I was trying to say that relievers have become more important to the outcome of games, simply by pitching more innings of a game. You could see that starting to happen in minor league games going back several seasons (more non-decisions for starters). The practices in today’s game relating to MLB pitching are relatively recent. IMO, there are many factors behind their usage, including but not limited to, perceived analytical stats, medical reports, expectations, players as generalized commodities and a MLB state-of-mind, so to speak. My feeling is that the player’s union is also a factor because they want salaries to rise… that’s one of the most important reasons that it exists.
Placing more importance on the players that are having more and more effect on outcomes raises their value to the teams. No doubt bullpen salaries have risen. For this to happen there should be less and less value on those with a lessening effect on the game. I’m not saying that this will lower the value$$ that club’s place on starting pitchers. In a normal business strategy it would, but MLB is not a normal business. This is a complicated issue and I welcome any other thoughts… I could be wrong about a lot of this.
The Players Association wants all players’ salaries to rise. However, they have zero impact on team decisions of how much to offer individual players.
In this specific example, the market value for relievers is going up because teams are placing a higher value on them and there is more competition for their services. That has nothing to do with the Union.
By the way, with Sunday’s return of Brebbia, the “going with a seven-man pen” idea lasted just three days.