MLBPA Threatening To File Grievance

The Major League Baseball Players Association is thinking about filing a collusion grievance charging owners with conspiring against free agents last winter, according to the Associated Press.  Union head Michael Weiner confirmed to the AP that there is an ongoing investigation.

"We have concerns about the operation of the post-2009 free agent market," Weiner said.  "We have been investigating that market. Our investigation is far along but not yet complete."

Agents for players have claimed that they have received multiple similar offers for free agent clients and have urged the union to speak up on the matter.

The union also alleged misconduct by teams following the 2008 season.  The two sides reached a standstill agreement, giving the players' association more time to decide whether to proceed with a grievance on that matter.

Meanwhile, the MLBPA also announced today that Opening Day salaries are up slightly from last year, according to Tom Singer of  The average player salary is $3.34MM compared to $3.31MM last season.

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57 Responses to MLBPA Threatening To File Grievance Leave a Reply

  1. The MLBPA is ran by greedy bastards.

  2. aat17068 5 years ago

    MLBPA doesn’t quite understand that we just went through one of the worst recession in a while and even as we emerge, we have much work to do to get even close to comfortable.

    Talk about not being in touch with reality. MLBPA, you get no sympathy from me. When your MLB players make a minimum of $300k and your average salary is $3.34mm, that sounds like the financial industry. Weren’t you reading the WSJ?

    No one wants to hear about your crying poor.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      “No one wants to hear about your crying poor”
      Where did they say they are poor? They are claiming that they feel the owners are conspiring in order to keep salaries down- which is illegal if its proven.

  3. 04Forever 5 years ago

    so basically the complaint is that because there were so many similar offers there is some kind of conspiracy were GMs are going behind close doors and basically discussing setting prices, seems thin to me. only more evidence that baseball needs to consider a cap if this continues

    • If this were true, Steinbrenner would’ve given Cashman another $10 million and Cashman would’ve stole a lot more free agents.

    • Redbirds16 5 years ago

      Isn’t that the definition of a market economy? I mean, it’s not like I go to grocery store A and find milk at 50 cents then travel to grocery store b and find milk at 5 bucks. Many vendors, similar prices.

      Maybe baseball organizations are simply getting better at gathering information about their clients before they hire them.

      • Redbirds16 5 years ago

        Rather, not the definition, but a product of….

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      I guess there was collusion to leave the Cardinals and Mets out of the collusion.

  4. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    Boo hoo. Go work a 60k/yr job and then start vying about not having enough money in your wallets

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      You missed the point. If your profession is worth 100k, yet you only get offers of 60k while the companies in your industry is seeing their profits increase, then are you just going to take the 60k and shut up about it?

      • If nobody is willing to pay you 100k, is it really a 100k dollar job? If a guy is really worth that, offers all come in at 60k, somebody will come in and offer 70k, still getting a 30k discount. Millions of people (even those worth 100k, are out of a job right now). If this is about all of the 1 yr offers versus the 4-6 year deals that were handed out five years ago, this is just good business. It didn’t take long for teams to regret the signings of Juan Pierre, Gary Matthews Jr, etc.

        Lastly, the average salary went up. Enough said.

        • Zack23 5 years ago

          “If nobody is willing to pay you 100k, is it really a 100k dollar job?”
          No, but if companies are colluding to make you not get an offer that is fair market value, then in this situation that is illegal.
          No doubt teams regreat GMJ, Pierre, etc. And for some teams its good business. And maybe its not- baseball owners have colluded before so if the union feels like they are they should investigate. And if they prove they did then the owners should be held accountable, if they cant then they obviously shouldnt be punished.

          But this topic is more than “stop being crybabies” like some people make it out to be.

          “Lastly, the average salary went up. Enough said.”

          Claiming a $30,000 difference is proof there was no collusion doesnt work IMO.

          • Redbirds16 5 years ago

            a 1% raise in a depressed economy isn’t all that bad.

      • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

        “If your profession is worth 100k, yet you only get offers of 60k while the companies in your industry is seeing their profits increase, then are you just going to take the 60k and shut up about it?”

        Probably. Or maybe you’ll sue someone and lose.

        Unless you’re the MLBPA and you wield completely inappropriate power.

        Your sentence should have read “If your profession is worth 100k, yet you only get offers of 60k while the companies in your industry is seeing their profits increase, then your profession is not worth 100k.”

  5. Steve_in_MA 5 years ago

    I’m pro-union generally and I believe the MLBPA is barking up the wrong tree. Absent direct evidence, they have to assume player salaries would either decrease or at least suffer smaller growth in this general economy. The fact that some FA’s got similar or identical offers at below market in this marketplace is not indicative of collusion. Its indicative of basement pricing from a decreased revenue base.

  6. I think the increasing similarity of offers shows that more and more teams are relying on metrics and stats rather than scouting alone. There is no discrepancy in the numbers, so teams would value players more similarly than in the past when scouting ruled the front office.

    The MLBPA annoys me because it’s as if they think that MLB players should be immune to the global recession. I don’t know of too many fields where salaries have remained stable, let alone moderately increased in the last year. Matt Holliday’s contract doesn’t exactly scream collusion to me. It has been a trend that middling veteran are being priced out of the market by their own demands though. Teams are relying on cost controlled young players rather than overpaying for veterans…that’s not collusion, it’s good business.

  7. jdub220 5 years ago

    Seriously, the MLBPA needs to quit being babies.
    They have the best job in the world and get paid millions upon millions of dollars.
    I wish I could be paid millions to play a game…

    • Redbirds16 5 years ago

      I wouldn’t pay to watch you. You’re not good enough. If you were good enough, I’d be paying to watch you. I go to Nats games.

  8. Seems like the MLBPA is made up of a bunch of spoiled brats. The economy is in the tank, people are spending less money — did they think that salaries were going to keep going up at the same rate? Talk to me when the average player salary isn’t measured in the millions.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      And did attendance go up last year? Did teams make more profit last year?

      “Talk to me when the average player salary isn’t measured in the millions.”
      Why? Sure they get paid alot, and their companies make alot more.

      • And the average family can’t even afford to go to a game in Chicago or New York anymore. Average prices in these cities are nearly $100 per ticket. The only places that they can afford to go are the small market teams that don’t overpay for players.

        • Zack23 5 years ago

          No, that’s completely false. There are thousands of tickets for Yankee games that are under $40. Are they front row seats? No, but that’s like complaining that a BMW costs 2-3x more than a Kia.

          • SRT 5 years ago

            There are tickets to be had at Citi Field for $11 bucks. As your analogy said, no one is stopping you from driving. You just might not be able to afford the luxury car of your dreams but you can afford one that will get you back and forth.

          • johnsilver 5 years ago

            When the Mets start putting a winning/competitive team on the field, those tickets will no longer go unsold and no longer be just $11.00 either. That is another case of the market driving the price down, just like the player salaries being driven down.

            No big deal on salaries being down either, just market correction. Dye, Nick Johnson, Vlad type contracts for huge sums of $$$ are over and done with. The days of Scott Boras setting the standard of what the salaries will be for all FA is history and it’s about time.

            The MLBPA wants to keep pushing this type of stuff? Just cut out a few teams, that will wipe out a few more jobs…

  9. danwatson19 5 years ago

    The more developed and utilized advanced stats get, the more of a quantitative “worth” players will be given. That’s going to lead to a lot of similar offers, with small incremental attempts at outbidding. It’s just the new face of the game.

  10. Synesthetik 5 years ago

    How can it be considered collusion if all of the franchises are actually subsidiaries, just like the other pro sports (see: NHL, NFL, etc)? i.e. If they’re actually all the same organization, how can you have collusion within an organization? Doesn’t make sense, really.

    • k26dp 5 years ago

      Because they are supposed to be independent businesses operating in association with each other. Albert Pujols is an employee of the St. Louis Cardinals, not Major League Baseball. The other pro sports leagues are the same way. Any attempt to fix the salaries of employees between the teams in ways inconsistent with the Collective Bargaining Agreement would be considered collusion, which is by definition an unfair labor practice.

  11. k26dp 5 years ago

    The MLBPA has every right to investigate. The owners have colluded before, there’s nothing to say they aren’t again. Hopefully the investigation will show no wrongdoing.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      That. I’m sure if MLBTR was around in the 80s we’d have people say “Cry babies” “Try making 30k a year” etc, and guess what- the union was right.
      If they feel its collusion again then they should investigate, they have nothing to lose.

  12. ZeroZeroZero 5 years ago

    Why does it mean collusion if all teams value aging stars like Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye the same?

    • No, it’s not. And I suspect that’s what’s happening here. It’s GMs getting smarter about how and when to apply resources.

      That said, the MLBPA should still do their due dilligence and investigate.

  13. Jerry Mandering 5 years ago


  14. Now that there are statistics that tell you about how many wins a player will contribute, and there are statistics that tell you how much a win is worth, simple math would provide everyone with the approximate value of each player, no?

  15. jamesaphone 5 years ago

    This is not hard to believe, the owners have been found guilty of collusion before in the 80’s. Why wouldn’t they do it again? Once a cheater always a cheater. the Union needs to keep presure like this on the teams and remind them that they can’t get away with this again!

    Personally – I don’t think they are doing this. I think the Rays have single handedly influenced MLB teams how to make it to the top without forking over a lot of money.

  16. Folks always have beef with the players when they complain. Here are a couple of things 1. It’s not your money
    2. They get paid to play a game yes, but try are the best at that game in the WORLD! Not only that they have been working at it since they were 5-10 years old
    3. Do you want the owners to have more money?
    It’s billionaires fighting with millionaires over their piece of a 6 billion dollar industry.

  17. friscofan101 5 years ago

    i think that teams have more stats and are able to better judge what contracts might be. and with the emergence of sites like this and everything being driven by the media i think that everyone enters with a number that they have all herd before from the same source being the media. but if they were in colusion then im pissed the giants didnt get better players out of it.

  18. Koby2 5 years ago

    Not that I’m supporting the MLBPA (I don’t really think they have an issue here for many of the reasons already stated), but we also have to look at the fact the player’s career is usually much shorter than that of many other people’s careers in different fields. So the money they make in their career has to last them the rest of their life, usually do to the fact this is the best skill they have. When that’s gone, they have to rely on their lesser skills to survive, while entering a new field at a much older age than others.

    Still, the MLBPA doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on, unless they have clear and verifiable evidence to suggest/prove collusion took place.

  19. humbb 5 years ago

    “Agents for players have claimed that they have received multiple similar offers for free agent clients and have urged the union to speak up on the matter.”

    Very simply, those multiple similar offers were either “minor league deal” or “not interested”.

  20. turnthe2 5 years ago

    I know that MLB had a different salary form back then but I’m curious to learn how the Great Depression effected players and owners back then and compare it to now…..any economists out there?

  21. dixieyouthdad 5 years ago

    “It’s the economy, stupid”

    James Carville (can’t believe I’m actually quoting him)

  22. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Players can collaborate to say, “If you don’t enact a 5/10 rule, we’re going on strike”, but teams can’t say, “We’re not paying Washburn $5m+”, because if they do, there must be collusion.

    Yeah. That makes sense.

    • Your first example is something agreed to by both parties during collective barginning. There’s nothing to prevent the owners from refusing to agree to the 5/10 rule and allowing the players to walk.

      Teams can decide individually if they should try to sign a free agent, and what salary they want to offer. They just can’t agree beforehand what the highest offer should be, or (in the case of the ’80s) always agree to not make a higher offer to another team’s free agent if the original team wants to re-sign him.

      So, yeah… it makes sense.

  23. briantalletsmoustache 5 years ago

    How about collusion over shutting Barry Bonds out, something that’s a little more criminal than shaving a few bucks off a contract here and there?

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Criminal or not, I’m very glad they all decided against Bonds.

    • nhsox 5 years ago

      Honestly, I think that shutting Barry Bonds out of baseball was a product of nobody wanting the biggest headache in sports on their baseball team. The legal troubles, his age, and the fact that he would have been suited on a new team as a DH made it incredibly unlikely that anybody would actually want him. How are you supposed to compete with the added distraction of the Barry Bonds circus?

      This accusation seems to have more legs to me because the MLB has some of the best legal protection against monopolistic behavior in the United States. Look at the market for free agents. Carlos Silva is going to make 12MM on a deal he signed a few years ago. How many free agent pitchers that were arguably better than him this past off season make half of that or less? This isn’t necessarily a matter of owners tightening their wallets. Many players have seen their salaries get cut in half, thirds or more. I don’t care what industry you’re in, that is not taken lightly by employees and shouldn’t be.

    • MasterDave 5 years ago

      Really, you can’t think of ANY reason a team woudln’t want Barry “I’m a media entity” Bonds on their team? At all?

      I wouldn’t pay a 44 year old DH even a league minimum contract if he’s going to bring a diva lifestyle with tons of baggage and distraction with him, and neither would most teams. He only stuck around in SF as long as he did being a jackass to everyone while he was chasing the HR record and because he has family in the club.

      That kind of crap wouldn’t fly anywhere else. And the Giants had to move on. It’s not like ditching him has hurt them at all, even if they wasted the money they were spending on him before.

      • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

        In his last year, he led the NL in walks, OBP, and OBPS, while hitting 28 homers. Granted he wasn’t an everyday player, but he would give you around 130 games and some good offensive stats. I’m glad the Giants moved on, but I think he would’ve been a beast of a DH.

  24. MasterDave 5 years ago

    i fail at butons

  25. jwsox 5 years ago

    so wait the players union is upset that Gm used contracts from other players and other gms as bench marks for giving out contracts. Doesnt that happen every day of every year. they see one player get said deal then they give a similar deal to a similar player..

    • jwsox 5 years ago

      attendance across the league is down, revenue is down all across the boards due to the DOWN ECONOMY so the union is upset that certain players are getting low ball deal across the board. they are ASSUMING that even in a normal or up economy that these same players would get better deals. When in fact these players they are talking about are probably either injury prone players who think because of one or two seasons deserve more money, or they are aging players who cant grasp the fact that they are on the down side of their career, or they are represented by scott boras(who thinks every one of his players should get 10 yrs for 300 mill plus with full no trade)…..Just because Holliday and Bay got over paid and everyone else seemed to sing more team friendly contracts there is an issue

  26. BigRedOne 5 years ago

    The MLBPA is rattling their sabre again. Now they’re thinking about claiming collusion against the owners. You know, it’s really breathtaking the amount of power the Player’s union has. The way they act, by essentially holding a gun to the owner’s heads really portray themselves as an unsymptathetic group. How many other industries has their union members sail yatchts, fly on learjets and have live in housekeepers and cooks? The players union are not about what’s right or fair, they’re all about GREED and it’s the fans, namely the fans of small and mid market teams, who bear the brunt of the players greed as we are expected to march to the ballpark and plop down our hard earned cash to watch our teams lose and the best players leave town for bigger bucks. Baseball fans are true fools but the players are the villains.

  27. markjsunz 5 years ago

    I watched a padres diamondback game last night and the stands were almost empty during the second game of the season. What a shame that is. Some teams can cry poverty, other teams like the Dodgers, the Yankees Red Sox and Angels have record attendence year after year.Prehaps the players have a legitimate complaint but on the other hand why overpay for a journeyman when I can bring a kid out of my farm system who can give me about the same production, or why should a team give a journeyman a crazy long term contract. At the end of the day it will not benifit the fans because the owners are not going to lower the price of anything.

  28. schellis 5 years ago

    It may not be my money, but I know what the team I follow will spend on the on the field product. This means the further ownership can drive down the players salaries the better the product I’ll get to see on the field.

    I have to deal with “collusion” in my job…my salary is effected by what is the average salary of my position in the area.

    So I have absolutely no issues with MLB doing the same in that regard. I’m sorry for you poor poor player when three million is a insult when people are losing their jobs and homes and can’t afford to have even basic medical care.

    What I would consider true collusion and something to complain about is if the only offer someone like Holliday got was a 2 million a year for 6 years from the Cards and nobody else offered anything because the Cards colluded with other teams to keep Holliday where he was.

    What is happening now is a market correction where players are getting paid somewhat in line with their value.

    With my job anywhere in the area would likely offer me 40-60 thousand dollars depending on where I was working. Now if some place inside that area decided to offer me 500,000 for the same job it wouldn’t make my job a half million dollar position, it would just mean their was someone stupid throwing out money.

    Stupid contracts are still being thrown out, and the fact that the Cards likely overpaid for Holliday in both years and dollars along with the Mets with Bay shows that all the teams aren’t using the same play book and don’t have handshake agreements with all the other teams.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      “I have to deal with “collusion” in my job…my salary is effected by what is the average salary of my position in the area.”

      I think you should sue everyone in your industry.

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