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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Rosenthal: The pressure is mounting — MLB cannot afford to lose games this season

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The question is, what will constitute a win for the union? The owners say they are unwilling to grant earlier free agency or increase revenue sharing among clubs. But say the union achieved the following gains:

• Higher minimums and thresholds.

• Adjustments in the draft to include a lottery of more than three teams and extra picks for teams that reach certain levels of performance.

• An increase in the percentage of players with two-plus years of service who are eligible for arbitration.

• And finally, though it seems to be generating little discussion lately, a minimum payroll threshold with penalties for teams that fall below the limit, similar to the way the luxury-tax threshold works at the top.

Maybe the league would not go for all that in exchange for expanded playoffs and other items it might want. But such changes would satisfy the owners’ most fervent desire, to leave the game’s economic structure intact.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 12:28 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: labor issues

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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 19, 2022 at 02:06 PM (#6061583)
How does a draft lottery help players? The MLB draft is already a lottery as in the odds are terrible.

Higher minimum salary (above $800,000) and a higher luxury tax threshold (at least 10% increase). Automatic free agency the offseason after a player reaches age 30 if a player hasn't already reached 6 years of major league service.
   2. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 19, 2022 at 02:10 PM (#6061584)
How does a draft lottery help players? The MLB draft is already a lottery as in the odds are terrible.


I think the thought process is that with a draft lottery there is less reason to tank. You play to make the playoffs and if you come up short you still have a shot at a high pick.
   3. Karl from NY Posted: January 19, 2022 at 02:48 PM (#6061591)
Right, the idea is that bottom-feeder teams might be more inclined to sign some veteran journeymen, if a few extra otherwise-meaningless wins won't lead to a worse draft position.
   4. John Northey Posted: January 19, 2022 at 03:00 PM (#6061593)
A draft lottery does little to nothing to address tanking - just like forcing people to take off shoes does nothing to stop terrorism, it is pure theater. Want to stop tanking? Reverse the draft - best team to not make the playoffs gets the 1st overall pick, 2nd best 2nd pick and so on so the team that does the worst gets the pick just before the playoff teams get to pick. Even if done just for the first round it would have a visible effect on teams. With the current playoff system the Jays with 91 wins would've gotten it. Add 2 teams then the Mariners at 90 wins gets #1. Add 4 teams and the A's with 86 wins gets it. Add 6 teams and Cleveland with 80 wins gets it. Meanwhile the Orioles don't get rewarded for sucking, nor do the Diamondbacks. Given the Rays have a tiny payroll and have competed since 2008 without ever tanking (worst season was 2016 with a 68-94 record, 2nd worst a 77-85 in 2014) I don't see it as a problem.

For owners as a payback the players could agree to an international draft for age 17+ or something like that (gives owners an extra year to evaluate kids before committing to them, and would reduce the risk of wasting millions).

I could see a tighter luxury tax, and in exchange have restricted free agency from years 3-5 for players (lose 4 picks to the team losing the player who has 3 years experience, 3 picks if year 4, 2 picks if year 5 plus a financial penalty of 10% of the salary paid or something with teams being able to match the contract maybe). Players always want earlier free agency especially for stars and this would open that up to a small degree. Maybe not. Just an idea to toss out there.

Odds are high though that there won't be any real changes beyond fiddling with the edges - where the luxury tax starts and at what rate, could add a 'reverse luxury tax' where teams spending under a certain amount are hit with penalties as well - do it for too long (ala the Rays, A's, etc.) and you get bigger penalties. Teams underspending have the funds go to players, teams overspending have the funds go to other owners. 2nd year you lose a 3rd round pick, 3rd year a 2nd round, 4th year 1st round pick, 5th year 1st 2 picks, etc. By now the Rays would be left with no picks I suspect :)

Players could easily give up on the draft - let the owners shrink it, reduce the amounts paid out, etc. Not nice to do to the kids, but until they reach the majors the MLBPA doesn't care much.
   5. donlock Posted: January 19, 2022 at 03:19 PM (#6061600)
If you want the bad teams to compete, you need to have a way for them to get better players. Changing how teams rank in the draft will just make the differences wider.
   6. kcgard2 Posted: January 19, 2022 at 04:30 PM (#6061608)
Bad teams could...umm...sign good players in order to get better. Novel idea.
   7. Darren Posted: January 19, 2022 at 04:43 PM (#6061610)
I think Walt posted a while back that something like half or more MLB players are making the minimum. An increase to something like $800K, $900K, $1M for the first 3 years would make a big difference to the vast majority of the players. Increasing the 40-man minimum would be great for another couple of hundred players. How many of these guys really care about free agency at age 30 since so few will make it? Could appealing to this players be enough to make the union roll over?
   8. Adam Starblind Posted: January 19, 2022 at 04:48 PM (#6061612)
. forcing people to take off shoes does nothing to stop terrorism


I must be getting old. Do people not remember that this was a response to an Al Qaeda guy trying to blow up a plane with explosives hidden in his shoes?
   9. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 04:52 PM (#6061614)
Bad teams could...umm...sign good players in order to get better. Novel idea.


The general feeling around here is that playing in the free-agent market generally does not produce positive value, and far more frequently results in albatross contracts that the signing teams end up regretting. I've never seen anyone trumpet free-agent signings as the centerpiece of a plan back to playoff contention. They are much more commonly treated as foolish moves, unless you already have a good, young core.
   10. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 19, 2022 at 05:29 PM (#6061623)
The general feeling around here is that playing in the free-agent market generally does not produce positive value


Yet nearly every year we see the Rays and A's get incredible value out of what are seemingly middling FA's. The Red Sox signed Renfroe and Hernandez last year, on the cheap, and got over 7 WAR combined from them. Toronto gave Semien a cool $18mil last year and got over 7 WAR for their investment.
It can be done, the smart teams will find value or find a fix for a player who's been flailing a bit. The Cardinals seem to be able to squeeze value out of pitchers who look cooked or were never any good in the first place. SF last year won 107 games with a team of FA's that didn't look like they'd produce anywhere near what they did, yet it happened.

This may sound really obvious, but smart teams do smart things. Hire some whiz bang execs who have a history of this sort of thing, give them 3-5 years and see how you go. Or just poach the latest Ray's prodigy and you're all set!
   11. Ron J Posted: January 19, 2022 at 07:20 PM (#6061635)
#8 Google "flight 434". Same reason there was a ban on liquids since the bomber had bomb components in his shoe and the explosive was in a bottle of contact lense fluid.

There was another aspiring shoe bomber. His didn't quite work.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: January 19, 2022 at 07:46 PM (#6061637)
If you want the bad teams to compete, you need to have a way for them to get better players. Changing how teams rank in the draft will just make the differences wider.
I am very skeptical of this conclusion.
   13. Bad Fish Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:10 PM (#6061645)
The Union is folding. Mid-level free agents are getting screwed - they show up to free agency past their prime and for many teams it's cheaper to gamble on their farm systems. Their needs to be financial penalties for teams that both don't win and spend money to some floor level. I don't buy, for a second, that any MLB team can't afford to compete, it's a billionaires game.
   14. donlock Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:42 PM (#6061649)
The poorer teams have usually had the top picks in the draft. Yet, they are still weak, year after year. The payoff comes 4 or 5 years later, if a team guessed right.

Tampa does well on a low budget . A few others compete well. The Orioles had good players a few years ago(Machado, Schoop, Zach Britten) But they played out their contracts and hit free agency. The team developed talent but could not resign them and they left.

Not sure how a poor team gets better. More recently, the Rockies signed Arenado, couldn’t pay him and gave him up. Nationals lost Rendon and Bryce Harper. Could pay either enough to keep them from free agency.

It’s not a simple problem with easy answers.
   15. Adam Starblind Posted: January 19, 2022 at 10:42 PM (#6061653)
The Orioles, Rockies, and Nationals are poor teams?
   16. DL from MN Posted: January 19, 2022 at 10:49 PM (#6061655)
Didn't the Nationals just win the World Series a couple years ago?
   17. Walt Davis Posted: January 19, 2022 at 11:08 PM (#6061657)
The Orioles might well be. When they had the market to themselves, they were surely doing well. For all those years they were getting away with ripping off the Nats in the MASN deal, they were probably doing at least OK. But barring a successful appeal, they now owe the Nats $300 M. And they sure look like the #2 team in that market these days. At this point, they may be closer to the St Louis Browns than they have been in a long time.

But agree on the broader point -- the Nats didn't "lose" Rendon and Harper, they chose not to pay both of them. They chose to pay big for Strasburg and they continued to pay Scherzer for a while. I'm not worried about the Nats' finances. As to the Rox ... well the fans seem to keep turning out in good numbers for not much good reason so they'll be fine as long as that continues.

Again, the common and shared revenue payouts come to over $200 M a year these days -- a sum greater than the lux tax threshold. Given the other expenses of running a team aren't very high, that still leaves every team with half their local revenue to cover it which shouldn't be a big problem. Even the Rays should be able to handle a $150 M payroll.

I tend to agree that the way to address tanking is to take the profit out of it ... or at least reduce it. If you want to make the financial penatly even bigger for cheap teams that suck, I won't object. The draft pick reward for sucking is more of a nice-to-have -- the main motivation is the guaranteed profit of running a low payroll.

#6, 9, 10 -- The issue is that picking up, say, 7-10 wins in the FA market will not turn the O's into a good team regardless of whether they get them cheaply or albatrossly. The O's could pick up say 2 wins from pythag, 10 wins from young players getting better, 5 wins from Rutschmann and 10 wins on the FA market and still need luck to reach 500. The goal of a successful anti-tanking policy (easier said than done) is to keep teams from getting this bad to begin with.
   18. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2022 at 10:54 AM (#6061694)
Baltimore is doing fine. They sell tons of tickets and have a TV station. Their issue is they owe the Nats money now and their owner is really really old.
   19. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2022 at 10:56 AM (#6061695)
That somebody tried sneaking in a bomb via a shoe doesn't mean forcing some people (that is indeed correct, not all people have to take their shoes off) to take their shoes off make it safer. It's security theater. Lots of contraband gets through airport security and for a fee you can remove some levels of security.
   20. Ron J Posted: January 20, 2022 at 01:16 PM (#6061718)
#19 There was a period of thime when the banning liquids and shoes made sense. It was brief though. They figured out how those guys beat the existing systems and meaningfully closed the vulnerabilities.

And kept those measures (partially) in place, because -- as you said -- security theater.

   21. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6061723)
But they didn't close those vulnerabilities because, again, security theater.
   22. GregD Posted: January 20, 2022 at 01:57 PM (#6061733)
I would imagine some of this turns on whom the union represents.

A bunch of players would benefit A LOT by increased and increasing minimums

A smaller number of guys would benefit A LOT by changes in free agency rules

The mid-level guys might (?) benefit by overall raising of pressure to spend, since presumably that money would go to the players who have value but aren't hugely in demand in free agent market now, since there are only so many highly in demand guys and every team can't sign enough of them to meet a threshold.

I don't have a handle on who runs the MLB Players Union (not in terms of face of or exec leadership but who calls the shots.) The NBA Players Union, it's clear as day (to a fault.) But MLB, does anyone have a good sense?
   23. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 20, 2022 at 02:30 PM (#6061749)
The Orioles had good players a few years ago(Machado, Schoop, Zach Britten) But they played out their contracts and hit free agency. The team developed talent but could not chose not to resign them and they left.
   24. . Posted: January 20, 2022 at 02:39 PM (#6061753)
I don't have a handle on who runs the MLB Players Union (not in terms of face of or exec leadership but who calls the shots.)


Scott Boras and the other agents who represent similar clients. Especially in these negotiations. Nothing's happening without their sign-off.
   25. DFA Posted: January 20, 2022 at 08:40 PM (#6061798)
It’s not a simple problem with easy answers.


I would tend to agree with this. As a fan of the Orioles, I could argue that they are in fact trying to win - just not in 2022. And as a fan of this organization, I can tell you the the Orioles did exactly what some have suggested - signing whichever free agents would sign with them. It was all fruitless of course because they were unable to identify, draft, or develop talented players. Add in a meddling owner, and you have a recipe for season after season of failure. The Orioles of the 2000s handed out one ill begotten contract after another, some quite expensive (Miguel Tejada) and others just above the going rate (Danys Baez, Jamie Walker, Ramon Hernandez, Kevin Millar, Chad Bradford, Omar Daal, Aubrey Huff just to name a few). Does the Players Association want the non playoff teams to have higher payrolls - or try and get better? The Orioles just signed Jordan Lyles, maybe that will make Max Scherzer happy? It doesn't do much for me...
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: January 20, 2022 at 09:14 PM (#6061799)
Reverse the draft - best team to not make the playoffs gets the 1st overall pick, 2nd best 2nd pick and so on so the team that does the worst gets the pick just before the playoff teams get to pick.

mine is not the only Rotisserie League that does exactly this.

the 5th-place team gets about $50 back - paying off a little more or less than half their season's bill.
the 6th-place team picks first in the farm draft (for us, sometimes not even a top 20 NL prospect on combined MLB top 100 lists, as the choicest apples already have been picked off the tree), while the 5th-place team picks 7th.

nobody has tanked to get the first pick this way, but opinion is divided on preferring to cash the 50 bucks or getting the top pick.

re MLB, winning the wild-card game has to make reaching the postseason worth it. losing it, though - I suppose IRL a team still prefers the shot at a title.

   27. donlock Posted: January 20, 2022 at 10:31 PM (#6061806)
Briefly, the Nats came to the market and got the wealthy northern Virginia part and then the area north of DC and south of Baltimore. Os attendance tanked and will always suffer in this market. Now people say that the effect of the Nats is over and the teams should share broadcast revenue equally. Really.

Os don’t have great attendance or media markets. They paid too much for Chris Davis, to appease the fans and that was a bad call. They don’t have the revenue to make mistakes. NY, Boston and Toronto are bigger markets without much competition. Tampa succeeds in a Way the other 29 teams, not just Baltimore can’t match. The Giants won their division so it must be easy to win.

So the answer is you just sign your own talent and don’t let them get away. Just tell the players to ignore the agents. Cubs should have followed that advice and so should Washington. Somebody better tell the Braves to sign Freeman. Examples abound of players who just want to test the free agent market.
   28. The Duke Posted: January 20, 2022 at 10:49 PM (#6061808)
The players should be getting a much bigger piece of the ever-expanding pie. It’s not a just a few bucks either so I suspect this will be a protracted negotiation. To me the only way to do that is put in place high minimum payrolls and drastically raise the maximum payrolls. I personally think the Mins and maxes should be in a pretty narrow range: something like 175 minimum and 275 before penalties kick in. But the reality is that those amounts should be driven by the players trying to achieve X% of revenue. I don’t know what revenue is and I’m not sure what X should be (45-55%, I guess ).

I think the players have an inequity issue in their union but they seem fine with it so they should focus like a laser beam on moving more total $$ into the players bucket.
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 20, 2022 at 11:23 PM (#6061809)
Briefly, the Nats came to the market and got the wealthy northern Virginia part and then the area north of DC and south of Baltimore.
It’s true that most Northern Virginia fans embraced the Nationals fairly quickly, although those among the many transients in the DC Metro Area may have maintained an earlier primary allegiance in some form. However, the Maryland suburbs were always more Oriole-friendly, and remain somewhat so today. Outside the counties bordering DC, it’s easier for most Marylanders to get to Camden Yards than Nationals Park. The Orioles problem is that Angelos has alienated large parts of his fan base.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2022 at 07:15 AM (#6061816)
So the answer is you just sign your own talent and don’t let them get away. Just tell the players to ignore the agents. Cubs should have followed that advice and so should Washington. Somebody better tell the Braves to sign Freeman. Examples abound of players who just want to test the free agent market.

No the Cubs could have signed Bryant anytime they wanted to. All they had to do was make an offer that he and Boras would recognize as being as good or better than what they could get on the open market. The Cubs decided Bryant wasn't worth more than whatever they offered (there were never any detailed rumors). The Cubs also quite clearly have paid more for Corey Seager if they'd wanted to (I'm glad they didn't); they could have easily afforded Baez. The reason Starling Marte isn't in a Cub uniform is because they decided not to beat the offer. Rendon and Strasburg both signed for 7/$245 in the same offseason.

No player has "testing the free agent market" as a career goal. Players and agents assess how much they can get on the FA market if they wait (relative to the risk of waiting) and if their current team isn't willing to make an offer in that neighborhood then they "test the free agent market."
   31. chisoxcollector Posted: January 21, 2022 at 07:42 AM (#6061818)
On it’s surface, this idea feels kind of silly. But the more I think about it the more I like it, while fully understanding it would never happen. But what if the draft picks alternated between the best team not to make the playoffs, and the worst team?

1st pick - Best team
2nd pick - Worst team
3rd pick - 2nd best team
4th pick - 2nd worst team

And so on. There would be less obvious incentive to tank, but the worst teams would still have an avenue to acquiring good prospects.
   32. TomH Posted: January 21, 2022 at 08:25 AM (#6061820)
Compromise:
- round 1 is determined by best team to not-make-playoffs down to worst, then all other teams by regular season record also best to worst, rewarding all regular season wins
- all other rounds are worst-to-best, just like today, with WS winner going last

   33. Rally Posted: January 21, 2022 at 09:03 AM (#6061822)
The Orioles had good players a few years ago(Machado, Schoop, Zach Britten) But they played out their contracts and hit free agency. The team developed talent but could not chose not to resign them and they left


They didn’t hit free agency as Orioles. All were traded, so was Kevin Gausmann. Orioles didn’t get much in return for any of them. That’s the problem. If they knew what they were doing they might have scored a Glasnow/Meadows type of return of one of that group.

Best player in the trade returns for that group was Jonathan Villar, from the Schoop trade. He gave the Orioles a 4 win season, 24 homers and 40 steals while playing middle infield, but they non-tendered him anyway.

And of course they compounded the problem by thinking the one player worth extending from their good 2012-16 core was Chris Davis.
   34. Adam Starblind Posted: January 21, 2022 at 09:19 AM (#6061826)
many transients in the DC Metro Area may have maintained an earlier primary allegiance in some form.


During the first couple of years (probably about coextensive with the RFK Stadium years), almost any game you went to would have at least as many fans of the visiting team (probably not true of the Rays the like, but I never saw them). When it was Red Sox or Mets, etc., the Nats fans were outnumbered. I chalk that up to what I regarded then as dubious fandom -- were you an Expos fan last year? Sure, show up and root for the home team, but at that point you wouldn't have the spiritual bond some of us have with our teams motivating you to turn out multiple times a season. It's different now that kids have grown up with the Nats and they had a run of success and compelling players that won over many true fans.

However, the Maryland suburbs were always more Oriole-friendly, and remain somewhat so today.


I don't find this to be true at all. I am in a MD suburb, and I can't think of an Orioles fan I know.
   35. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 21, 2022 at 11:57 AM (#6061835)
I am in a MD suburb, and I can't think of an Orioles fan I know.
Andy lives.
   36. Stevey Posted: January 21, 2022 at 12:04 PM (#6061837)
More recently, the Rockies signed Arenado, couldn’t pay him


They couldn't pay the other guys they tried to put around him. The reason Arenado got traded was that their was still perceived to be surplus value on his contract. He wasn't the one with the albatross of a deal.
   37. sunday silence (again) Posted: January 21, 2022 at 12:04 PM (#6061838)
Im in the MD suburbs too as a PIT native. When the Orioles were good and there was no NATs team, we were definitely into going to Camden and watching the Orioles. When the Orioles started to fade and the Nats were new both teams were kinda bad and I really lost interest in both.

Now that the Nats have put together a lot of talent in the past five years or so, its only that Nats I pay any attention too. I dont think many of my neighbors pay much attention to the Os either but I dont know. It seems that success as well as adding good talent to the team will get you at least some passing attention. And a new stadium. Always a new stadium
   38. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2022 at 04:21 PM (#6061878)
Also on Arenado ... they had signed him to that extension in 2019, a year before he hit FA. IF they "couldn't afford" that contract, maybe they shouldn't have signed him to it. Obviously there was the little matter of a pandemic that changed the revenue projections for 2020-21 and maybe those worsened more for the Rox than for other teams.

But again, there's effectively no such thing as an individual contract that a team can't afford -- any team. They all are guaranteed (give or take) a minimum revenue of $250 M with most of them well above that. Once you've covered player salaries, the costs of running a baseball team aren't particularly high. There are of course some overpaid players and bad contracts; there are of course limits to the max payroll a team can carry. But any existing individual contract can be comfortably carried by any team.

And for the Rox specifically, their 2021 payroll was just $105 M. That is their lowest payroll (in raw dollars) since 2015. That is roughly half of the common/shared revenue they received in 2021. They were 6th in NL attendance in 2021, 4th in 2019 (2021 attendance figures greatly affected by when different states opened up). Forbes is less impressed putting them 21st in value, about the same as the Pirates, DBacks and Twins (a bit below the O's). Unless you want to believe the post-payroll cost of running an MLB team is on the order of $200 M, the Rox made money hand over fist in 2021.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2022 at 04:33 PM (#6061881)
Ooh boy! I don't know how long they've been doing this but Cots now has a list of each team's historical FA signings. For examaple, here are the Rockies. We've discussed their horrible track record before but here are the top Rox FA signings by total contract value (of at least $25 M total):

Hampton -1.6 WAR for the Rox
Desmond -2.5
Wade Davis -1.2
Neagle 1.3
Cuddyer 4.3
Parra -1.5
Bryan Shaw -0.7
Jake McGee 1.1

They were able to offload parts of some of those contracts but the headline total $ was $407 M for -0.8 WAR. They did well in the mid-90s (Walker, Galarraga, Kyle).
   40. Rally Posted: January 21, 2022 at 06:59 PM (#6061902)
The reason Arenado got traded was that their was still perceived to be surplus value on his contract. He wasn't the one with the albatross of a deal.


There was no surplus value at the time of the trade. The Rockies paid his full 35 million 2021 salary so STL would take him off their hands.
   41. McCoy Posted: January 21, 2022 at 09:03 PM (#6061915)
Os attendance was perfectly fine until 2018 when the team sucked and has stayed sucky since then. Plus of course throw in 2 years if Covid. The area can support both a DC and Baltimore team.
   42. dejarouehg Posted: January 21, 2022 at 10:08 PM (#6061927)
No player has "testing the free agent market" as a career goal.


Well this is remarkably inaccurate. This is indoctrinated into Boras' clients from jump street. Some players openly promote this as a goal.

Once you've covered player salaries, the costs of running a baseball team aren't particularly high.


Chartered transportation with 5 star hotels, leasing costs for some teams, stadium operations, debt payments for many teams, pension payments, non-player personnel costs including salaries to ownership.......
   43. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2022 at 09:02 AM (#6061973)
Yeah, not particularly high.
   44. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2022 at 09:04 AM (#6061978)
Put the cost of travel at 100k per game that's only 8 million in travel costs.

And 100k is probably insanely high on a per game basis. Teams probably spend less than 100k on a series.
   45. DL from MN Posted: January 22, 2022 at 09:47 AM (#6061980)
Chartered transportation with 5 star hotels


You can avoid all those costs if you aren't playing games. I'm sure they will furlough non-player employees as well.
   46. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2022 at 10:07 AM (#6061982)
Also, 5 star hotels is a stretch. I've worked in hotels that have had MLB teams stay there. Some teams will stay in "5 star hotels" sometimes but most teams stay at full service regular hotels.
   47. Ron J Posted: January 22, 2022 at 05:09 PM (#6062020)
#46 That surprises me. I know the NHL CBA specifies 5 star and I'd assumed the same applied in baseball.
   48. chisoxcollector Posted: January 22, 2022 at 05:22 PM (#6062021)
As somebody that spent countless days of my youth at team hotels getting autographs, I can say that most baseball teams were staying at your standard full service Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt properties. Occasionally a star would stay at a five star hotel, but the teams never did. Since the Orioles are a current topic of conversation, I'll say that when the Orioles played in Anaheim, Cal Ripken and Brady Anderson stayed at a Ritz-Carlton, while the rest of the team was in one of the standard hotels I mentioned earlier.
   49. sunday silence (again) Posted: January 22, 2022 at 06:24 PM (#6062026)
Trying to find solutions to the tanking/not paying problem:

How about this: You set a baseline of expected payroll, say its $150M.

For every $5M under your payroll is: you lose ONE HOME GAME.

You can divey up home games among whatever teams. And whatever revenue is generated from them goes to a common fund

   50. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2022 at 10:17 PM (#6062061)
Re 47.

Teams have standards and occasionally a hotel will adjust to meet the demands. Like for instance the team will demand 24 hour room service.

What we think of 5 star is largely meaningless to a team because all they need is a full service hotel. They don't need turn down service or rose petal baths.
   51. dejarouehg Posted: January 22, 2022 at 10:26 PM (#6062063)
The basic agreement requires "first-class" hotel accommodations.

https://www.sportscasting.com/how-do-mlb-teams-travel-and-who-pays-for-hotel-rooms/

As with flights, teams pay for hotels — and they are the best of the best accommodations. Before the season starts, each team must provide the MLB Players Association with a list of all the hotels where the team will stay to ensure the hotels meet the specifications set forth by the union.

For example, all hotels must provide meals — in-room or otherwise — until at least 1 a.m. Every player gets his own room, no roommates, during the season. Some of MLB’s biggest stars may negotiate even better hotel accommodations as part of their contract, with many players now requiring suites on the road as part of deals.

On game day, each team must provide two trips between the hotel and stadium, giving players options concerning arrival times. Teams are required to provide players with a meal, in the clubhouse, that meets specific nutritional requirements. A chef must be provided, too. If the team doesn’t provide a meal, players receive a food allowance of up to $102 for the day.
   52. John Northey Posted: January 22, 2022 at 11:04 PM (#6062067)
Checking online for fun - a large charter jet - sits 19 roughly - costs up up to $80k to go coast to coast. Lets double that for every series. So $160k per 3 games (even though home sets will go more than 3) = $8.6 mil for 162. $2k a night appears to be the most expensive for a 5 star hotel so lets use that for 162 games for 40 people (26 players plus 14 whatevers) = $12.96 million. For luxury tax purposes the league estimates $12 mil roughly per team for other stuff (pensions/benefits/etc) so lets jump that to $20 mil. That puts us at around $40 mil total for other costs not counting stadium (often a large part covered by cities) costs. Of course, most stadium costs are probably less than naming rights give teams and the vast majority of teams if not all get 100% of naming rights money. So worst case teams are blowing on non-player costs $40 million plus whatever their minor league costs are. Most minor leaguers make $15k or less a year, so lets use $20k per player (26 per team for sake of argument), lets assume 5 teams per ML club even though technically they only have 4 (all seem to run a complex team for high schoolers in spring training stadiums) = $1.95 million in salaries. Lets assume the same for rooms (I'm certain it is far less) and again for food (no way it is that high) = $5.8 mil total. Draft is around $6 mil or less, same for IFA, so add another $12 mil. Now up to ML costs: $40 mil, minor league $5.8, new players $12 mil = $57.8 million. Front office costs? A great GM will cost a few mil a year, Cashman was making $3 mil a year to run the Yankees in 2016 for example. I'd be shocked if the rest of the front office added up to that much as well. So lets say $6 mil for the front office. Net costs up to $64 million (just rounding high) at most.

So worst case is $64 million for non-player salaries for a club, not counting any going to the ownership (who I'd assume pockets any profits). The Marlins in 2019 were reported to get $70 million from revenue sharing, $61 million per team for national TV revenue, $13 mil per team for merchandise sales = $74 mil per team plus revenue sharing so the Marlins were looking at $135 mil if they did nothing. So take out the non-player salary costs and you still have well over $60 million which easily covers their sub $60 mil payroll in 2021 before adding in local TV revenue, local ticket sales, and other revenue streams. Yikes!
   53. John Northey Posted: January 22, 2022 at 11:20 PM (#6062072)
If the owners want to break the union a smart way would be to make a big offer on minimum salaries. $2 mil per year or something like that, with no changes otherwise. That would be a big increase for the majority of MLB players (almost all with sub 3 years service) making it so they'd push the union to accept and move on. Very, very few ever get 6 years of service in, let along the mega deals. A $2 mil minimum would increase costs significantly for the cheapskates (Miami, Tampa, etc.) but for teams contending it would be a non-issue (NY teams, LA teams, etc.) and most of them would be very happy to put the screws to the cheap teams. $2 mil per player = $52 million payroll, or more than currently projected for 2022 for Cleveland and Pittsburgh right now.

For the Cardinals for example (#10 in projected payroll) that would be 15 players going from $550k to $2 mil or roughly $22 million extra in costs. So yeah, that'd hit some teams hard but if it allowed other stuff to stay and to get a harder Payroll Tax put in place then owners would be net gainers (odds are it'd be phased in over a few years). Especially if they can tighten the draft/IFA on what they get. Players tend to give in on that area quickly as drafted players aren't union members yet. A bit myopic imo but understandable. For owners it would need to be a 'take it within a week or we remove it and it only comes as part of a package'. I could see real chaos from the player side as older stars would complain but younger kids would be drooling as would vets who never get multi-year deals (relievers, utility players, etc.)
   54. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2022 at 07:32 AM (#6062082)
First class doesn't mean Four Seasons and only the Four Seasons. First class basically means full service in the hotel business which is Hilton, Marriott, Westin, Hyatt and such. Not the Hampton Inns or Motel 8. Yes teams will stay at the Ritz but they also stay at the normal hotels a lot.

As for price they are not paying 2k a night for a room. Baseball teams have room contracts and most room nights will cost between 150 to 400 a night depending on city and type of room.

They also don't need to provide hotel rooms for all 162 games

I've also cooked for clubhouse's. It's not fancy and extravagant. Nor does it cost a ton.


I would also guess that since baseball teams are guaranteed multi day/year customers for chartered flights that their costs per flight are lower than single use customers.

The 80k seems high. Delta and United fly most of the teams and most flights are around 2 hours long. Most flights probably cost less than 50k and quite possibly below 40k with a contract.
   55. dejarouehg Posted: January 23, 2022 at 10:11 AM (#6062091)
Naming rights are surprisingly -at least to me - small ($2-$3 Million/yr), with the average bumped up by the few high end recipients, i.e., Oracle.

Many teams also have debt service to address. The Marlins debt (good job Bruce & Derek,) is extraordinary.

Not crying for the owners. Their RSN deals usually provide a silly amount of money.

This is one of the few labor negotiations where I am leaning a little to the side of the players (although until they relieve Tony Clark of his duties, they deserve whatever they get), especially on the free agency age issue. Would love to see all players given access to free agency (unless they are in a contract) by 28.
   56. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2022 at 11:41 AM (#6062098)
Debt payments for things like stadiums are good for teams because they count against revenue sharing.
   57. Jack Sommers Posted: January 23, 2022 at 12:11 PM (#6062100)
The relationship between the players and owners continues to play out like a bad marriage, with the respective leaders of both parties talking over one another instead of to each other, barely seeming to speak the same language. The difference in this equation is that the marriage cannot end in divorce. The two sides need to reach a truce, no matter how uneasy.


What if it did ? What if there were a divorce ?

What if the players banded together, found other business entities and backers, and started their own league ? I know crazy idea......and there are a million reasons why it couldn't work.

But what are some of the arguments for why it could ? Or should ?
   58. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2022 at 12:30 PM (#6062101)
Nobody gives a fig about baseball anymore?
   59. Lassus Posted: January 24, 2022 at 09:32 AM (#6062205)
USFL
   60. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 24, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6062258)
But what are some of the arguments for why it could ? Or should ?


I like the way you phrase this. How could/should it work? Let's see this is just me spitballing;

- In this era of fantasy sports (especially daily) there is less need for team appeal. A new league could really focus on the individual players rather than teams or history. The focus would be on star player Mike Trout, not the Los Angeles Cherubs.

- For all the hubbub about rule changes creating an entirely new league would make that a lot easier. Starting with a blank slate allows fixes to issues by just eliminating them. Miked up players, players wearing cameras, mandatory home run derbies. I don't know, you could do all kinds of stuff.

- Part two of that would be speed of game type stuff would be easier to implement. Make the games 7 innings, keep the extra inning rule, snipers on the roof to eliminate guys stepping out (OK, that might not happen).

- The league could be set up in a way to allow for more equitable flow of revenue among the teams, eliminating haves and have nots.

- TV contracts could be structured to be true partnerships rather than the current method of being beholden to TV demands.

I'm not saying any of these are necessarily good or bad, most of them are not my cup of tea, but I think the aspect of the league starting from a true blank slate allows for the ability to create something more desirable.
   61. Jack Sommers Posted: January 24, 2022 at 04:55 PM (#6062292)
Those are some interesting ideas. Thanks for responding in the spirit of the question.

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