MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

MLBPA executive director Clark pays visit to Nationals

MLBPA executive director Clark pays visit to Nationals

VIERA, Fla. -- Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, and his staff visited Nationals players Wednesday morning at Space Coast Stadium. The topics ranged from pace of play to domestic violence to instant replay. The meeting lasted almost two hours.

"You name it and we went through it," Clark said. "This group [the Nationals] is an outstanding group of veteran guys and young guys that understand about these issues. It makes these meetings easy to have."

After the meeting with the players, Clark talked to the local media about Padres shortstop Trea Turner, who will join the Nationals in June, and right-hander Max Scherzer. Turner is the player to be named later in the trade that sent outfielder Steven Souza to the Rays last offseason. While Clark doesn't deal with players who are not on the 40-man roster, he is aware of Turner's situation. Clark saw Turner recently in Arizona.

"I was fortunate enough to see Trea in camp with the Padres," Clark said. "As you might expect, he is an outstanding player, he is a great kid, so he is focused on the things that he needs to do to help make him better down the road. So I tip my hat to Trea for the perspective that he has taken. Rest assured, it's unfortunate that he or any player would find themselves in that situation."

Clark was a teammate of Scherzer's for two years while both were on the D-backs. Clark said he wasn't surprised to see the Nationals give Scherzer a seven-year, $210 million contract.

In Clark's opinion, the game is healthy.

"We've been fortunate where the industry has continued to grow," he said. "As the industry continues to grow, there are opportunities for guys to have contracts that reflect the ability that they have against the backdrop of the system in place and the money that is in the industry. That's what that is. Max, as you guys know, is an outstanding pitcher."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.