With no trade talk or “pitchers and catchers report” buzz we baseball fans have nothing, these days, but our podcasts.
Every few months Chris Rose has been spending an hour or so with Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow, and it’s always a good listen. Glasnow combines SoCal ease with sneaky smarts; he seems quite comfortable in these interviews and often shares a lot about his life and the game. Hearing from Glasnow is especially interesting now because he happens to be the Rays representative to the MLBPA, and is currently participating in negotiations over the new CBA. Here are some highlights from the interview, which he noted took place in his girlfriend’s Tampa apartment.
Foremost on the minds of many Rays fans is learning about his recovery process after mid-season Tommy John surgery in 2021. He hesitates to give a prediction of his return – TJS recovery, he says, is a day-to-day thing. But, he is expected to start throwing from 45 feet on February 14 – a Valentine’s Day gift for us all.
It would be pointless of me to try to plan for September and August and the playoffs. Of course my goal is to come back as soon as possible, but the second it’s a tailored plan, you … do not meet your expectations
He also talked about the death of the Rays sister city plan, and mentioned that at least in broad outline the idea did come before the MLBPA for discussion. He wondered whether free agents would want to sign with a team that would make them move mid-season. While understanding why, from a business perspective, a team would like to have two media markets, he thought it would be tough on fans as well as players.
Glasnow hopes he will remain a Ray, but understands the Rays can not just refuse to listen to a great trade offer:
I did not get traded before the lockout, so that’s a good sign … teams have different priorities in like signing guys and stuff but I think if somebody were to call the Rays and give them a really awesome deal or something … Erik’s not going to just be like, “No.” I feel like he has to listen to everything, that’s just how being a GM is. But I mean we have a really good relationship, … I would much prefer to stay a Ray. It would be nice just to watch everyone beginning of the season and how good the team is, how young everyone is and then try to weave my way back in and contribute.
Notice he did not say anything about extension talks with the team however.
Also of interest were some of his observations about the lockout. Because of the rules imposed by ownership, players may not contact any team personnel, a practice he noted is not found in any aspect of labor law, but rather was a policy decision made by the owners. He understands that owners want to have a tough negotiating stance, but this decision will hurt players and teams down the road. Right now, rehabbing players like Glasnow have to make their own physical therapy and training arrangements, and figure out throwing programs with no input from his pitching coach or training staff. Glasnow: “It’s so dumb!”
At some point, the health insurance paid by team owners will run out and, if the lockout has not been resolved, the MLBPA will have to use its reserves to pick up health insurance costs.
You can catch the whole episode, which includes discussion of his off-season travel, his girlfriend’s parents, and his love of the razor scooter, here: