1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “Baseball Shutdown Coming–All About $$$”

Posted by on December 1st, 2021  •  0 Comments  • 

“Baseball–Battle over Greed”

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Baseball is headed for a lockout, as early as 9pm-Wednesday in the battle over Dollars & Cents.

The CBA, the collective bargaining agreement, expires at midnite East Coast time.  All signs point to a lockout effective at 12:01am on Thursday, meaning a freeze on Free Agent signings, an embargo on trades, and the cancellation of the Winter Baseball meetings.

Per the norm, it is brawl over money, lots of money, between Commissioner Rob Manfred and Union Chief Tony Clark.

Here are the issues they are disputing:

LUXURY TAX THRESHOLD:  The owners wanted the tax level to kick in at 180M per team rather than the 210M it had been at.  The Union views that as a salary cap they would never agree to….Teams pay a stiff penalty if they go over the tax level for three straight years.

FLOOR TO SPENDING:  The owners propose all teams must spend a minimum of 100M per year on major league salaries, but the Union views this as a negative…but it would force teams to go beyond the 50-60-70M payrolls the Rays-Pirates-Orioles-Royals have forced onto their markets.

ARBITRATION..The owners want to drop arbitration money due 4th and 5th year players and replace it with a pool to pay young players.

ROOKIE SCALE:…Owners proposing an increase from the current 570,000 minimum salary  young players get each year…the Union wants a bigger bump.

FREE AGENCY…The Union wants free agency granted to any player after his 4th year in the majors rather than waiting till his 6th year.

PLAYOFF EXPANSION:…The owners want to expand next fall to 14-teams in postseason…the top team in each league gets a first round bye…the other two division winners get to choose which wildcard team they want to play in a best-of-three series….It would trigger a big TV contract payday for both sides, but the Union wants a bigger cut

DESIGNATED HITTER:…It would add 15-veteran jobs in the National League and both sides appear ready to accept that.

ROSTER EXPANSION:…The Union would like rosters to go to 28-players per team from opening day..an incurred expense owners don’t want.

INTERNATIONAL DRAFT:…Owners propose an international draft and continuation of the signing pool for international players…a complex move considering all the different baseball federations you’d have to negotiate thru…Japan..Korea..Taiwan…Mexico

DRAFT LOTTERY:…Owners want a lottery  of the three worst teams, with the top 3-picks each year to prevent teams from intentionally tanking similar to what the NBA-NHL adopted.

 

 

MLB is now a 9B-business.  The average salary of players is 4.1M per year.  The marquee free agents are now getting 43M (Max Scherzer) along with a record number of 30M paydays each year.  Mid level players are the ones being squeezed as the game has gotten younger.  MLB is the only sport with some sort of cap.  The NFL salary cap goes up each year tied to revenues the league gets.  The NBA has a soft cap.  The NHL has a hard cap that has worked.

Lots to negotiate for one final concession has to be offset by a giveback from the other side on another item on the negotiating list.

We see if there is a Wednesday night shutdown coming or if commen sense will prevent a lockout after 26-years of labor peace in baseball, which was devasted by work stoppages in the 70s-80s-90s.

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