Contraction is not likely to be a threat to the Rays existence, according to players union chief Michael Weiner, writes Marc Topkin St. Petersburg Times. Furthermore, if the owners do raise the idea of eliminating teams in the upcoming labor negotiations, the union is poised to fight it.
"Having been in bargaining in baseball since the late '80s, anything is fathomable, so we don't either take anything for granted or rule anything out,'' Weiner said after meeting with Rays players . "…All I would say is if that changes, if contraction becomes a goal of the owners in this negotiation, the tenor of the talks would change quickly and dramatically.''
Comissioner Bud Selig was also asked about the issue of contraction today and said that it is not an option – even for teams struggling financially such as the Rays and Athletics, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
Weiner added that the union is less-than-thrilled with Tampa Bay's slashing of payroll and will monitor the club's spending in order to ensure its long-term health. The team's payroll is expected to be less than $60MM, a drop-off from $72MM in 2010.