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MLB answers union statement on free agency

MLB.com

Major League Baseball responded to comments made by Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark with a statement on Tuesday regarding what has been an offseason light on free-agent activity.

"Our clubs are committed to putting a winning product on the field for their fans," the statement read. "Owners own teams for one reason: they want to win. In baseball, it has always been true that clubs go through cyclical, multiyear strategies directed at winning.

Major League Baseball responded to comments made by Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark with a statement on Tuesday regarding what has been an offseason light on free-agent activity.

"Our clubs are committed to putting a winning product on the field for their fans," the statement read. "Owners own teams for one reason: they want to win. In baseball, it has always been true that clubs go through cyclical, multiyear strategies directed at winning.

"It is common at this point in the calendar to have large numbers of free agents unsigned. What is uncommon is to have some of the best free agents sitting unsigned even though they have substantial offers, some in nine figures. It is the responsibility of players' agents to value their clients in a constantly changing free agent market based on factors such as positional demand, advanced analytics and the impact of the new Basic Agreement. To lay responsibility on the Clubs for the failure of some agents to accurately assess the market is unfair, unwarranted and inflammatory."

A short time earlier, Clark had released the following statement:

"Pitchers and catchers will report to camps in Florida and Arizona in one week. A record number of talented free agents remain unemployed in an industry where revenues and franchise values are at record highs. Spring Training has always been associated with hope for a new season. This year a significant number of teams are engaged in a race to the bottom. This conduct is a fundamental breach of the trust between a team and its fans and threatens the very integrity of our game."

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcasts and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.