Players, Owners Begin Formal Bargaining

MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner says the players and owners had their first formal bargaining session in Tampa Bay last night, according to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. Baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire after the season, so the sides will continue negotiating over the course of the coming months.

A number of issues, including the amateur draft, revenue sharing and expanded playoffs, figure to be on the bargaining table. But there's one major issue that won't likely come up: a salary cap. Weiner told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he doesn't expect the possibility of a salary cap to be an issue. In fact, Weiner says he doesn't expect that either side "is looking to make fundamental or radical changes in the structure of [the existing] contract."

48 Responses to Players, Owners Begin Formal Bargaining Leave a Reply

  1. MB923 4 years ago

    No salary cap talk? What a shock.

  2. Still waters run deep, guys. Keep everyone happy, and keep the game going. That’s all us fans want.

    By the way, are there any player reps these days, like Glavine was in 1994?

  3. BravesRed 4 years ago

    At least one sport is bargaining, unlike the NFL.

  4. Alex Foltz 4 years ago

    I’m in favor of a salary cap, but I’m more in favor of seeing baseball in 2012. Just get a deal done.

  5. jhawk90 4 years ago

    Good – just get it done. Maybe work out a “no loaning money to Wilpon” rule but whatever.

  6. MB923 4 years ago

    An improvement in revenue sharing would be a huge plus I think. Then a hard cap AND a soft cap.

    I’m sure most people hate the idea of added playoff teams, but I don’t think it would be such a bad thing (if it was done right)

    And they must limit off days in the playoffs. Seems as if teams are off 3 days a week. In the regular season for the most part, a team is off usually only 1 day a week.

    • theophilus166 4 years ago

      They should NOT expand the playoffs. Baseball is such a streaky sport, any team can get hot for a few weeks. Playoffs should be limited to teams who have proven they deserve to have a shot at the championship.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        for the same reason, the ALDS and NLDS should be 7 games

      • top_prospect_aw 4 years ago

        But I think to have a team’s 162 game season decided in potentially 3 games is a major flaw in the system. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. A team’s success in the regular season is largely based upon its depth; especially in pitching. Having a series decided in 3 games doesn’t show a team’s depth but rather what soon-to-be free agent big name starting pitchers a team could trade for. Remember 40% of a team’s games in the regular season are put on the shoulders of the #4 and #5 starting pitchers. My opinion: Expand Division Series to 7

        • even with a 7 game series…you’re looking at 3 starting pitchers

          • Redbirds16 4 years ago

            You wanna go nine? 😛

          • top_prospect_aw 4 years ago

            If there are 7 games in the first round, I could see managers rethinking whether they go with a 3 man playoff rotation. Come the world series, you have pitchers who are either burnt out or risk potential injury in the playoffs. These are also the same pitchers who pitched 30+ games prior in the regular season and now being asked to potentially pitch 7 more starts in just a month timespan?

  7. jhawk90 4 years ago

    So what’s on the table for playoff expansion? Anything more than a 3-game series would drag the season even further into winter ball. A three gamer between two wild cards maybe? I can’t see adding 2 more wild cards and dragging the worst division winner in, that would be unfair.

    • CitizenSnips 4 years ago

      Seriously. We don’t need to turn this into the two-month NBA Finals.

  8. The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

    Salary caps are bad for ALL sports, it produces mediocrity.

    • theophilus166 4 years ago

      funny that a Yankee fan would have that opinion. I’m guessing you’d be thinking a lot differently if you were a Royals fan. Try being a fan of a team that has absolutely zero chance to ever compete for a championship.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        the royals will compete for a championship within 3 years. bad example

        how about the rays? nope

        marlins? damn it!

      • MB923 4 years ago

        Who says they have a zero chance? Look what happened to the Rays in 2008. Worst record in baseball to AL pennant winners. Am I saying it’s going to happen to the Royals? No, but to say Zero chance is wrong.

        I disagree though by saying a salary cap is bad for all sports.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          the rays in 2008-2010, who are still in a great position right now organizationally despite playing in the toughest division in baseball with 4 large market teams*

          as the rays demonstrate, it’s harder to be a small market club than a large market. but by no means is it impossible to succeed. the rays are the model and clubs like pittsburgh and to some degree kansas city need to wise up or shut up

      • I’m a royals fan and i think that a salary cap is a terrible idea. my team has been awful for 20 years b/c ownership and management have been awful…not b/c we couldnt afford to compete.

      • The problem isn’t that the Yankees spend too much money, it’s that other teams don’t spend enough. Teams like the Marlins get plenty of money in revenue sharing, but due to various loopholes and clauses the owners are able to pocket the money under the guise of improving the team “off the field.” See: The Marlins and their new stadium.

        A salary floor needs to be implemented before a salary cap. Force club owners to spend money on the teams they own, and not treat them as entries in a stock portfolio. Have extremely strict rules as to how money earned through revenue sharing can be spent, making it so that some % of it MUST be spent on player contracts, and not on just some general notion of “improving the team.” Make it extremely clear to any potential future owners what they must do as owners of the club.

        Baseball would be better with more Steinbrenners, not less. Owners that actually care about the team they own. The Yankees don’t have so much payroll room just because the Steinbrenners just happen to be the richest owners in baseball (they’re not), they have it because the Steinbrenners care about the team and are WILLING to put that much money into the team.

        That sort of attitude does not need to be punished, which is exactly what a salary cap would do. It needs to be encouraged.

        Don’t be mad at the Yankees, be mad at the Marlins, Royals, your team, whomever for not being as willing to spend money as the Yankees are.

        Edit: And I’m a Braves fan, before anyone accuses me of being a Yankees/Red Sox/Phillies/Cubs homer.

  9. Drew 4 years ago

    I’m actually anti-cap. I know it causes inequality in teams, but I like that baseball is “different” than the other sports and encourages competitive balance in ways OTHER than capping team salaries… The arbitration system, draft, luxury tax, revenue sharing, etc…

  10. kimofromkauai 4 years ago

    If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      Well, it’s broken.

      Seriously, I’m a victim of East Coast Bias as a ESPN watching large market team fan and even I can tell that the current system is drastically broken in favor of large market teams. The Red Sox just acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and half of what was left over and managed to actually IMPROVE their draft position for 2011’s draft. Somebody explain to me how that is remotely close to how the system SHOULD work.

      • kimofromkauai 4 years ago

        Well, the players are making good money, big market teams like NYY and Boston are making a lot of money, small market teams make money like Pittsburgh and Florida, the fans show up in big numbers, revenues are at an all time high, and there are many ways to enjoy the product rather than just attend the ball park nearest to you.

        So what is really broken?

  11. HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

    That Weiner is a schmuck.

  12. A salary cap in baseball 1. is unnecessary and 2. will never, ever happen. The fact that they’ve put in a “luxury tax” is even surprising, and they have to give the players 75% of those revenues to get it done. A salary “floor” is more necessary with the way that some clubs have taken the revenue that they’ve gotten and failed to spend it on their players. I’d like to see the luxury tax threshold level tightened to about $ 150 million with a dollar for dollar tax above that, and a floor at about $ 50 million. A salary cap would only increase the profits of the richest clubs while limiting player salaries on the top end. It’s un-American.

    A better solution is the even distribution of certain revenues. It takes two teams to put on the show, and it’s fair to divide the revenues from any game or every game, between the two participants, or between all the clubs in the league. MLB won’t go that far, but the “luxury tax” issues are on the table. A hard salary cap is not.

    What WILL be reformed somewhat is the compensation that teams have to PAY for signing Type A free agents. Neither side likes to see the “Orlando syndrome”, where Orlandos Hudson and Cabrera were left sitting on the market because no team would give up a first round pick to sign them. The way that players are valued for compensation purposes is skewed. They should be valued by the salary they receive-their true market value- regardless of position or random grouping of statistics. They might decide that only “sandwich picks” will be used as compensation, but they need to have some mechanism to prevent hoarding of the top free agents. I favor a hard limit of two Type A free agents in a given season per team. Only one team has ever signed more than that.

  13. A new method of evaluating FAs for draft compensation purposes is needed.

    • invader3k 4 years ago

      Agreed. The draft and revenue sharing seem to be the biggest weaknesses of MLB as it currently exists. I’m not sure any restructuring of revenue sharing will realistically happen, though.

    • How about ranking them by…. let’s see…. I know! How about ranking them by the salary that they get on the open market! Like, their ACTUAL value? What a team is willing to pay them!

      • you cant really do that….b/c then the teams wouldnt know if they’re going to have to give up a draft pick or not when signing a player

        • The formula would be reset at the end of each season, so teams would know the criteria. It’s also possible that they will re-do the compensation scheme so that teams don’t give up any draft picks. All the comp picks would be sandwich round picks.

  14. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    Something definitely needs to be done about international signings. That and free agent compensation are the two most broken aspects of the system right now.

    • andrewyf 4 years ago

      Agreed, but what should be done about international free agents? An international draft? Not so sure that would fix anything. The ‘problem’ with international free agents is that of access, not of price. Anyone can pay the meager price for free agents like Sano, Ynoa, Montero. The problem is actually getting enough scouts out there to see enough of the players to actually commit to them, or to get scouts on the players at age 12 so they’ll be more apt to sign with that team. A draft wouldn’t make things all that different – teams like the Yankees, Seattle, Cleveland, Oakland would still have a huge leg up because they have much better access to the prospects there.

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        Pffft, adunno. I’m on the internet, my job is to complain and point out the inadequacies of the system, not offer productive dialogue.

  15. Redbirds16 4 years ago

    The Red Sox are good… both their front office and on the field.

    Large market teams will be able to compete year after year due to their financial capabilities. Small market teams have to develop their teams to compete in a given set of years (and get guys like Evan Longoria to sign really friendly deals!). It’s unfortunate for the small market teams maybe, but that’s the reality. If an ownership doesn’t have deep pockets, they’d be smart to invest in a Rays-like strategy. Although even the Rays ownership is having trouble (but that’s more to the fact that they’re in a bad location in a hard market than anything else…).

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      even if i had a like button that worked, i’d break it on this^ comment

      the playing field will never be level because population distribution, fan enthusiasm, business acumen, and a hundred other things will never be equal

      that’s not to say that nothing should be done to try to enhance competition (draft pick compensation makes sense to me), but a line has to be drawn. we expect players to compete hard, we should probably expect owners to do the same. bad market? move to club. get creative. make the very most of what you have. the rays have proven this is is doable

  16. Redbirds16 4 years ago

    But that’s due to the team’s dedication to scouting and development… mentioning the lucrative Yanks alongside the miserly Athletics helps to prove parity, not disprove it.

  17. Revenue sharing is very important, especially on the media side of things. A salary cap isn’t really going to work for baseball because of how the minors etc work, I wouldn’t expect to ever see a salary cap, especially not one where every team meets the cap. Maybe they could make a cap that is so high that only the top 15% hit it or something.

  18. Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

    I’m with the salary floor crowd. I want to see every team required to spend 100% of distributed revenue sharing money, 100% of distributed luxury tax money and 50% of the distributed general marketing fund money on these items: (i) player payroll, (ii) scouting and assessment, (iii) draft signing bonuses, (iv) international free agent signing bonuses, and (v) player development resources/facilities. I just want to make sure that the money being invested by and redistributed from the large market teams is being utilized exclusively for the betterment of the competition between teams.

    I want that “rising tide” that is supposed to “lift all boats.” I want to someday travel to Pittsburgh to watch the BoSox take on the Pirates at PNC, and have the rational expectation (based on talent), before the first pitch is ever thrown, that the outcome of the game is seriously in doubt.

  19. Weiner says he doesn’t expect that either side “is looking to make fundamental or radical changes in the structure of [the existing] contract.”

    Yeah, right Weiner!!

    He has no idea how the majority owners are going to hit the MLBPA after the season’s over.

  20. …skyrocketing salary prices pumped in off the top of this absurd “US beer market model” to end the current agreement. The majority owners will demand expanded revenue sharing that the local TV revenues are included, with salary floor as the MLBPA’s best concession to compromise. Otherwise, this game’s going to be shut down, again, as the MLPA and free agency have blown their ant-trust integrity.

  21. There is already a limit on how many Type A and B free agents that one club can sign, but it’s so loose that no team has ever reached the limit with the exception of the Yankees when they signed Burnett, Sabathia, and Teixeira in the same off season. The limit goes up for each Type A player that the team loses.

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