In light of Yovani Gallardo's new contract with the Baltimore Orioles, MLB Players Association chief Tony Clark believes medical information should be more confidential.
When meeting with reporters Saturday at Ed Smith Stadium—the spring training home of the Orioles—Clark was critical of medical records leaking to the public, per Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun:
Medical information shouldn't be public. There's a reason why individuals’ medical information is protected. The idea that those who shouldn't have access to it have access to it and feel compelled to offer it is a concern. … From my vantage point, it is irresponsible and something that we think affects the entire industry and not just the player involved. That's why I think it mutually makes sense to sit down and figure out perhaps there's a better way to do it.
After spending last year with the Texas Rangers, Gallardo agreed to a three-year, $35 million deal with the Orioles on Feb. 21, per Eddie Matz of ESPN.com. However, Baltimore put the deal on hold two days later after concerns came up in Gallardo's physical, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Passan noted the Orioles have a notorious past when it comes to player physicals.
The following day, the two sides came to an agreement on a two-year deal worth $22 million with a $13 million team option in Year 3, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Clark said the union could discuss the protocol for releasing medical information and that it's important to ensure privacy between the team and player:
We were connected to Gallardo and his representation throughout. Appreciating what happened, what may have happened and whether there are considerations beyond that to take into account, but that happens with every player, in particular every free-agent player who is going to be subject to a physical and who is going to have his medical information available to clubs who are interested in signing him.
While Clark brought up an important point about privacy, the availability of medical records is important for other teams as well. Knowing the status of a free agent through another team's report could increase the chances of a team staying away or making a better offer.
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