Alex Rodriguez, who’s vying to purchase the Mets, made comments Thursday that could win the favor of Major League Baseball owners. However, they’ve already drawn ire from the players’ side. As the Associated Press writes, the retired 14-time All-Star called for today’s players to accept a revenue-sharing system “tied to a salary cap.”
The MLBPA was able to prevent the league from implementing a salary cap during the 1994-95 strike, but Rodriguez believes the players have lost leverage since then because baseball no longer has “a stranglehold on professional sports.” Rodriguez cited the increased popularity of the NFL and NBA and the rise of various digital media platforms as factors that have hurt baseball over the past two-plus decades. As a result, the owners and players must “really work collaborative” in an effort to return the game to the top.
How can they do that? In Rodriguez’s estimation, “The only way it’s going to happen is if they get to the table and say the No. 1 goal, let’s get from $10 to $15 billion and then we’ll split the economics evenly.”
Union chief Tony Clark fired back, stating: “Alex benefited as much as anybody from the battles this union fought against owners’ repeated attempts to get a salary cap. Now that he is attempting to become an owner himself his perspective appears to be different. And that perspective does not reflect the best interests of the players.”
As the highest-paid player in the history of the game, Rodriguez certainly did benefit from the cap-less setup when he was in the league. The former Mariner, Ranger and Yankee earned over $441MM in salaries according to Baseball Reference, which makes his comments especially surprising and, in some quarters, quite unpopular.
Former major league right-hander and current Rangers special assistant Brandon McCarthy was among those to voice vehement opposition to A-Rod’s observations, tweeting Thursday he hopes Rodriguez – now a television analyst – is “shouted out of every clubhouse he attempts to enter in this and future seasons. Call him a self-serving liar and make him explain himself to a room full of his former peers if he wants broadcast content.”
Rodriguez subsequently took to Twitter in the early hours of the morning Friday to issue a statement.
“Yesterday, when I was asked about the CBA expiring in 2021, I answered honestly, but never mentioned the word salary cap,” Rodriguez wrote. “My goal as a broadcaster and more importantly as a fan of the sport is to grow our game. I suggested on the call that both sides – players and owners – work together to make baseball as big as the NFL and the NBA. I’ve been in contact with Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA, to make sure we’re aligned in taking our sport to the next level and showcasing the world’s best athletes.”
Regardless of whether Rodriguez’s star-studded group does land the Mets, the owners and players figure to be in for a contentious showdown when the CBA expires in December 2021. The two sides engaged in an all-too-public, months-long spat over finances during the COVID-19 shutdown, and with no agreement reached on regular-season length, commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally imposed a 60-game schedule that will begin July 23. The hope is that the two sides’ bitterness toward one another will subside enough in the next year-plus that they’ll be able to peacefully negotiate a new CBA, but that may be unrealistic in light of how the past several months have gone.
Wow. Good luck attracting marquee players to the Mets if A-Rod and company submit the winning bid.
I agree there should be a cap. There should also be a minimum. It’s just not fair when some teams spend 200 million and others 60 million. You get what you pay for and basically all the owners are billionaires. As good a player AROD was with HOF numbers he choose to tarnish his career. While the all time hits leader ages, and remains banned over 30 years some of these guys that cheated in other ways remain welcome to MLB. Sad.
Who defines what’s “fair”? If you’re (not you, just in general) a Rays’ fan complaining about the Yankees or Red Sox spending two and three times what your team does…are you attending games, spending $500 (at least) a pop? Are your cable bills as high as the Yankees’ fans are?
Teams spend money based on what the revenues their product generates, and better-generating clubs should not punished for doing business well. There should never be a salary cap in baseball. I do agree with a floor, however. Any club that receives revenue sharing from other teams should be required to spend at an absolute minimum.
Except no one is going to pay anything to watch NY play an intra-squad game against themselves. Any sport draws fans for the competition aspect of it. MLB isn’t going to survive long term unless they fix things and move to a payment model more similar to the other major sports, where there’s true revenue sharing along with a set salary structure. That will likely be a cap as well as a salary floor.
Yes the teams like NY, Boston, LA and Chicago who have a huge advantage in the current system will likely lose that advantage, but the league as a whole will benefit.
I’m also vehemently opposed to the idea of a salary cap in baseball. Salary caps are simply tools designed to give cheap, small market owners a shield from their fanbases. So instead of having to actually improve their business model, they try to limit other franchises.
They don’t creative “competitive balance” like people claim. The NFL is a prime example. How many championships has N.E. won? There’s a clear pattern of which franchises are competitive, and it revolves around smart and stable ownership, and a good front office.
Salary caps do not fix ineptitude in the upper levels of a club.
There already is effectively a cap. What more do people want?
The goal isn’t to cap earnings.
The goal is to split profit.
It’s like bidding a job. If I bid a job I have to add in extra to cover things that can go wrong.
If the owners are going to take all of the risk they are going to make sure they get a good profit in the worst year and lots of gravy in all of the others.
If players share the risk they share the gain.
The complaint is always that income hasn’t been disclosed. I’m positive Arod didn’t say to go with a cap and no disclosure. He said lets work together to grow the pie and then share it instead of fighting, making the pie smaller and then each grabbing what we can.
The value of the Atlanta Braves has doubled in five years. What a tiny pie.
You understand the value of the franchise is just a number and the profit is not actualized until a sale has occurred. I have a used car that is worth $10,000, I don’t have $10,000 until I sell the car.
Yeah and since people like ARod are lining up to buy a franchise I don’t think that sale would be very hard. Also, businesses don’t double in value in five years unless they are incredibly profitable or a tech startup funded by VC lemmings.
You can’t look at the numbers and say baseball is in trouble. It’s absurd.
How are the tampa rays doing with a low payroll? Not about payroll, its about talent…as in the movie MAJOR LEAGUE ” i thought you had no priced talent” ” forget about dorn,he’s only high priced “
Dude made 500 mil in his career thanks to no cap screw him
Poacher turned wanna be Gamekeeper
It is better to be thought a fool and remain silent than to speak and confirm others thoughts.
Not for nothing, he’s not wrong.
Basketball is ironically the most conservative values related sport right now but is full of progressive thinking players/owners/management. The best handful in basketball get the most money in sports now or will I’m a few years.
Baseball is ironically built on not one player but a team. It’s full of, arguably, conservative valued people too to bottom with no progressive mindsets attached.
If the MLB is the last major American sport without a salary cap and is clearly falling behind to where owners have to think progressively with no support from the rest of the league then f it, let the league (not the sport) die. Even this comments section needs to open their ears and consider that owners aren’t trying to trick the players here.
You think the NBA is progressive? Google the NBA and China.
@SalCap… Doing business with China is inherently neither conservative nor progressive. It’s pretty obvious that the NBA is very much progressive on most social issues, and more so under Silver.
The owners have been trying to “trick” the players for the last 150 years, so please forgive the players and commenters here for assuming they’re trying to do so again.
What a surprise, he’s a big phony. Shocking.
So did he or did he not mention salary cap? The AP article doesn’t quote him that he said salary cap, but rather just quoted him speaking about players having lost leverage and using revenue sharing. I don’t think revenue sharing is bad, and I guess it sort of implies a salary cap as they can only earn a portion of the revenue.
However, given that the owners have not opened up their books, I’d be curious to see what revenue sharing would look like. Are the owners really making that much money like everybody thinks and the players could possibly make more money on an aggregate basis? Or is it the other way like the owners saying they don’t hardly make anything on baseball ops?
There is just too much unknown to even make a judgement on what will benefit baseball the most itself.
He didn’t specifically say “salary cap”, he mentioned the sharing of revenues. The only way to effectively “share” revenues is to split the total pot and then distributed it between the owners and players. When the players are receiving a “share” of the revenues, that is effectively a salary cap because it is limiting what resources are put towards player salary.
Exactly, Tom. Manfred didn’t mention the term “salary cap” when he leaked the owners’ proposal for revenue sharing after the March agreement, before the owners made their first formal offer for this season. But Clark and the players immediately translated it to a salary cap and rejected it so firmly that the offer was never made.
There are ways to tie revenues- or at least certain revenues like TV contracts- to salaries, by adjusting the thresholds that are in place according to increases in those revenue streams. The minimum salary on the lower end of the spectrum and the luxury tax threshold on the high end could be tied to a revenue formula, without putting a firm “salary cap” in place officially.
Alex is the wrong messenger for this, and he has no cred, but…
MLB already has a de-facto salary cap with the current luxury tax system. At the time the last CBA was signed, five teams had payrolls above the tax threshold. All five have gotten payrolls below the threshold since, even if some of them were only for a year to reset the tax. The highest payrolls are all down from where they were a few years ago.
So, as Tony Clark and the players were dying on the “no salary cap” hill, they let the owners put a system in place that effectively limited revenue going to the players through the luxury tax. Revenues soared and far outpaced increases in the minimum salary and the tax threshold- because they’re not tied to revenues. And there is no salary floor.
It’s not just the tax on salaries above the threshold, but draft pick penalties for repeat “offenders”. So congratulations, Mr Clark, you avoided a salary cap and cut your players a smaller slice of the revenue pie.
There would be holy war over how revenues are defined, but anything that ties an increase in limits and minimums on salaries to a set revenue formula would help the players.
I would propose a $250 million tax threshold, with a dollar for dollar tax on the overage. Draft pick penalties for repeat offenders. Don’t call it a cap (but it is). Also, a salary tax on payrolls, dollar for dollar under a certain amount- at least $125 million to start.
Then, they need to narrow the pay gap (sorry Mr Boras) by increasing minimum wage, dialing back the arbitration eligibility trigger, and possibly limiting long term free agent contracts to five or six years- with an extra year allowed for current teams to keep their players.
Let’s face it- what bugs the players right now is that they’re not seeing their share of revenues increase as much as MLB’s revenues, so when they sit down, can they even bring this up without talking revenue sharing?
The players were right for years to oppose a salary cap, but there are good models in other sports that have benefited players. Closed minds lead to closed purse strings.
Why are we listening to a disgraced drug cheat?
Apparently because he’s about to be an owner…
I don’t see how that is helpful, especially in this poisoned environment. We can skip past the hypocrisy issues for now, since he’s moved to the other side of the table. But the goal ought to be to lower temperatures before the negotiation of the next CBA, and this doesn’t move that idea forward at all. Salary caps are just going to be a non-starter, the owners will never open their books, and we can all expect much lower contract offers after this year, anyway. Whether that stems from a market reevaluation, or collusion will be anyone’s guess, but A-Rod should be more discrete.
He also benefited as much from anyone from cheating. The man has no integrity.
From a public standpoint, he’s one of the last people you want involved in owner/player negotiations.
Only MLB would allow its biggest drug cheater on record be the main analyst for its prime time games and make a bid to buy a team. What a joke.
I could not agree more. A person makes an inappropriate tweet five years ago and has is livelihood taken away. But ARod can represent MLB baseball after being one of the biggest known cheaters of all time.
It’s a crazy world.
It’s America. We’ve elected bigger cheats (without naming any obvious names).
He is t the best person in the world but he loves baseball, and is obviously a good bus one man. I would listen to what he has to say. The fact he banked it as a player doesn’t matter. There were no rules against it so why would he take less money back then? I like hearing his point of view on this and I think he is right. Baseball is dropping in popularity and teams are tanking to save money and not reinvest it back into their teams so if a change has to be made to bring baseball back in popularity and a form of salary cap is needed then why not ?
It’s a double standard. He went and made all the money he could without a salary cap hindering him so I imagine other players today would like to as well. It’s kind of like being accused of abusive behavior by a man who beats his wife. This may be a legitimate message but someone else needs to deliver it.
Too many of you are referencing his playing days to who his is now. That’s in the past and in my opinion has nothing to do with the owning/management of a team. You have to give this guy credit since he is discussing the one thing owners and players are unwilling to acknowledge: falling market share compared to other professional sports and the failed record of large, blotted player contracts.
Would it not be better for the sport if the owners and players were invested together in sharing the profits? This could force owners to not only give more but as many of you want, opening the books. Also, this approach could force players to further improve the game on their end.
In my opinion, he is the perfect person to take up this fight.
He stole from the game. He stole from players. He stole from fans. He’s an unrepentant thief.
There are plenty of good people with opinions. His opinion is not unique, I’ll pay attention to them…. not him.
A Rod goes full “both sides.” Strong cosplay there. It will play well.
Classic scumbag ultra-rich mentality. He made a fortune off these owners and flip-flops now that he wants to become one himself. It was through his actions that the market for baseball players became as extreme as it is today. This is a man that has spent his entire career cheating the system to his advantage even with incredible natural talent. ARod is garbage and his opinions don’t deserve to be acknowledged or respected.
Lots of players “cheated” the system. Mike Piazza admits doing so and is in the Hall of Fame. If I was a Mets fan, I would want an ownership group that includes A-Rod. He knows baseball and is one of the greatest players the sport has seen.
Arods bid would be strengthened if he got all the Sharks from shark tank to go in with him! No stopping them!
If owners have NEVER opened their books how do you contemplate a cap?
CBA expires after the 2021 season… I guess the Dodgers will have to wait even longer for an All-Star game since that season (2022) will most likely get canceled.
I’m a Dodger fan but wish MLB would do away with the all-star game. It adds nothing to the sport.
Isnt that hypocritical?
What a guy…
Put in a cap, and a floor. That way competitive balance will be more easily achieved while player won’t lose out on any money.
Game does not have to be “on top” to be incredibly profitable.
The quote, “tied to a salary cap,” came from the AP story, not A-Rod. While I understand the visceral reaction to his message, the confusion over the source of the quote isn’t helpful. I would encourage a re-write of the lede to clarify this.
Tony Clark complaining that his views aren’t in the best interests of the players is also a joke. Does he honestly expect players to become owners and then give away millions more just because they used to be players? Nearly everyone is primarily self-interested. Situations change, but self-interest remains the same.
Not that I’m behind A-Rod necessarily, either. I like the current system well enough; I just think there needs to be either a floor for pay or a penalty if your team consistently sucks (<70 wins for 4 straight years or <65 wins for 3 straight, something like that).
He has a mixed message in there. As big as the NFL and NBA? NFL is bigger by approximately $3BIL, NBA is smaller by approximately $3BIL.
This should be a major red flag in his ownership bid. Apparently, someone TOLD him the NBA is bigger, and he just listened to them and didn’t do the research to confirm it. If this is any indication, he’s as dumb and useless as the current owners of the Mets.
The player side makes no sense. How many players benefit from no salary cap? Less than 100? How long are players guaranteed close to league minimum once they reach the show? 3 full years? 7 years until free agency on top of their minor league years? Tony Clark, that’s one hell of a system the Union has fought for over the years. By the time players reach the point in their careers when they can make money most of them are approaching 30. Keep grinding out that rent money dumb asses.
They did an exceptional job of photoshopping the spot off of Alex’s nose in the picture.
I wonder if people even understand how to have a debate on issues anymore.
Even the article talking about it can’t get beyond “he had an opinion and here are the insults and threats people threw at him for expressing an opinion”
A salary cap and revenue sharing is not a bad thing unless it isn’t set up fairly. Set up fairly it’s the best way to go for everyone. Are people unable to have the discussion or am I just going to sites where children like to fight and prefer to avoid any deep thinking at all?
Salary Caps are not the answer to competitive balance. If you want a debate, I’ll give you a debate against it.
First, they’re inherently designed as a tool to tamp down wages. Owners in GMs use it as a crutch when they don’t want to pay a player what he’s owed by saying, “we have to consider the cap.” Fans jump onboard with this, too. I enjoy debating signings as much as the next fan, but when a system starts actively encouraging fans to stop rooting for their team to sign as many of the best players as they can, you’ve turned them into a supporting chorus for ownership. This typically favors your wealthier teams more, too. They can now stop at the cap, with no outcry; while your “poor” teams still cry poor at their current spending levels.
They also do nothing to ensure parity. Well operated franchises will typically win, and poorly operated ones will lose. A cap doesn’t make the people in charge of them any better at their jobs. You still have to utilize your money correctly. There will be an occasion where a smart, well run franchise will develop a plethora of homegrown stars, and won’t be able to retain them all with a cap. So some fruit will fall for the plucking. How is that fair though, when one GM is great at his job, but the spoils fall to a GM that is incompetent at his because of a cap?
Amen. Look at Brandon McCarthy’s quote
“shouted out of every clubhouse he attempts to enter in this and future seasons. Call him a self-serving liar and make him explain himself to a room full of his former peers if he wants broadcast content.”
How about having a dialogue with Arod instead of virtue signaling, nope we have shout him out and shame him for having a different opinions and thoughts.
A properly constructed cap will increase salaries more than they have been increasing. Even a 130 floor, 160 ceiling would. Then increase each year by the same percentage increase from revenues. Revenue’s have been going up yearly. Seems like a no brainer.
Hey, if A-roid wants to give me some of that 445 mm he says he shouldn’t have made let me know, I’ll send you my address.
that’s not what he said. and why would he give you anything? you’ll probably spend it on twizzlers.
People will say what will benefit them at the time. He might get the cold shoulder in clubhouses for this, so it might hurt his reporting. But let’s be honest the baseball reporting on ESPN is just beyond trash.
of course there should be a cap, and a floor. this is obvious to anyone who cares about the integrity of the sport.
The Human Rain Delay
Great idea but what an odd messenger –
Literally the guy who initially broke the sound barrier for contracts
Anywho; baseball would flourish with a floor/cap-
100-200 mill would be a nice start
Ofc the MLBPA would never go for this as the association caters to overpaid vets at the expense of arb players/Minor leaguers every step of the way currently
Who knows maybe the MLBPA will actually do the right thing next CBA but Im not holding my breath
Does mlb really want a celebrity couple that isn’t even married yet to be the chief investors? That could get messy