What does MLBPA REALLY care about? The little guy? the "average older veteran"? the "pre-arb" or the stars? CBT threshhold is a big topic, but a salary FLOOR has been dropped.
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I like many fans am frustrated with MLB & MLBPA. Both sides are equally to blame. I have shared ideas on how to end the stalemate in previous posts. One of the simplest that touches on multiple aspects (tanking, draft, "pre-arb" player pool) Is simply to have a Draft Tournament. With all teams not making the playoffs playing in a single elimination tournament to decide the top draft pick and subsequent draft order. This hits on tanking and the draft, the additional new TV rights to these games could be used to fund the gap in the "pre-arb" player pool. or fund the WHOLE THING!!! A win for MLBPA for getting the compensation they claim they want for young players, and MLB saves by using "new" money to fund it and not costing them any of the current revenues they are offering to fund the pool with.
But what I really want to share on this discussion, is how truly disingenuous the MLBPA really is. They SAY they are fighting for the younger players to earn more, they SAY this is not about the big stars but the "average guy" and the 30+yr old veteran. If this is true then they would not be fighting over CBT threshold, but fighting for a salary FLOOR, but that discussion was thrown out almost immediately. Lets ask ourselves. who benefits from a higher CBT threshold? Is it the average team? NO. it is the big market teams, with just a handful of of team willing and/or able to exceed the threshold, or even get CLOSE to it. Most teams have not comeclose to the current threshold because they cannot afford it. SO by raising the CBT threshold, will teams automatically spend more? Of course not!!! That is liek an average person saying... "hmmm, I that car dealer would finance that new 2021 vehicle for me at $50K max sales price, but I just cant afford it. BUT WAIT!!! the 2022 version they will finance me for up to $75K!!! OK ILL BUY IT!!!" Obviosuly raising the CBT threshold only impacts a handful of teams.
But since we are focusing on the MLBPA here, ask yourself, "what kind of player is most likely to be impacted by increasing the CBT threshold"? Is it the average payer? is it the pre-arb? NO itis the superstar. MLB teams will go over the cap... ANY CAP, or spend UP TO the cap to sign players like Carlos Correa, Max SCherzer, Corey Seager, Kris Bryant, etc. But would a team go over the cap to sign a player like say, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, heck, even a player like Anthony Rizzo? OF course not. What will happen will be the rich get richer. the superstars instead of signing $30M AAV will get $36M AAV. They will still eat up most of money available, and again leave the average player, especially the 30+yr old veteran to settle for the leftovers. It is either that or teams use the underpaid "pre-arbs".
NOW, if there were a $100M salary FLOOR as opposed to top end CBT, NOW players would paid evenly. The top players mentioned above will still get their mega deals, because rich teams will spend regardless. Now that the lower revenue teams MUST spend, they will be forced to spend more on the average player. The team MUST spend the money anyways, whether they are planning to compete or rebuild. so now a rebuilding team can actually OVERPAY the 30+ yr old veteran. Teams would "overspend" on short 1-2 year deals. a player like Rizzo now could easily receive a $20M deal somewhere for 1 yr (or more) because again the money must be spent, and why not spend it on a contract that will be coming off the books by the next year? Also if a team MUST spend the money anyways, and do not want to pay a veteran to take AB's away from younger players, then they would "overpay" or at least increase the pay to their own young players. Take a team like Baltimore. lets say Adley Rutchsman is on the big league roster (and he should). If the Orioles are currently sitting well under the $100M threshold, would it not behoove them to pay Adley $10-20M or more this year if they have to spend the money anyways?? it helps build loyalty from teh players part, so nwo when he reaches Free Agency he may be more willing to give a "hometown discount" to stay. "Overpaying" pre-arb players becasue the money must be spent anyways woudl also then reduce the need of the "pre-arb pool".
A salary floor helps ALL, an increase in CBT only helps the superstars. the fact that the union is fighting for the wrong one shows their true colors. The proof is in the pudding. over the last 6 years, with INCREASING CBT thresholds, the average MLB salary has DECREASED!! Just like other sports it has been and always will be a star driven league. and I don't even have an issue with that. but at least have the integrity to either say what you are actually fighting for, or actually fight for the things you say you are for.
Interested to hear thoughts