It was reported yesterday that the Major League Baseball Players Association has expanded its grievance proceeding against the Pirates. The MLBPA has also done so with respect to the Marlins and Rays, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (via Twitter).
Originally, the union attacked those three teams as well as the Athletics for their allocation of revenue-sharing funds during the 2017-18 transactional period. The new claims presumably level similar charges with respect to the 2018-19 offseason. It is not specifically known whether the Oakland organization stands accused of further misdeeds.
Revenue sharing provisions are collectively bargained, with recipient teams required to account for their investments. The union’s precise charges and precise requests for relief are not fully known. In essence, it’s not hard to grasp: the MLBPA feels these teams aren’t spending enough on MLB player salaries.
The Marlins significantly drew down their Opening Day payroll level in each of the past two seasons. They peaked at $115MM and change in 2017, then dropped to under $100MM and then to about $72MM in the 2019 campaign. The Miami organization spent just $4.5MM on free agents last winter while shedding some larger salaries via trade.
Of course, it was widely anticipated that the Marlins were heading for another rough season. Since the sale of the organization, it has been fully enmeshed in a rebuilding effort. The club did boost its spending in the just-completed offseason, not that doing so speaks to its actions in prior winters.
The situation is a bit different for the Rays, who’ve compiled consecutive 90-game winning rosters. They’ve done so with minimal Opening Day payroll commitments — just $76MM in 2018 and $60MM in 2019 — though they added salary throughout both seasons. While their year-over-year payroll dropped, the Rays also did add one big contract last winter when they struck a two-year, $30MM deal with Charlie Morton.