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New CBA - What's good for the game


 

I am pondering several questions about the new CBA.  What should we (Twins Fans) want to see in the new CBA.  What is good for the game?  Should we want the new terms to promote parity?

How about the specifics of what the players are asking for as they have settled into a theme of anti-tanking and competitive integrity.  They have 3 major asks. 

  1. Spending floor.  Sounds good in concept.  I think it would have to be a percentage of revenue.  A team with $50M less revenue should not have the same floor.  They could use a 3 year running average.  The problem I see is that rebuilding teams would take on the badly failing contracts.  Contenders would dump them and use the money to buy more free agent talent.  Great for players but the result is an even greater advantage for big market teams.  
  2. Raise the luxury tax threshold substantially.  How is this good for the game?  It obviously would allow all of the top teams to basically add another top free agent without penalty.  Is this something Twins fans should want?  Is it good for the game?
  3. Shorter control before free agency.  The end result seems very straight forward.  Top revenue teams get the very top FAs a year earlier.  Is this good for the game.  Should Twins fans support this demand?

What do you want to see and what don’t you want to see in the new CBA?

I would like to see a big increase in the league minimum. Something like 800K year 1  /  $1M year 2  /  $1.2M year 3.  That's help's all of the players not just the guys who eventually get paid big.  It also helps a little with rebuilding teams spending so little.  It's one sure way the players get an increase without hurting the game.  I also support a floor but they need to be very creative to make it fair and prevent it from being a dump zone for bad contracts.

I would also address service time issue by enhancing compensation in the final year of control.  How?  I am not sure.  That's tricky but I think it's worth exploring.

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Players on the 40 person roster are members of the MLBPA, I believe. The 14-15 players on this list who are not on the active MLB roster are seemingly members without benefits. Perhaps someone can correct this perception. 

I would suggest Year 1 salaries for the first time on the 40 person roster and include these players on the minimum contract. This avoids the misuse of service time, at least in some cases. An increase in years 1-3 would also help to some degree. What that looks like should be negotiated. Would $1 M, $2 M, $3 M be out of bounds? A concern that will be nearly impossible to allay is the loss of contracts in recent years by players in a mid zone salary in favor of minimum salaried players. Perhaps the larger salaries in years 2 and 3 addresses that concern. 

You raise some interesting points. The PA cannot expect to gain back everything they gave away. The owners cannot gain anything by shutting down the game Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. A floor could be quite low and still work. A floor of $60-70 million averaged over 3 years seems reasonable. A luxury tax at $210 million seems plenty high. Higher salaries in control years may mitigate some concerns by PA. It does seem the years of control before a team must choose to place a player on the 40 person roster should be reduced. 

Baseball has a host of issues to resolve and there is a massive amount of money being haggled over. I wonder if the anti-trust reserve clause exemption has become an impediment for the sport. 

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Using percentage of revenue for the spending floor sounds good in theory. The problem is it requires owners to open up their books. I assume many, if not all, will fight tooth and nail to ensure their finances are not public knowledge. They will most likely rather set an arbitrary number like $75 million. 

In regards to increasing the pre-arb salary, I completely agree. I’m all for getting money to the players earlier in their careers. 

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1 hour ago, Major League Ready said:

I would like to see a big increase in the league minimum. Something like 800K year 1  /  $1M year 2  /  $1.2M year 3. 

I agree with this. Start from a higher floor with mandatory 25% raises each year on the roster. If the player is cut he becomes a free agent and anyone can re-sign him at the $800k minimum. After year 3 go to arbitration.

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1. The owners proposed the $100MM salary floor, not the players. One significant negative, in my opinion, is that it could lead to increased strongarm tactics for owners to use against metro areas to force new stadiums. The tactic will be employed against Oakland and Tampa Bay now and it will certainly be used as a threat and weapon against other cities every time an owner wants a new stadium (which is like every other year). Depending on penalties for violating the floor, it would be good for baseball as it could do 3 things. It's about competitive parity so the floor needs to be the same for all the teams. Giving the Yankees a floor of $180MM and the Rays a floor of $30MM doesn't improve competition, it institutionalizes anti-competive behavior. 

  1. De-incentivize tanking.
  2. Increase competition.
  3. Help force out bad ownership.

 

2. Raising the luxury tax ceiling cannot realistically be accomplished while simultaneously implementing the salary floor. The luxury tax is used as a line for revenue sharing which supports the salary floor. Raising the floor is bad for baseball. While baseball has remained more competitive than other big sports like football, it definitely feels like the dynasty teams are becoming more common. The age of the Juggernaut is upon us, and it's as boring as the 3 outcome plate appearance. 

3. Shorter control before free agency. I don't think this has to be better or worse for baseball. Players have not really asked for this, though. From my understanding the MLBPA proposal starts at 6 years control, then goes to 5 if a player is 30.5+ and then 5 only if the player is 29.5+. Basically, MLBPA agrees with 6 years service time with a tweak that helps players who are older when drafted or spend a long time in the minors. Players did propose everybody should essentially be super 2's and arbitration eligible after 2 years instead of 3.

4. The 800lb gorilla in the room. Players want to essentially gut revenue sharing. This is the most horrible thing which could potentially happen in baseball. It's lunacy and clearly makes the MLBPA look disconnected from reality and incompetent in my eyes. Raising the luxury tax ceiling to $245MM and eliminating all non monetary penalties would allow super-Dodgers and super-Yankees to spend with impunity. The only teeth in the luxury tax ceiling is really the potential impact to drafting. 

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I love baseball as much as anyone else but I have some questions that I certainly don’t have the answers to. (1) has mlb over saturated the totality of the market? (2) Would baseball survive without its exemption of “favored son status “ granted by the people and our gov? (3)  Does the fan base of baseball promote poor management skills practiced by ownership? (4) Or should the bad ownership have to face the consequences for   poor & wasteful practices, marketability, planning, management skills (5) Who are the owners accountable to? Who governs the owners or are they self  governed? What is the average tenure time (life expectancy of owners) before selling their team?  
The status of the current situation of baseball is the result of ownership management skills and decisions or lack of management skills. Naturally, ownership is going to blame the players for the beer and brats going up in price to the fans.

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1. Increased revenue sharing
2. A salary floor in the $80m-100m range
3. A shorter path to free agency based on age

A lot of us don't agree with on much but I see these three things brought up constantly, which makes me think these things all improve the sport in some way, shape, or form.

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1 hour ago, Squirrel said:

This will be interesting to follow with the lawsuit filed against MLB

Yes, this what I was referring to without trying to get off the post. Should be interesting and we will likely get to wait a while before anything comes out of the lawsuit.

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29 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

1. Increased revenue sharing
2. A salary floor in the $80m-100m range
3. A shorter path to free agency based on age

A lot of us don't agree with on much but I see these three things brought up constantly, which makes me think these things all improve the sport in some way, shape, or form.

This seems about right. My only concern is the lengthy control over Latin players signed at 16. This is a whole separate issue and seems to escape the PA. If MLB can sign Latin players at 16, why not allow this for all others? This seems to be an issue worth bringing some equity. I don't have an answer, but wonder about it.

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1 minute ago, tony&rodney said:

This seems about right. My only concern is the lengthy control over Latin players signed at 16. This is a whole separate issue and seems to escape the PA. If MLB can sign Latin players at 16, why not allow this for all others? This seems to be an issue worth bringing some equity. I don't have an answer, but wonder about it.

It's an interesting thing to contemplate, as the inequity in rules makes sense on a lot of levels but definitely has its issues. I think implemented a world-wide draft captures a lot of the problems with international signings, though I'm not sure how leagues such as NPB and KBO would feel about such a thing. I think they'd push back hard on their best talent flocking to the States at age 18.

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14 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

The biggest concern to me is how the owners have manipulated service time. So I think it should be a year shorter now.

I knew I was forgetting something. Yeah, service time manipulation needs to end. It should be easy enough to accomplish in a couple of steps:

- Require a minimum call-up time, just as there's a minimum re-call time now. Maybe 10 days? 15? That fixes the reliever and spot starter shuffle problem. Teams can still shuffle rosters but the players are compensated much better and teams must be more mindful of how they're shuffling players and for what reason.

- Reduce the number of qualifying days for one season to something like 120 days with no season-to-season carryover. If a player is called up on June 1st but spend the entire rest of the season on the MLB roster, that's roughly a full season of service time. Then it resets the next year and if that player spends another 120 days on an MLB roster, he gets another full season of service time. Front offices would still be able to game the system but it'd be a lot harder and a lot more detrimental to on-field talent to do so.

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32 minutes ago, tony&rodney said:

This seems about right. My only concern is the lengthy control over Latin players signed at 16. This is a whole separate issue and seems to escape the PA. If MLB can sign Latin players at 16, why not allow this for all others? This seems to be an issue worth bringing some equity. I don't have an answer, but wonder about it.

There isn't an easy answer to this at all.  In the land of the haves (USA), you're going to run into resistance having kids more than scouted at that young age.  In the land of the have nots, do you think those players or families want to wait an extra two years to get out of poverty, possibly abject poverty? It's not really a baseball issue.  Baseball is actually helping with equity in the current state.  It isn't solving the whole problem, but it is helping.  Those kids are getting an education as well.  It would be great if it was the same across the board, but the extra two years of control probably isn't a deal breaker on the front end for any one of them. 

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I may be alone here - but I'd like both a salary floor, and salary cap.  If you want true parity where a team like the Pirates could compete for a title just as well as the Dodgers - I think this is the way to go.  The NFL has a proven model that works where anyone can win a championship by properly managing their talent and budget.  Pretty sure the players would hate it (limits on how much they can make) but until we have something like this a team like the Dodgers or Yankees will be in the race every single year, and small market teams will try and make a run a few years every decade.  To keep fans interest there needs to be a chance their team can actually win it all someday.

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As a fan, I want to see more parity. Minimum spending levels would help, increased revenue sharing also, but maybe a hard salary cap also. Tie minimum spending levels to hard cap, maybe 60% of max. cap. On player side, to me it seems crazy a player can be in his 30s and has never make it to free agency, set an age where they able to be FAs, 30 seems to make sense. 

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I definitely agree on the hard cap but I think the chances of the players accepting it are extremely low.  They are not agreeing to anything they think could limit their earnings.  They can talk about competitive integrity all they like.  The reality is they want to reduce revenue sharing and increase the luxury Tax threshold.  Both diminish parity.  Their demands clearly demonstrate parity is of no concern to them. 

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What might an incentive look like to encourage smaller market teams to re-sign their own free agents?

If there had been a financial incentive for the Twins to extend Berrios into his free agency years would the Twins have had a better chance of signing him? That incentive could go directly to player or team effectively increasing the offer from the home team.

 

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I don't believe rigid caps would be remotely functional in MLB because all contracts are guaranteed. Teams would find themselves locked into bad situations with no legitimate path to competitive play and revenue sharing would have to massively expand to support what would probably be a floor of something like $130MM.

With the massive differences in revenues and profits across MLB, a lot of owners would be just as furious about the potential acceptance of the hard floor/cap system as the players would be.

 

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7 minutes ago, 4twinsJA said:

To me the hard salary cap and min, cap would result in increased money to the players, If max. cap set at 200M and min. cap at 120M there are more teams and money spent that would have to increase spending to get to 120M, than decrease spending to 200M. 

Here's what would happen. Long contracts with high AAV would vanish from the market.

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Go to the NFL model.  Complete revenue sharing, hard caps, high minimum payrolls so Tampa Bay does not profit of New York, guarantee the players a percentage of true total revenue, say 50 to 55%. 

Then team success will depend on drafting, talent evaluation, coaching, player development and the players themselves.

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4 hours ago, bean5302 said:

The age of the Juggernaut is upon us, and it's as boring as the 3 outcome plate appearance. 

Who is the juggernaut? The Braves? Rays? Nationals? Astros? Red Sox? Cubs? There are a few teams that don't seem interested in competing (Pirates, Orioles) but everyone else has taken a shot at the playoffs in the past 5 years.

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It would be a long lockout before the owners would ever agree to a set percentage. Guarding the books is going to be their thing..

The large revenue teams will always find a way from a down year., The other teams it is a longer process. Tanking makes money. Revenue sharing from figures that I saw from television contracts shows about  46 million for each team. Houston the first year they tank allegedly made 90 million. That made them the most profitable team in sports, allegedly that is.  Mediocrity with a floor payroll does not.make them money. Going from lousy to mediocre doesn’t draw. Extended horrible to winning is a better alternative. Teams would fight to get mediocre if it were profitable.  Is it better for baseball to have that kind of cycling versus more of a parity of mediocrity? I don’t think so. The large market teams will always have an advantage that the others will never be able to change. There are enough teams that will effectively block any change that takes away their advantage, There is futility in thinking that will ever change

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22 minutes ago, Steve71 said:

guarantee the players a percentage of true total revenue, say 50 to 55%. 

team success will depend on drafting, talent evaluation, coaching, player development and the players themselves

The owners want to lock that in at 45%.

With complete revenue sharing your team's financial success is guaranteed by having a franchise and winning matters even less.

It is good for MLB to have marquee teams in large markets like the Dodgers and Yankees. It maximizes the revenue of the whole league. You want to encourage success in large markets without completely shutting off the chances of the Royals or Rays to win. You don't want complete parity. Overall league revenue will grow slower with more parity.

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40 minutes ago, Steve71 said:

Go to the NFL model.

The NFL model works because every game is broadcast on national television and every game is a guaranteed sellout (because there are only 8 home games). There is little revenue difference between owning a large market NFL team and a small market NFL team. None of that is true in baseball.

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  • I think you need a hard cap and a hard floor along with some sort of revenue sharing to allow the smaller markets to spend at the top of the cap consistently. 
  • Minor league wages need to be fixed.
  • Given the way analytics has changed the game, I suspect minimum salaries will need to go up considerably and the time to FA will need to drop a bit. 

Those are the big ones. 

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