bashlor may have a decision to make. Maybe for him it is an easy one to make. Maybe, it isn’t. Where his mind is doesn’t necessarily change the fact having to choose between health and a career is a very difficult decision, and you don’t want to have to see people grapple with a decision like that.

You have to assume general managers across baseball are aware of this. When Bashlor was released, Brodie Van Wagenen had to know he was potentially sending him to the largest COVID19 hotbed in not just Major League Baseball, but also the country. You’d like to think Van Wagnenen at least struggled with the decision.

In the end, designating a player like Bashlor for assignment was the right thing to do in terms of baseball. In terms of what is ethical and moral, it is a real gray area which honestly probably does not have a definitive right or wrong answer.

After all, by designating Bashlor for assignment, he is being given the opportunity to go somewhere else to have a chance to play and succeed. That aspect cannot be ignored. For that matter, the pandemic cannot be ignored either, and as we are seeing with the Marlins, this pandemic doesn’t care if this is your chance to prove yourself. It just infects you.

That leaves the rest of baseball wondering if it is worth being on the same field as you. The Washington Nationals voted to not play the Marlins. Soon, Bashlor may have to decide if he wants to pitch for the Marlins or go home, possibly forever.

That’s the situation the Mets have put him in by designating him for assignment. That’s why it is at least fair to ask whether the team should’ve considered the ramifications of their decision and whether they should have kept him for those very reasons.

25 Replies to “Does An MLB Team Have A Moral Obligation To Not DFA Players Right Now?”

  1. Rich Hausig says:

    No, his contract is guaranteed and he still has a job even if no one claims him. He just isn’t with the big club.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’m talking about the decision he will have to make if the Marlins claim him.

      1. Rich Hausig says:

        It’s not a moral decision for him is a financial decision

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Bashlor has a financial decision. The Mets have a moral one.

          1. Rich Hausig says:

            How? Because he might be picked up by the Marlins? What if another club got him? What if he goes there and becomes great because he got the chance? I understand having a conscience and I respect you for having a kind conscience very much. But you could get sick anywhere, he could fall in front of a bus on the way to the airport. Its his job, he gets paid way more than he could in any other job but if it he wants to get another job he can. Youre not sentencing to a leper camp or to the gas chamber.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Chances are he’s going to be picked up by the Marlins due to need. When you DFA Bashlor, you know that’s an inherent risk.

            And your comparisons are off the mark. Yes, you can get sick or have an accident anywhere, but this is knowingly sending someone into a hazardous situation.

          3. Rich Hausig says:

            Heres the other thing about that. He is being paid to do nothing. Not his problem, he has a contract and thats how it works. But he has to at least do nothing SOMEWHERE. Or he can go home he doesnt have to play.

            I think no show jobs are prosecuted under the RICO statutes, no one wants that. ;.) (thats a joke)

          4. metsdaddy says:

            If he doesn’t play, he doesn’t get paid. If he doesn’t play, his career could be over.

  2. Rich Hausig says:

    One other thing. You can die any day in any job or in no job. The chances of dying from this virus are lower than from driving your car to the stadium for people in their age bracket. They have the best medical care and frankly a company or a team or any organization has an obligation and the right to try to stay in business as long as they follow the laws.

    I like and respect the people who run this site but you guys sound like molly coddles and snowflakes on this topic. No one wants anyone to suffer, ever. But the risk here is to our senior citizens and they are the ones we should be worried about. Big strong people have to stand up and be big strong people. When did that end in our society? They don’t have to play if they dont want to. They are compensated as well as anyone for what they do. If you like shellfish somebody probably died today to put it on your table. No one is worried about him.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez had myocarditis stemming from his COVID19 infection. Players have high risk family members at home.

      Just because you are very likely not going to directly die from this doesn’t mean you aren’t going to have significant health problems or that you’re not going to infect someone who could die.

      1. Rich Hausig says:

        I see and hope hes OK, but hes a secondary condition and thats not the people I am talking about. (including Brashor who I dont think has a secondary)

        Bro, its not cancer, its not malaria or yellow fever or a million worse things. Guys get sick all the time you just dont remember because you were living your life at the time.

        Thats the issue here, everything is magnified because we have too much time on our hands and we are over analyzing everything. Add in that the info we are getting is crap but you have to use your best judgement to try to understand whats happening around you. I know Im pase´ but hiding and running is never the solution to anything. At some point you have to fight back in order to preserve your way of life. I have no issue with anyone who opted out. But I am thankful to those who didnt because we have get back to living our lives and they, second only to our first responders and docs and nurses, are leading the way.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          What you’re saying is irresponsible

          1. Rich Hausig says:

            why? how? What I am saying IS taking responsibility the responsibility of continuing our way of life.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            You’re equating knowingly putting someone at risk of contracting a virus with no cure or vaccine with the randomness of life.

            Yes, I can get hit by a car at any time. However, this isn’t that. This is telling someone to get on the road when you know there is a bunch of drunk drivers.

  3. Rich Hausig says:

    I think you know I live in Colombia, been here for 11 years. Its mountain jungle and the bacteria and viruses are really rough on foreigners, we get stuff you cant believe. Ive had every sickness you can get because I travel a lot and mostly for work. I know the consequences but I do it because I love it and I think thats why these guys do it, plus the money is better than what I get 😉

    And about the health thing… outside of the great Sandy Koufax how many of these guys retire to protect their health? The NFLers are learning that lesson, sadly, but all pro athletes take risks. Just ask Ray Chapmans family. I bet if you ask Bashor if he would rather sit and watch or play, hed play. We havent even brought up PEDs which really will kill you.

    The jump back to the moral responsibility of the team is too far to go.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Anyone who knowingly sends someone into a hazardous situation should be wrestling with the decision.

      1. Rich Hausig says:

        “You’re equating knowingly putting someone at risk of contracting a virus with no cure or vaccine with the randomness of life.

        Yes, I can get hit by a car at any time. However, this isn’t that. This is telling someone to get on the road when you know there is a bunch of drunk drivers.”

        Technically it is random, he can get the virus anywhere.
        Probably safer there where they have taken “extraordinary” measures to insulate the healthy guys.

        And I have to call BS on the road full of drunk drivers analogy. Im pretty sure Ive never heard of anyone ordering another person on to a road full of drunks, but you probably just gave Fox an idea for a new (not) reality show.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          It’s the equivalent because you Lee knowingly sending someone into a hazardous situation. Just driving a car is not inherently dangerous

  4. Rich Hausig says:

    Actually hes probably going to a better situation. Now they really know who, what and where, and they arent sending him to be with the sick players. They are sending him to somewhere they have secured. Can he say that when he goes home tonight?

    But we have triangulated this to the point where if you think the team has a moral imperative to protect him from a place he might go to then rosters are set and Im not going to change your mind. But remember, we cant make trades either, you dont know the if the virus could be in that city next week.

    At some point we have to come out of the bomb shelter. Anyone who wants to stay inside can but the world doesnt stop turning. That may not be responsable to you but I respectfully disagree.

  5. Rich Hausig says:

    Ill stop after this. We send people to die everyday in the military, police, fire, emergency services and a lot of other jobs. We can do that because the people who do it believe its important. And we appreciate the hell out of them. But we also do it because we have a way of life we want to continue. The people are the WAY we triumph over our adversities and protecting our way of life is our REASON we ask them to do it. No one has to go if they dont want to, but its not a president deciding to go to war or a fireman running into a burning building. These guys have made their choice and are deservedly, well compensated for what they do.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      When you sign up for military, police, etc, you know you’re assuming these risks. Baseball players don’t.

      1. Rich Hausig says:

        I think thats wrong and that there is indemnity language in the standard contract. You certainly can die on the field Ive already noted Roy Chapman. Players have collapsed while playing all the major sports and the risk is something the player agrees to. Whatever additional agreement they made this year would also cover that.

        Ill say this again, he doesnt have to play. You are correct that he doesnt get paid if he doesnt play and maybe he loses his job. If you were defending a coal minor or day laborer I might be able to understand because if he or she doesnt go back he or she doesnt get paid either. They do that so they can eat, virus or no. Bashlor is no different. You know that even in the perfect Utopia communist system people actually do work, right? There is no where I know that people dont work. Thats how we build houses and produce food, its obligatory to our survival. Lastly you are not sending him to the death chamber. The infected players are not there! And he is no more likely to get the virus there than anywhere else.

        I told you before I respected your kind conscience and I do. But this is way over the top. If BVW deserves to have something weighing on his conscience its the trade for Diaz, cause that actually IS killing us.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Don’t equate playing baseball with being a doctor.

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