The big news across MLB is the lockout. After not even pretending to negotiate last week, the MLBPA and owners were unable to come to an agreement. Shocker, right? Apparently 7 minutes on Wednesday afternoon wasn’t enough to salvage the situation.
The blame game has begun on both sides which is cool because there’s plenty to blame on both sides. I’m crafting a piece on my ideas to fix the largest issues. In the meantime let’s take a look at how the CBA’s have changed key elements of the game over time.
One point of contention is the luxury tax threshold. Here’s how that figure has evolved through previous CBA’s.
Another point is the minimum salary. For my money the top 1% of the top 1% in the world should make at least a million per year. Here’s how that number has been increased through previous CBA’s.
One thing I think should be discussed more is revenue sharing. The crux of my CBA proposal is to make teams spend 100% of the pot from revenue sharing on player salaries. This would stop the Bob Nutting’s of the world from pocketing $50 million a year of other teams money and rolling out a crappy team.
Here’s a great look at the revenue sharing systems currently in place. The formula is pretty complex but there are teams clearly pocketing cash that is intended to be used on payroll. I took a look at 2018 and the total take looked to be about a quarter billion spread out among nine teams. Players should get that money.
But there are other considerations. Arbitration, time clocks, etc. Service time break down is here.
Now that we are here, what can and can not be done during the lockout? More than you’d expect on both sides.
And while this post has been generally pro player, I’m not without some sympathy for ownership. Currently their economic lifeline, cable TV deals, is under jeopardy and they hand out massive, fully guaranteed contracts that represent a level of risk exposure unheard of in pretty much any other field. Yes, franchise values have blossomed but equity is not cash flow.
Now that we’re here, let’s take a good hard look at the labor war. That’s your longform read for the weekend and very much worth the time.
Onto something else.
The Padres took a risk I would have liked the Angels to take, signing Nick Martinez for four years and a very reasonable $20 million. It cold be $7 million over one due to the opt out but he dominated the NPB last year.
And I’ll cry a little. How could Perry not reign in the highest floor pitcher on the board? Stroman to the Cubs for only 3 years and for only a fraction more than Thor in AAV. Which would you bet delivers 150 innings of quality pitching next year?
The Angels are interested in Kris Bryant. I’d imagine this would preclude a trade of Adell or Marsh for a pitcher. I’d love to add his bat to the lineup and can only dream of Sonny Gray or someone similar in the rotation. We’ll see.
On a personal note, I’d like to dedicate this weekend’s links to a great Angels fan who was a dear friend of mine for the last 24 years. I think we were the only 2 Angels fans in Bakersfield back in the day. We laid him to rest Wednesday with his signature red Angels hat on display. RIP Alex G. I miss you bro.
Does it make me a bad baseball fan if I don’t recognize any of the names that made the HoF?
No gripes with the HOF inductees, really. Glad for Minnie Minoso, but super thrilled for Buck O’Neil. Man should have been inducted in 2006 when he was still alive. Now for some justice for Grich. His numbers more than justify HOF status. Overshadowed his whole career by Joe Morgan. Not that Joe isn’t utterly deserving of his status. Bobby was a great second baseman that got lost in the shuffle. Clearly, he is the player from the last half century that is most deserving of a plaque.
I sure we will all be able to enjoy Grich HOF induction in the near future. The problem with Grich is the nay sayers will also be clamoring for sweet Lou Whitaker . I think it will both guys or neither.
I’d say both belong in. Hell, we’re putting guys with less than 50 WAR in now, what did Lou have, 75? Something like that?
Your reply confused me as I missed the period between “in” and “Hell.”
I was really hoping Dick Allen would have made it this year.
Tony Oliva, Gil Hodges and Minnie Minoso made it to the Hall of Pretty Good. I actually like all 3 players but I don’t see why they need to be in the Hall of Fame. I guess Hodges cause Doyer and Minoso/Oliva for greater representation? Soooo…. Dave Parker’s a HOFer now I guess? Justin Upton’s three OK seasons away? Edgar Martinez is a lock by a mile? Jeff Kent? So is Brian Downing? I like that, Downing and Gritch should be in like flynn.
I don’t know, seems more like the Anteroom of Nostalgia than the HOF.
Boy I hope the veterans committee is this embracing when Grich’s era comes up again in a couple of years.
Hodges got in, I’d think, because he managed the 1969 Mets…as well as being a decent player. He wouldnt get in solely on his Dodger days but he took a joke team and led them to 100 wins and a title.
You could make an argument against Tony Oliva. Although as a kid I loved watching him play on TV . He only had 8 good seasons from 1964 to 1971 and then knee injuries reduced him to a mediocre DH. Dick Allen got snubbed by Veterans committee even though he was on the ballot. That to me is the most shocking.
Tony Oliva is an easy call for me. Another Twin born to hit. Growing up, they always seem to have hitters that could do damage. Tony won 3 batting titles, first player to win 2 batting titles in his first two years in the big leagues. Selected to the All-Star team his first eight seasons. In 1965, finished second in the MVP race to his fellow Cuban teammate, Zoilo Versalles. Looking at the stats, hard to figure out why. Finished 2nd again in the AL MVP race in 1970 to Boog Powell, who was better statistically. Tony had a great arm and speed. Knee, leg, shoulder injuries zapped his abilities but pure batting skills, up there with the best of best. Welcome and long overdue.
I’m surprised you of all people are all for Oliva. Sure, he was good, no doubt, but the guy ONLY had eight good seasons. He didn’t even have 2000 hits much less three. I mean, you mentioned Boog Powell… Fred Lynn… Kent Hrbek… Paul O’ Neil. These are all really good players, but they won’t make the Hall. So Oliva’s overriding qualification is “injuries happened”? I mean, there’s a pretty long list of those guys too. You’re usually pretty demanding. How did Tony Oliva wind his way into your heart so deeply? Ellis Burks bro. Julio Franco was just as good and he was 97 years old.
This is actually why I’m not the biggest fan of having a whole pile of different veterans committees. The truth is, most of the players from before the 1980s who deserve to be in are already in. But these committees are going to feel the need to elect someone to justify existing. Thus, Jim Kaat. Soon we’ll be like the Basketball and NFL HOFs where you can get in as long as enough old men tell stories about you in bars and at press luncheons. I mean at least Harold Baines had 2800 hits.
I get why veteran’s committee exists. There will be guys who age out on the ballot just because they played in an era with so many HOFers that they just never make the cut, but they should be in. But we’re talking about a handful of guys, like Grich or overlooked closers or maybe a guy like Mike Marshall will get in someday for pioneering bulk relief pitching. Buck O’Neil was the only guy I would have put in this year.
And Dick Allen.
Dick Allen kinda lands in my “Hall of Fred Lynn” as well.
Does that include your Hall of Jimmy Edmonds?
Condolences on your loss, Jeff.
Freddy Galvis to the Softbank Hawks…. somehow this bugs me more than Stroman to the Cubs. There are plenty of pitching options I still like. There are very few SS options I actually want to pay for so I can get those pitching options.
Pretty sure that this is mainly because of the lockout. Galvis wanted to have a sure contract in hand instead of waiting who knows how long. Just another reason to despise Rob Manfred.
Galvis is overrated . No loss. there are other viable options out there if Correa or Story don’t sign with us.
Thought the same. Ironically, the low tier pos player mkt could be surprisingly tight because of all the uncertainty from the lockout. :/
Yeah, very few. Even if we slide Fletcher to SS, pickings are slim in the 2B rank as well. I’m not that much of a fan of Villar to pay him $6M as Fangraphs predicts.
I doubt the Angels grab much more than either a bullpen piece or an innings-ester #4 SP, if that. I think the Dec. 1 team is petty much the team that plays June 1, the first day of the season after the billionaire/millionaire war concludes with both bloodied and bowed.
Not sure if the Angels are done but they definitely can be petty.
I’m sorry for your loss, Jeff.
My condolences on your loss, Jeff.
Condolences for your loss, Jeff.
Do you really think Billy would try to get his BFF BBB hired in the big apple?
Dang it, so Granderson may not be available, after all?
I’m sorry for your loss, Jeff.
Sorry for your loss Jeff. At least there was some comfort in knowing that your friend would have appreciated being laid to rest in his favorite Angel Hat.
There was definitely some consolation for my mom and I to be able to bury my Dad with his favorite Angel hat and jacket. Even Joe Maddon has talked about the feeling of peace he got when he laid his dad to rest in his favorite Angel Gear.
Always an Angel.
Condolences for the loss of your friend, Jeff.
So sorry for you loss, Jeff ❤️
So, we just might go a long-time w/o any Baseball. I remember in 1987 the owner’s tried selling MLB using all minor league players and how’d that work out? As the game on the field has changed dramatically so has the ownership group. Where families ran things back in the 80’s now it is Billionaires and Corporations. It is now all about the bottom line with the goal not to pay yourself well and breakeven but to show massive profits. The game itself takes a back seat to profits. The new group of owners are going to ruin the game and their profits if they don’t compromise, and the players are sure to kill the Golden Goose. They all just don’t get it. By that my implantation is that the sport is not must see except for the real fans of the game and every year we get older. The GREED is going to ruin the game and having Manfred is leading the charge. I read where Soto in 2 years hits free agency and will be the first to hit a half billion dollars. Yep the players are really just hurting. Owners with all the money coming in with all the revenue sources cannot be hurting. but the average person and that includes families will find other things to do as happened in 94-95 strike/lockout. While attendance increase because of steroids and Selig damn near killed the rep of MLB overall turnsile has gone down every year for the last 10 years. Cable money will never return. And for those who believe that players deserve more then ask yourself where does that money come from? And with Manfred leading the charge, does anyone really believe in this guy other than the owners? The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind, COMPROMISE. (And a new commish from the outside).
Grandpa. I think you meant 1995 not 1987
Kris Bryant? For real? Dumb, about as dumb as the Lockout/Strike is. The team can use Bryant sure, but the money should have gone to Stroman for 4 years, not anther bat and what about SS.
Still think a starter and SS can be done someday in a trade including some combo of our minor leaguers and Adell or Marsh or even Walsh and moving Trout to 1B.
That dang Renny is got himself a 40 man roster spot. Funny Stuff.
If Bryant is signed you can pretty much guarantee Adell or Marsh is gone for pitching. But let’s play this out a bit:
Thor, Ohtani, Sonny Gray, Sandoval, Suarez, Lorenzen/Barria is pretty nice.
Marsh, Trout, Ohtani, Rendon, Bryant, Stassi, Walsh, SS, Fletcher is also pretty nice.
Yeah, if not Bryant, we’ll need an additional OF to replace Marsh.
Jeff has Marsh leading off. Adell is traded.
Or…it could be Adell that gets traded. My eyes tell me Adell will be more prolific at the plate.
Bryant’s shine has faded, maybe his asking prices has fallen as well. I’m definitely onboard with signing a bat and trading an OF to get an arm.
We can disagree on this. While Adell may hit 35 HR’s one day, it is Marsh who will proceed farther because of his speed, putting the bat on the ball and his glove and arm. Presently Marsh is a 4-tool player with a chance to someday hit 30 HR’s and steal 30 bases. Along with the fact he plays CF and Trout is getting older and is injury prone.
That looks good agreed, but at what cost and how long will we have Bryant? Where does Ohtani’s bump up ($) come in the equation? But maybe we win 100 games and win the WS with what you’ve got down there. Where does Trouty play if Marsh is in the mix, RF I would hope except Bryant has the better arm, but Trouty is faster. What great problems to have in making the lineup card.
With the prevalance of shifts these days, it’s possible they’re eyeing Bryant for the rover position.
How’s his range?
It would be very typical for the Angels to sign Kris Bryant. Draw your own conclusions…
here’s my reasoning why it won’t happen. Perry drafted 20 pitchers. He’s so focused on pitching that he will specifically avoid spending large money on hitters.
And yet we desperately need a starting SS. So wasting money on Bryant makes zero sense given the other needs.
But if the Angels do indeed try to obtain a starter, most likely an OF will depart. That feels the likely scenario to get a No. 1 or No. 2. So Angels will need an OF. Makes a lot of sense to me as OF depth is an organizational problem. Not in favor of 5 or 7-year deal for Bryant though.
SS will be a little easier to fill. It is a defensive position first, hitting second. My guess, we could start the season with the guys we picked up from the Yankees. I’d worry about this position last. Correa and and Story are not coming.
I feel there are plenty of other corner OFs still on the board who would cost less than Bryant and achieve similar or better results. Let’s stop paying for past production. Bryant has a declining skill set. The only reason I could see signing him is if they know Rendon is injured to the point he can’t play anymore.
I’m less concerned with increasing the MLB minimum to $1 million than I am with making it available to more players.
In 2020, the MLB minimum was $563,500, but the minimum for a player on the 40-man roster in AAA was $46,000. That’s a total cost of ~$15.3 million (26 x 563.5K + 14 * 46K). Increasing the MLB min to $1 million and the 40-man AAA to $50K would be a total cost of ~$26.7 million. However, setting a minimum of $575,000 and giving it to all players on the 40-man roster, regardless of whether they are in the MLB or AAA would be a total cost of only $23 million.
What’s more, it is better for players on an individual level. 3 option years @ $50,000 plus 3 years at $1 mil minimum = $3.15 million. However, 6 years at $575K = $3.45 million. In both cases the next 3 years would be arbitration years.
It might not be as beneficial to players that don’t use all 3 option years, but those players reach arbitration sooner anyway, and at least they would get paid more when teams manipulate service time to avoid arbitration.
Very interesting idea. I really like it. And I’m surprised at how little difference it makes to the owners bottom line while boosting the lives of 14 players.
And it leaves room for some negotiation. Perhaps a common sense midway point where it is say $250,000 per year on the 40 man and $750,000 per on the 26 or something of that nature.
Fact is several guys get kind of abused on the 40 man. Like Barria a couple of years ago. Up for one day, start a game, then back to AAA the following day. Considering a starter would be resting for 5 days he was essentially an MLB player but he was getting paid crap to do so.
I think the abuse that occurs is more of filling immediate needed starting pitcher and relief pitching needs than a manipulation of payroll. But if the minimum is the same for everyone, I think you would still see the roster manipulation but the players couldn’t cry foul for monetary reasons.
Under this plan what would the 40 man roster guys with options get if they were placed on the 60 day IL for most of the season.And how would that affect their service time?
My gut tells me the players wouldn’t go for this since they traditionally have never given a shit about the minor leaguers since they haven’t “paid their dues” yet. I think it would a great move on the players part to push for better wages among those players . I wonder if this system would create a great divide down on the farm though between the 40 man roster players and the non 40 man players that are on the same team.
Players on the 40-man roster are union members, so the MLBPA should go for this idea. That said, you are probably right they won’t, because they always seem to focus on getting superstars to big free agent contracts as quickly as possible rather than helping out the lower end.
I don’t think service time rules would need to be any different (although I do also think service time should start when added to the 40-man roster to prevent manipulation, perhaps at the cost of a 7th year before FA or age of 29.5).
The 60-day IL is a problem that would need to be worked out. I’m sure the owners would balk at paying an extra player $500K+ instead of 46K and the MLBPA would scream bloody murder at any suggestion that injured players make less money. I don’t have an easy solution at this time.
Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you
That scene is so gnarly.
With the great Steven Wright as the DJ
Owners to the left of me
Players to my right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you
Finally, Jeff, I am very sorry as well to hear about the loss of your friend Alex.
Regarding the owners lockout, since we know the exact salary of every player, let’s have the owners fully open their books to reveal to the penny how much they make operating their franchises, including all the ancillary income. Then we can form fact based opinions about how the money should flow.
And if the owners are so poor, why were they rushing to sign players for more than $300,000,000 moments before the CBA ran out.