NEW YORK -- ESPNNewYork.com's revelation Thursday that players attending the Mike Barwis-led fitness camp at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, are required to pay created no shortage of buzz on social media.
A source subsequently has told ESPNNewYork.com that the players are being charged $4,400 as major leaguers and $1,000 as minor leaguers to attend.
A Players' Association spokesman has indicated that they are looking into the arrangement.
The Mets made several points in defense of the structure, including that Barwis is an independent contractor using Mets facilities, that players are provided three meals daily, and that it would cost money for the players to hire trainers in the offseason anyway. They insisted that the camp really is voluntary.
The full arrangement between Barwis and Mets-related companies isn't entirely clear, though, with one source saying there actually is some sort of a partnership. The Barwis program at the Mets' complex is being peddled to the public as a business venture, with those who enroll from the public able to get training and access to the facilities.
Attendance fee aside for the players, the MLBPA surely demands that offseason camps be voluntary. And the Mets may be pushing the envelope somewhat, in that players such as Ruben Tejada might feel pressured to attend in order to remain in good standing with the organization.