Brothers Upton could surpass the Waners

Players union director Michael Weiner and MLB's Rob Manfred negotiated the new system a year ago, but Weiner could file a grievance as those talks failed to address the possibility that a team could slide out of the top 10 and lose first-round protection.

The system clearly has worked against Bourn and Lohse.

"It's not an open market for these guys," Red Sox player rep Andrew Miller told the Providence Journal. "Supposedly, as of a couple of weeks ago, Lohse didn't have a real offer on the table, and he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. Somebody has to offer him. It's just that the compensation is so screwed up. … It clearly means more fine-tuning."

Manfred isn't inclined to adjust the agreement after one offseason. But don't be surprised if some players take qualifying offers when they are made next year. All 10 players offered the one-year deals this winter passed on them.

Lining 'em up: MLB just awarded the 2015 All-Star Game to Cincinnati, and it appears it will be a long wait before that event comes back to Chicago. Selig has hinted that he would like the Cubs to have the event once Wrigley Field improvements are completed, which means no sooner than 2018 or '19 under the five-year plan being discussed.

The overload of strong NL candidates could keep the Cubs waiting until 2027 if Selig does not make an exception to the regular rotation of teams from the National and American leagues. He did that to give the event to New York in the last season at Yankee Stadium and has said he could consider it again under special circumstances.

This year's game will be played at the Mets' Citi Field and the 2014 game has been awarded to Target Field in Minneapolis. Baltimore, Toronto and Boston are front-runners for the next three AL slots (2016, '18 and '20). Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park is one of five NL stadiums that has not hosted an All-Star Game, so Washington, San Diego, Philadelphia and Miami seem the most likely pool for games in 2017, '19, '21 and '23.

Dodger Stadium, which hasn't hosted an All-Star Game since 1980, is being improved by Mark Walter's ownership group, which puts it in the mix. That takes the line of NL candidates through 2025, without the Cubs being shoe-horned into the mix. The best guess here is that MLB could look to Wrigley in '20 or '21.

progers@tribune.com

Twitter @ChiTribRogers

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