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Collective Bargaining Agreement- what are points of disagreement?


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For sure the service time issue.  I would also imagine pitch clocks, robo umps, the extra inning bonus runner as well.

But the single biggest one is surely how much money should players get?  The owners would love to set a ceiling, where the players would love to set a floor.  Will either side concede the other in order to get theirs?

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I have been predicting stoppage for years, even more so after 2020 issues.  The main point of contention is money and how it gets doled out.  The QO will be a point of contention, service time and the manipulation of it,  Which comes down to money again.  The GM's change the rules of engagement when it came to contracts in the last 6 years or so.  With that change the amount of money players are getting for average guys is dropping a lot.  The mega stars are still getting tons of money, but the middle of road guys are not cashing in much. 

In particular, when a guy hits FA at 30 they are no longer getting 7 year deals normally for tons of money, unless they are a mega star.  It used to be the top FA would still get good money no matter how he ranked compared to league.  Teams started to say, we are not paying top FA money for middle of road FA and stopped offering contracts to guys that had many years of bad money.  Sure, you could point to a few, but not many. 

Well this has led players to believe the teams are "colluding" in keeping pay down because only the top mega stars are getting asking prices.  Have you noticed all the late small contracts some guys are signing lately?  Many of this comes down to QO being turned down.  Some guys treat it as a starting point for FA 1 year 18 mil give or take, but to non-returning team, it is a cost of a draft pick as well, which teams have learned has greater value in long run.  So now players hate the QO as it pushes back cash in year one more year for some.  Have you noticed more players are accepting it too? 

Players will want to be FA sooner and get rid of QO or how it works.  Owners will want a tougher tax or a cap if possible.  We are in for a long winter I think.  I bet it goes into ST and maybe even some of the season. 

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Here’s a good article with history of work stoppages and some of the presumed negotiating points

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-cba-negotiations-seven-important-questions-as-baseball-work-stoppage-appears-likely-this-winter/

Salary caps and divvying up new sources of revenue from outside the ballpark seem to be the big ones 

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I am hoping that they take the time to make bold changes instead of sticking with what we’ve been witnessing over the last decade. 

- Increase MLB minimum pay

- Revamp the years of control organizations have with players

- Implement a cap floor/ceiling

- Better revenue sharing to increase parity in the league 

- Reduce contract lengths so there are no more bloated 10 year pacts that only certain teams can take on 

- Gameplay advancements (pitch clock, robo umps, etc.)

There is plenty of money in this sport. The problem is how it is dispersed. It’s painfully obvious teams no longer want to reward players on the back end of their career, nor should they. Get them the money earlier in their career when they are making the biggest impact for their teams. 

 

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A reasonable compromise, I think, is one where payrolls have a $150M floor, a $200M hard cap, and limits on individual player contracts (in the past I've proposed something like no one player can make more than 15% of the cap, no 2 more than 25%, no 3 more than 32%, no 4 more than 37%, no 5 more than 41%, and no 6 more than 45%).  The cap and floor would move as a percentage of total MLB revenue (and would clearly require advanced revenue sharing).

In return, all players become free agents during the offseason after they turn 27, regardless of MLB service time or when they were drafted.  All players must be on a 40 man roster by the offseason after they turn 23, for HS players, and 25 for junior/senior signs.  Additionally, the minimum salary for all players is now $2M per year, with $1M raises for each year after they turn 24, 25, and 26.

That means a player who makes it to the majors to start his age 24 season will play 4 years for a team, and will in return make $14M before hitting FA.  Currently, that same player would make something like $4M-$5M, and still be 2 years away from FA.

Clear wins for the majority of players, clear win for the owners in capping their payroll, clear win for the fans as rockstar prospects will get called up the second they're ready, and every team will have a straightforward path to keeping it's best players/competing in FA for the best.

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7 minutes ago, lecroy24fan said:

In no way will the owners be okay for losing games after the debacle the last 2 seasons.

Manfred has already said that the bogus runner in extra innings will be going away. Maybe the only good thing he's ever done.

 

 

As much as the owners don't want to lose games (and they don't--owners have assuredly lost billions with a B of revenue in the last two years), it's probably even more pronounced for the players who are still in the first 1-4 years of their careers.  There is, I'm sure, a significant percentage of players that will run out of money/default on loans if they don't make money this year.

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A "work stoppage" is pretty much a non-factor for the first month. It's not until mid January that any real impact would be felt at all. If the work stoppage leads to a lock out and loss of games, it will be catastrophic for baseball, though I suspect owners and players today don't realize how devastating the 1994 strike was to the game.

The service time issue is probably going to be the main arguing point for both sides. The proposal from the owners was straight out insulting when it came to service time. The owners proposed 100% team control until age 30 which is utterly ludicrous. 

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9 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

I am hoping that they take the time to make bold changes instead of sticking with what we’ve been witnessing over the last decade. 

- Increase MLB minimum pay

- Revamp the years of control organizations have with players

- Implement a cap floor/ceiling

- Better revenue sharing to increase parity in the league 

- Reduce contract lengths so there are no more bloated 10 year pacts that only certain teams can take on 

- Gameplay advancements (pitch clock, robo umps, etc.)

There is plenty of money in this sport. The problem is how it is dispersed. It’s painfully obvious teams no longer want to reward players on the back end of their career, nor should they. Get them the money earlier in their career when they are making the biggest impact for their teams. 

 

All of this makes so much sense that I am convinced it will not happen.

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5 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

A "work stoppage" is pretty much a non-factor for the first month. It's not until mid January that any real impact would be felt at all. If the work stoppage leads to a lock out and loss of games, it will be catastrophic for baseball, though I suspect owners and players today don't realize how devastating the 1994 strike was to the game.

The service time issue is probably going to be the main arguing point for both sides. The proposal from the owners was straight out insulting when it came to service time. The owners proposed 100% team control until age 30 which is utterly ludicrous. 

I had not heard that, but unless that comes along with guaranteeing $4M in salary per year from age 25-30, you're right, that's a non-starter.

It's like the players proposing that all contracts have clauses that allow a player to opt out of them any time, but owners must honor them if they don't, and also team control ends after age 24.

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Minor league players have no one advocating for them, which is a shame. I wish guys first turning pro had a higher floor than they do. Baseball should pay the incoming talent a living wage.

No, I don't expect this will even be on the table during the CBA negotiations--but I'd have more respect for the MLBPA if they made a point of it.

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To me, part of the high signing price of FAs is lack of supply. So giving more players ability to be FAs should help. Now, some players are in their 30s before become FAs. Somewhat a consensus that players hit their prime around 27 yo. Make FA if they will turn 29 by start of MLB season. Like limited length of contracts, maybe even max salaries. Look at what has worked in other professional leagues. Like hard cap and minimum,  but will need to have better revenue sharing to get accomplished. 

 

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1 hour ago, lecroy24fan said:

In no way will the owners be okay for losing games after the debacle the last 2 seasons.

 

 

 

I can't imagine they'd be OK with losing games, but it will be a pretty simple equation for them. 

If monetary concessions to the MLBPA > than revenue loss from missed games there shall be a lockout.

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47 minutes ago, Tim said:

money

Yep, the proverbial 'It all comes down to' will be the factor into every decision. Having been through too many contract negotiations in my own industry, it's all about money ... pay and healthcare ... then working condition issues get addressed, which is usually about how much it will cost the organization ... other issues just don't get addressed very well

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20 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

I am hoping that they take the time to make bold changes instead of sticking with what we’ve been witnessing over the last decade. 

- Increase MLB minimum pay

- Revamp the years of control organizations have with players

- Implement a cap floor/ceiling

- Better revenue sharing to increase parity in the league 

- Reduce contract lengths so there are no more bloated 10 year pacts that only certain teams can take on 

- Gameplay advancements (pitch clock, robo umps, etc.)

There is plenty of money in this sport. The problem is how it is dispersed. It’s painfully obvious teams no longer want to reward players on the back end of their career, nor should they. Get them the money earlier in their career when they are making the biggest impact for their teams. 

 

Love every one of your suggestions, Vanimal.  Only problem is that each side would probably walk out before agreeing to several.  Gonna be interesting.

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So, Rogers, Duffey, Garver, Thielbar, Cave, Astudillo, Minaya and possibly Buxton may all be free agents after it's all said and done or we won't have baseball in April.  This should be really fun to follow.

The injuries to the top three names in that list sure did cost the Twins a chance to sell harder like the Nationals did, and now they might be left holding the bag.

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25 minutes ago, MMMordabito said:

So, Rogers, Duffey, Garver, Thielbar, Cave, Astudillo, Minaya and possibly Buxton may all be free agents after it's all said and done or we won't have baseball in April.  This should be really fun to follow.

The injuries to the top three names in that list sure did cost the Twins a chance to sell harder like the Nationals did, and now they might be left holding the bag.

I would assume that there would be some sort of "grandfather" clause to ensure that teams didn't immediately have half their teams/prospects become free agents.  A 1-year grace period or something on that clause that would give teams a chance to sign some extensions.

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23 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

I am hoping that they take the time to make bold changes instead of sticking with what we’ve been witnessing over the last decade. 

- Increase MLB minimum pay

- Revamp the years of control organizations have with players

- Implement a cap floor/ceiling

- Better revenue sharing to increase parity in the league 

- Reduce contract lengths so there are no more bloated 10 year pacts that only certain teams can take on 

- Gameplay advancements (pitch clock, robo umps, etc.)

There is plenty of money in this sport. The problem is how it is dispersed. It’s painfully obvious teams no longer want to reward players on the back end of their career, nor should they. Get them the money earlier in their career when they are making the biggest impact for their teams. 

 

The salary cap players have fought forever.  Without a cap there is no floor, but for most players that was not an issue.  The way the GM's are signing plyers now, some vets would benefit from a floor.  In terms of the revenue sharing the players will be all for that, but the owners will be against it without a cap.  Much like the NBA or NFL where cap is set by the revenue sharing, the players just want more money saying they should get it, but the owners say why, there is nothing saying we need to.  The Players and owners have been against each other for so long that they do not understand how working together to raise the money is best for all.  Players will be against capping the length of a contract as well because if they can get a 10 year full contract they would not want to stop that.

That being said, I full agree with much of what you are saying and wish both sides would see the light.  The problem is the players have never wanted to agree to cap their earnings because teams were willing to pay bad money to players.  Now, GM's have learned they can get as much WAR or close to it for much lower paid team controlled guys so they stopped paying old vets.  If there was a floor, some of those vets may get jobs because money would have to be spent.  

However, there are some teams that will be wayyyyyyy against these as well.  That being the large market teams.  Right now they do share some money with the smaller market teams, but unlike in the NBA and NFL where most of the league money comes from national media deal, MLB much of the media is done local.  Yankees and other teams have their own networks that help bring in cash and the large markets charge more for advertising so they get more money to show games.  They do not want to give up that money to teams like Oakland, Tampa, and other small market teams.  There will be push back on those teams having to share their money with other teams and raising how much money they make. 

 

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6 hours ago, DJL44 said:

Fortunately for the owners they can give up a lot and still end up way ahead. The player's % of revenue has been dropping for years. 

Additionally. owners’ revenue from the team has significantly expanded beyond tickets, jerseys and TV contracts.

Real estate around the ballpark generates tons revenue for many owners.

players surely want a chunk of that, owners certainly don’t want to divulge/share that.

How do owners monetize a return for something like that? Is that a TV watch ability improvement (pace of play rules etc) or a salary caps?

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2 hours ago, Trov said:

The salary cap players have fought forever.  Without a cap there is no floor, but for most players that was not an issue.  The way the GM's are signing plyers now, some vets would benefit from a floor.  In terms of the revenue sharing the players will be all for that, but the owners will be against it without a cap.  Much like the NBA or NFL where cap is set by the revenue sharing, the players just want more money saying they should get it, but the owners say why, there is nothing saying we need to.  The Players and owners have been against each other for so long that they do not understand how working together to raise the money is best for all.  Players will be against capping the length of a contract as well because if they can get a 10 year full contract they would not want to stop that.

That being said, I full agree with much of what you are saying and wish both sides would see the light.  The problem is the players have never wanted to agree to cap their earnings because teams were willing to pay bad money to players.  Now, GM's have learned they can get as much WAR or close to it for much lower paid team controlled guys so they stopped paying old vets.  If there was a floor, some of those vets may get jobs because money would have to be spent.  

However, there are some teams that will be wayyyyyyy against these as well.  That being the large market teams.  Right now they do share some money with the smaller market teams, but unlike in the NBA and NFL where most of the league money comes from national media deal, MLB much of the media is done local.  Yankees and other teams have their own networks that help bring in cash and the large markets charge more for advertising so they get more money to show games.  They do not want to give up that money to teams like Oakland, Tampa, and other small market teams.  There will be push back on those teams having to share their money with other teams and raising how much money they make. 

 

Great reply and I share many of your concerns. I too hope that both sides see the light and make concessions in order to improve the situation moving forward.

The super star players probably don’t see a lot of issues with the current system because they’re still getting massive 7-10 year deals. The middle class of baseball is being affected the most as teams continue to prefer pre-arb, cost controlled talent vs. a mid-tier FA or fairly overpaid player on the last year of arb (Rosario last year). 

I hope they look at the data and come to the conclusion that the luxury tax threshold might as well be a cap. 2/3rds of teams in the league don’t come close to that number anyway. 

For the good of the sport, better revenue sharing needs to happen. The local TV deals throws a wrench in that scenario. Hopefully that model changes soon. Especially after the debacle this year with Bally Sports. They’re losing money, and most importantly young fans by keeping their content behind a cable paywall. 

My original post is what I would like in an ideal world. But I understand there are several factors preventing that from happening. It’s going to be an ugly negotiation. 

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On 10/25/2021 at 2:57 PM, Vanimal46 said:

I am hoping that they take the time to make bold changes instead of sticking with what we’ve been witnessing over the last decade. 

- Increase MLB minimum pay

- Revamp the years of control organizations have with players

- Implement a cap floor/ceiling

- Better revenue sharing to increase parity in the league 

- Reduce contract lengths so there are no more bloated 10 year pacts that only certain teams can take on 

- Gameplay advancements (pitch clock, robo umps, etc.)

There is plenty of money in this sport. The problem is how it is dispersed. It’s painfully obvious teams no longer want to reward players on the back end of their career, nor should they. Get them the money earlier in their career when they are making the biggest impact for their teams. 

 

Can't tell you how smart and good of a post this is! 

As a fan, I truly try to look at both sides in the financial equation. I hold nothing against billionaire owners running a business nor do I begrudge players trying to earn as much money as they can. The best way to satisfy both sides and for the good of the game is for both sides to compromise.

1] Whether it's a luxury tax or some sort of hard or semi-hard cap, something of that nature SHOULD be in place for competitive balance. Greater competitive balance also brings in greater fan interest and puts the onus on a FO being smart and not just rich. Witness the monster that is the NFL, and teams able to be smart and contend/re-tool quickly. 

But on the flip side, like the NFL, there should be a payroll floor that prevents teams from just tanking, holding down salaries, trying to pocket shared revenue, etc.

2] Arbitration pretty much stinks in MLB. I will say the Twins have been pretty fair in this area, and the current FO has had agents speak very positively how the Twins handle it. And, unfortunately, I'm not sure it's going away at this time. What makes so much more sense is what you alluded to is just better guaranteed money early in the careers for young players. 

No hearings. No trying to diminish a players value to save money, just a fair yearly uptick in wages based on experience. Along with this, and a fair floor and ceiling, the "playing field" for players, and teams, becomes an equitable platform for all involved.

The owners get more cost control to build, re-build, maintain their team. Players get more money earlier in their careers and with an OBVIOUS want to change by the union, the service time issue changes so players can become FA sooner. And this also works for the owners as cost control means more upfront money for young players, earlier FA, but also controls costs for those FA due to some sort of cap to avoid the crazy 7-10 year deals they are already working to avoid for older players. Players earn MORE money earlier in their careers, but a bit LESS late in their careers, but unlimited almost potential during their key years. Win-win for both sides!

Revenue sharing between ownership needs to  increase, and that's a hard sell for some teams I admit. But they might give in, at least a little, knowing A] It's good for the growth of the game, and growth is waning, and B] The money is going to smaller market teams who now have a FLOOR they have to meet and not just trying to pocket extra profits.

Other than the owners squabbling about shared profits, my biggest issue resides with the players union. I may be wrong, it could be bad perception, but I have this feeling they are run and controlled mostly by veteran reps/players who are so focused on BIG paydays for older, veteran players that they don't see the advantage of ALL the players earning more money year by year in their career with earlier FA paydays.

Other smaller issues:

3] The universal DH is a done deal. Both sides want it. It's needed. Done deal.

4] I believe roster size will be brought up. The whole 2020/21 covid issue still remains to at least some degree. The 26 man roster is smart. The 28 man roster in 2020 made a ton of sense and worked really well. The IL increased in length and I'm not sure if it works at all. The idea of a taxi squad may remain for another year. But I can EASILY see a 27 or 28 man roster going forward. Honestly, it makes sense for both sides. The union gets another 30-60 players on rosters, and ownership gets another 30-60 players on rosters for the best team they can put together with a couple minimum contracts.

5] There is so much "trash" to sort through in regard to the financial BIG PICTURE, that I believe any pitch clock, robo umpire, stepping off the rubber, larger bases, or anything else will be "deffered" after more study. And honestly, that may be fair.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Sconnie said:

Additionally. owners’ revenue from the team has significantly expanded beyond tickets, jerseys and TV contracts.

Real estate around the ballpark generates tons revenue for many owners.

players surely want a chunk of that, owners certainly don’t want to divulge/share that.

How do owners monetize a return for something like that? Is that a TV watch ability improvement (pace of play rules etc) or a salary caps?

I get the players are upset about the real estate around the ballparks that some owners have and make money off of.  Not all owners do.  Do you feel it is fair that owners that decided to buy property around their ballparks should have to pay extra to players?  Should owners of land that do not own the ball bark be asked to pay a percentage of their money to the team for the players?  Should the bars around the parks pay some of their funds from before and after game sales to the players because if the attendance to the games were down the bars would have less money?  Should the hotels pay money to the players on game nights for the people that came into the city to stay for watching games?  What I am getting at, is the players stance businesses around the parks make money, and sometimes those are owned or at minimum the property is sometimes owned by the teams, so the players feel they deserve a slice. Does this only go to things owned by owners of the team?  What if a player buys up some land, should they have to pay some of that to the owner because without the team staying in the city, their property is worth less? 

Personally, I think extending the money earned beyond tickets, tv contracts, merchandise and food sales at the park should not be counted. I am not saying the players do not deserve a greater share of that, but I think that is where the line should be drawn. 

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39 minutes ago, Trov said:

I get the players are upset about the real estate around the ballparks that some owners have and make money off of.  Not all owners do.  Do you feel it is fair that owners that decided to buy property around their ballparks should have to pay extra to players?  Should owners of land that do not own the ball bark be asked to pay a percentage of their money to the team for the players?  Should the bars around the parks pay some of their funds from before and after game sales to the players because if the attendance to the games were down the bars would have less money?  Should the hotels pay money to the players on game nights for the people that came into the city to stay for watching games?  What I am getting at, is the players stance businesses around the parks make money, and sometimes those are owned or at minimum the property is sometimes owned by the teams, so the players feel they deserve a slice. Does this only go to things owned by owners of the team?  What if a player buys up some land, should they have to pay some of that to the owner because without the team staying in the city, their property is worth less? 

Personally, I think extending the money earned beyond tickets, tv contracts, merchandise and food sales at the park should not be counted. I am not saying the players do not deserve a greater share of that, but I think that is where the line should be drawn. 

Bars and Hotels in Minneapolis do pay a cut of revenue in taxes to support the stadium. Most of them pass it on to patrons and you see a line at the bottom of your receipt for a tax line.

I wasn’t trying to inject should or shouldn’t do, as much as trying to identify a bargaining position and try to guess at what that counter might be.

The first rule in negotiation is expand the pie, players will certainly try to do that as they are at a disadvantage until the season gets closer and the threat of lost games looms.

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21 hours ago, Trov said:

However, there are some teams that will be wayyyyyyy against these as well.  That being the large market teams.  Right now they do share some money with the smaller market teams, but unlike in the NBA and NFL where most of the league money comes from national media deal, MLB much of the media is done local.  Yankees and other teams have their own networks that help bring in cash and the large markets charge more for advertising so they get more money to show games.  They do not want to give up that money to teams like Oakland, Tampa, and other small market teams.  There will be push back on those teams having to share their money with other teams and raising how much money they make. 

 

Yeah, the big markets won't like it. What's terrible about this situation is that the mid and small markets should have the overwhelming voting majority. The big market owners somehow still are able to get their way more often than not.

Hopefully, this all has a domino effect which will compel MLB into a better and more sustainable broadcast situation. If the players won't budge on an obscene salary floor, the big market owners will be forced to shell out obscene money to the small market clubs. As they'd surely hate to share their private network money, I'd like to think that would incentivize the league to regain control of the league's broadcast rights, put all the teams, (or maybe perhaps just the teams without their own networks) under one broadcasting umbrella to more efficiently manage the revenue.

Probably a pipedream.

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There should not be a problem if an owner wants to invest in properties/businesses around stadium to make more money. That is their risk, should be their reward. The other money-gate, concessions, merchandise, and media- could be controlled by MLB and shared among all teams. Sure it will be hard sell to rich teams, they are giving money to MLB to be distributed to smaller teams. But the present model seems unsustainable, how long do the small market teams fans put up with losing, and only hope is stars align every 10-15 years and are competitive for a couple years before they lose their top players to FA and start the process all over.

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