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Which side is more disingenuous?


Doc Munson

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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.  

15 members have voted

  1. 1. What would have a better overall impact on more MLB players? An increase in CBT

    • Increase in the CBT threshold up to MLBPA demands of $238M
      2
    • Establishing a salary floor of $100M
      13

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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.

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If the MLBPA was really concerned about the next generation of players they would be fighting for improved conditions for minor leaguers, even though they are not yet union. That is a fight I could back. 

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Many people have suggestions about what strategies the players or owners should have in the negotiations, but we just need to understand that each side has their own agenda. The players are trying to stop the loss of their  economic position from the past three CBAs. The owners want to keep their hand where it is currently. The CBT, a misnomer because it is really a soft salary cap, doesn't affect many teams but does hold down acquisitions. Joey Gallo was traded last year with cash to keep the Yankees below the limit. The minor leagues are totally controlled by MLB. It's a monopoly that the PA has no say in whatsoever and MLB would not entertain any interference in that. I might agree that players should ask for a reduction in times a team can send players down to the minors, say three times. I might like a simple salary scale of $1M, $2M, and $3M for players in their first three years but MLB and the PA are focused on separate goals. So, both sides have some positions that seem disingenuous to me. Maybe this is resolved tomorrow. They are less than $5 million per team apart and this is easily accounted for in how each team builds out their roster. I understand that the owners initiated a lockout because they would not chance a strike later in the season but now they need to step forward, because they win in any event.

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3 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

...The players are trying to stop the loss of their  economic position from the past three CBAs. The owners want to keep their hand where it is currently...

The past 3 CBA's? You mean where players were steadily and consistently earning 50% of league revenue? The players were not at any disadvantage and the head of the MLBPA, Tony Clark, is in quotes about the economic position (split) being fine as late as 2018. The primary gripe was about service time manipulation until just recently. The inaccurate myth that players were earning far less than the 50% split just never goes away on this site, but now we have to play one-uppy on the misinformation and go back 3 CBA's?

https://www.statista.com/statistics/193478/mlb-franchises-average-operating-income-since-2005/

Owners were the ones watching their profits erode during the 2007-2011 and start of the 2012-2017 CBAs. The cable TV contracts which became so popular dramatically floated profits but it's a bit like drinking poison as baseball alienates a lot of their fan base by requiring expensive cable contracts to access the games long term. Taking in the incredible losses from 2020, owners profits are averaging $20MM a year since 2014, despite large increases in revenues. That means owner profits are down as a percentage for the better part of the last decade.

...anyway, back to the topic, while a salary floor would do far more to help the vast majority of players, MLB's interest in the salary floor has next to nothing to do with free agent compensation. MLB wants the salary floor to placate owners who are being forced to provide funding for teams who are abusing the revenue sharing system. i.e. the Yankees basically pay for the Rays' players. You could see how that would make Steinbrenner a little hot. The other aspect of the salary floor is to increase competition and discourage tanking (something the MLBPA says they care about).

The MLBPA's negotiating team is totally disingenuous... or collossally incompetent. I'm not sure which is worse. Ownership has made proposals or agreed to major concessions which align with everything MLBPA says they want, but there's no agreement. At this point, it's dubious to believe a vote of MLB owners would result in a final vote of acceptance for what's been negotiated.

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Yeah, the fight over the luxury tax, and leaving a competitive balance tax on the cutting room floor, has been really frustrating with the MLBPA. For the most part, the rest of what they are holding a hard line on I agree with, but this one really, really chaps my ass.

Fighting over the luxury tax threshold is not good for the future of the game. It does nothing to improve the fan experience. If anything, raising the ceiling without addressing a floor makes the fan experience worse.

A competitive balance tax, which means a floor and ceiling, is good for the fan experience.

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A floor is needed but it needs to be high and MLB's offer of a floor came with some pretty big strings, IIRC. I think they wanted a CBT way down at $180m with draconian penalties, and a host of other changes including expanded postseason.

The thing about a salary floor is that it needs to be high - I'd argue for $120m - and it needs to come with substantial revenue sharing, which only owners can agree to implement. The players have limited ability to "force" the owners to share their revenue, the owners need to do that of their own accord.

If the owners agreed to increase revenue sharing to the point the Pirates can afford a $120m payroll, they could then ask for a $220m salary cap in trade. And if the players rejected that offer, they'd be absolutely in the wrong for doing so.

But talking about a salary floor without mentioning required revenue sharing - which will be substantial and fought fiercely by 6-8 clubs - we're only talking about symptoms while ignoring the problem itself.

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I have long advocated that a floor and cap would fix issues, as they get based on actual revenue and there is a true sharing.  The info of the revenues get shared with players to set the numbers.  Many of the issues is lack of transparency.  My current union contract talks have that same issue.  Management claims they cannot meet the demands because of lack of money, but will not show the books as to why that is the case.  This leads to mistrust. 

I agree with the fact that if the players cared about all the players they would care more about a floor.  If you expand the tax level all that will happen is the top few players will get a little more money.  The teams that spend no where close to that number will not suddenly start spending more.  Also, most teams could sign a guy to 20 mil or more, or raise what they are paying their players a little more and not pass the level.  The tax level is not what is keeping teams from signing a vet for a few more million a season.

The problem is the players have always said no cap ever, and will never budge on that.  They do not want to limit what they can get paid, but they stupidly agreed to the tax level.  Which is basically a soft cap that most teams will not pass, they do not want to throw away dead money. 

Really what should help all players is that money from the tax and the revenue that is shared with smaller market teams needs to be spent on players, that is the biggest issue. The smaller market teams take the shared money, but then still claim poverty. 

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I think the two major problems are that the owner’s refuse to open the books and the PA aren’t representing ALL players. 

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2 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

I question this sourcing.  Given what the Braves showed in profits (the only readily available information we concretely have)...this seems dubious at best.  

I think ownership profits are significantly more than this.  

I question your lack of source, lack of citation and lack of statistics.

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5 hours ago, Reptevia said:

I think the two major problems are that the owner’s refuse to open the books and the PA aren’t representing ALL players. 

Well, as a monopoly we should not expect MLB to open their books. The PA keeps tight controls of their internal votes and so we don't really know how the players with less experience feel. These are issues that will continue and we are outsiders to the real goals of each side, likely just money.

4 hours ago, bean5302 said:
6 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

 

I question your lack of source, lack of citation and lack of statistics.

Statistica is using whatever information they can put together to come to their conclusions, which seems fair enough but is largely an estimate. The Atlanta Braves are owned by Liberty and required to file a full financial report of their businesses that is published for shareholders; it is public information. The numbers from the report did show a substantial positive gain for Liberty from their baseball operations. Yes, they were in the World Series but most of the big gains for World Series teams are the year after, due to increased season ticket holders, ad revenue, etc. So, MLB should not be expected to reveal their finances but we should not assume that there is accurate financial information on the clubs. It isn't our business really unless a city required said economic information in return for public funds used to build stadiums and that has not happened to date.

On another topic, it seems like the PA should punt their issues down the road as regards the international draft. By the close of the 2024 season, each side might view the issues of today in a different light. Three years is something, at least.

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CBT for the top or bottom spenders based on arbitrary numbers (100M floor or 238M "cap") doesn't help the players in terms of their overall cut of the revenue pie. 

Why do people assume if you put a 100M floor out there that the teams at the bottom of the spending spectrum would go out and sign "middle class" players and wouldn't just be going after the big name guys and running out a team with 2 guys at 30M and a bunch of guys at the minimum (like the Rangers are about to do)? If I'm the owner of the Pirates and you're going to make me spend 100M I'm not going out and signing 3 Pineda's for 15M a piece, I'm signing a Max Scherzer for 45M. He'll sell more tickets and jerseys than the 3 Pineda's combined which puts more money in my pocket. So the goal of spreading the money around to all players still isn't met. FOs are too smart and understand the goal is to get the most wins for the least amount of dollars. The low revenue teams signing some of the big guys just means the teams at the top would be spending less. You can argue that's better for the game, but I don't buy the argument that that's what the players should be fighting for because it'd be better for all players. Eddie Rosario types wouldn't suddenly be worth 15M a year.

The NFL and NBA (and I believe NHL) base their cap situations on league revenue and the negotiations during the CBA talks are over what cut goes to the players to set the floor and cap. It's true that the players don't want a cap because they want to be able to have players make as much as possible and that's easier to accomplish when you let the Cohen's of the world loose to spend like crazy. But the owners don't want one either. At least not in the NBA and NFL style where they have to open their books and share revenue numbers with the PA. Of course the owners want a 100M floor and 180M cap. The teams receiving revenue sharing are still subsidized by the big money teams, and those big money teams would make ludicrous amounts of money by not being allowed to spend more than the 180 cap.

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