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Thursday, November 12, 2015

DSPN: MLB Has a Big Money Problem

What the union would need is a guaranteed revenue split put into the next CBA, like the one so fought over in the last NBA lockout (it’s currently settled somewhere around 50/50, a big win for the owners from the previous deal). But what works in other sports isn’t an option in the sui generis economy of baseball. The only way to make absolutely sure MLB owners share a certain percentage of revenues with players would be to install a salary floor, and require them to spend a certain amount on payroll. That won’t fly, because owners would never accept a salary floor without a salary cap. That won’t happen, because baseball players enjoy the biggest and longest guaranteed contracts in sports. A salary cap will never be on the table.

...

There are more modest and realistic ways to spread the wealth around, involving some of the artificial limits on payouts for younger and mid-tier players, and you can probably expect the MLBPA to push for them over the next year. A raise in the minimum salary, which has risen 365 percent over the two-decade span that saw MLB revenues increase by nearly 550 percent. Changes to Scott Boras’s pet peeves like qualifying offers and service-time rules that delay players from reaching free agency paydays. A reduction of the luxury tax.

All of which sounds good for the players, but there’s no reason the owners would go along with it. They won’t mess with a good thing, not without major concessions from the players. And the second-biggest bargaining chip the players have—a salary cap—is one they’re apparently not prepared to use. (It was a cap, along with revenue sharing, that spurred the 1994 strike.) The union’s biggest bargaining chip? A labor stoppage. No one expects that to happen, but without the players enacting or conceding to something tectonic, they’ll be stuck waiting another few decades for the TV deals to expire. In the meantime, it’s good to own a baseball team.

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: November 12, 2015 at 08:01 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: boras, cba

 

 

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