Because I find the premise baseball players are underpaid ludicrous. A US marine deployed to a combat zone receives "combat pay" at the rate of $225-250 per month. The median pay for a Marine Lance Corporal is $22,800. Annual compensation while in combat = $25,800. Clayton Kershaw get paid roughly $1M per start. That equates to 38.75X the annual salary of a deployed Marine Corporal for one game. That Corporal would need to fight in combat for 1,279 years to receive the same compensation for 1 year of Kershaw’s contract. He would have to fight in combat or 7,093 years to equal Joe Mauers contract or 12,596 years to equal Giancarlo Stanton contract.
How about a Homeland Security Agent Special Agent. They would have to work roughly 3,000 years to equal Stanton’s contract or we could say it takes 300 Homeland Security agents to equal one Giancarlo Stanton. The notion baseball players are underpaid is a product of fanaticism.
Mostly, I just wanted someone to actually address the question I posed directly. Let’s try again and see if anyone is actually willing to answer a question directly. If the government said the MLB monopoly has pushed ticket prices to a point of being prohibitive to many families paying taxes for these stadiums or the revenue just was not there and MLB paid half of the $4.4M average compensation would we lose any talent? Would an average compensation of $2,2M be considered incredibly lucrative for playing a game? Would players be thrilled to play for that amount of money? Could they go to Japan or Korea and make ½ of what they make in MLB? Let’s see if anyone is actually willing to address these questions.
If the premise is pay equates to human contribution, then yes, of course baseball players are overpaid. Then again, under that premise, so are millions of people who work in "normal" industries. I'm sorry, I didn't realize that is the path you were trying to go down. I previously thought you meant from a % of revenue standpoint.
Of course, if we are using that logic, then the owners also don't "deserve" much of the insane money they are earning.
I've also never suggested that the players are underpaid. I've simply tried to give the viewpoint that if the market is there for these massive profits, then I respect BOTH sides trying to maximize their earning potential.
I will try to answer your questions as best as I can.
1) Sure, if the government declares a monopoly, and cuts revenue potential, then it makes sense for both sides to make less money. That argument has not previously been presented in this thread, unless I missed it. My arguments have been on the premise that the owners would still be making as much revenue as the market would allow. If the players portion were to go down, only to further line the pockets of the owners though, that would not be reasonable, IMO.
2) Would they lose any talent? Tougher to answer, but I'd say yes. Maybe not a lot in the short term, as it would obviously be too late for most of them to successfully transition to another sport.
Over the long term, I think the talent level would drain dramatically. I think you'd see elite young athletes focus more on other sports, if salary were cut that drastically in baseball only.
3) As Mike said, it stops being a game once you are paid to do it. This is a career, just like the majority of other non essential industries. So, I can't say if they'd still find it lucrative or not.
Keep in mind, they don't earn that salary for decades, like most workers do. How long is the average career in MLB?
Some potential mlb players might decide that going to college, and persuing a career in Engineering, or Finance, or Law will be safer, and just as lucrative, if salary is lowered enough.
Is 50% enough to persuade many to take another route? I can't say, probably for some, yes.
4) Not sure that Korea or Japan would be the competition. Perhaps in the short term, some lower to mid level talent guys would go over there. Long term, I think it would be other sports, or other career types.