The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the MLBPA and MLB is set to expire on December 1st. While it is generally assumed the player’s union and MLB (the owners) want an agreement in place as soon as possible so they avoid any work stoppages, there are some difficulties that may arise…
Questions 1 through 3 are some key issues that could become contentious…
1) The MLBPA wants the season cut from 162 games to 154 games. The key union reason being that teams plays 162 games in 183 days, which often includes night games in one city and day games in another city the next day.
However, just slicing 8 games off the schedule does have problems… from the owner’s view point they would lose the revenue from attendance and concession sales. And, TV contracts are negotiated well in advance and those contracts would need to be worked around.
In your opinion, is this a potential problem looming ahead for the CBA? And, even if it doesn’t happen this year, or in the next few years, will the 154 game schedule ever become a reality in MLB?
However, DO NOT lengthen the mid-summer break. Do NOT stretch out the number of days during the playoffs. Do NOT delay the start of the season.
Dan: While I think TV contracts and radio contracts will have to change drastically, I do picture the MLB switching down to 154 games and losing out on those 8. They will figure that the season is too long already and 27 rest days instead of the usual 19 will help preserve injury and total destruction.
They’ll win it and I believe that in between 2020 and 2022 they’ll make the switch.
Earl: I’ve always felt 162 games condensed the way that it is, makes the season a bit unbearable but I cannot see Major League Baseball going back to 154 games because the lost revenue would be too much to bear. If, the union and ownership could find a way to actually space out 162 games better, which means making the season a little bit longer, that might be a better compromise for the two sides.
In any case, I can’t see 154 games happening at all.
Sure, it is only an 8 game difference, but, the fast turnaround from a night game in Chicago, to a day game in Detroit the next day, even though it is just a quick flight, can cause fatigue, and, ultimately, cause injuries and lack of production.
I like it at 162, keep it that way.
2) Revenue sharing is another issue that is rumored to be on the CBA docket. While revenue sharing… MLB takes money from the wealthiest teams and gives it to the poorest teams…. has enabled some small market teams to be more competitive, some of the big market teams/owners, as well as the players, want it discussed. As the rule is written it specifies the money must be spent to improve the on field product of a team. Which implies it should be spent on players but doesn’t specify that.
Some owners insist the money given to teams should be spent on players and not surreptitiously stashed away elsewhere.
The players agree that the money should be spent on them, the players.
In your opinion, is revenue sharing working fine, so just leave it alone, or, does it need to be rewritten so that it specifies all money must be spent on players?
For years the Pirates notoriously “raped” the system by taking the money but did nothing to put a good product on the field. They continued to drop payroll and salary around the trade deadline by trading away, most times to reduce payroll, what little talent they had. Recently, they were competitive but after their dismal year this season I watch for them to go back to their old time ways.
Kansas City did good with their spending the last couple of seasons and so did Cleveland. Some teams with larger market populace still did nothing to actually increase payroll but did other things with the money… humpf (Atlanta).
Dan: I think that either way they go, teams will still be able to get around it. If, a team receives $30 million back from the revenue share program, they could just restructure contracts and get them inflated or they could pay just put it towards regular contracts which means more revenue would stay with them. Either way it goes, owners will still find ways to get around the rule in order to pocket more money.
I’d say leave this how it is and hope that teams start to increase their payroll.
Earl: I would say that revenue sharing would even things out a bit but there is a fair amount of parity in the game already. Big market teams might have a better chance at the playoffs, but they are not guaranteed a playoff spot. I would be in favor of revenue sharing, just so we wouldn’t see so many teams gutting their rosters for some long term rebuild, but like the first question, I cannot see this happening either.
So, I like it the way it is now. I hope they just leave it alone.
3) Draft-pick compensation is another issue that has been rumored to be on the docket for discussion… This year ten players have received a $17.2 million qualifying offer and will either accept it or reject it. MLBPA is concerned because some players who have rejected the offer wound up settling for less, Which the union says is because teams are unwilling to lose a draft pick in order to sign a player they otherwise would sign. While some form of compensation would still be offed to a team losing a player through free agency, the MLBPA doesn’t want it to be a draft pick.
In your opinion, is this an item you think the union may go to war with the owners over?
I can also see where the team would make QO to a “star” quality guy that meets the parameters just to keep from losing him to FA and gaining nothing in return.
IMO, the whole QO thing is a team/ownership deal that affects the dealings at the management level and the players themselves are not really hurt by it one way or the other (I might be wrong). So, I really don’t see why it should be a “go to war” issue at the next CBA table.
Dan: I really don’t think this is as big of a deal as they make it out to be. I don’t see them stopping negotiations over this. I don’t see them going full out to war over this. I don’t see them risking income over this topic. I think this will be bigger for the owners in which they disagree but not so much the players and I don’t think either side should release what they saying.
Earl: If I were the union, I would go to war over this. Teams that are fearful of losing a pick, won’t pursue a particular player who is tied with that compensation clause. That in turn reduces the amount of teams interested in that particular free agent. It’s why some players remain free agents as late as February because not enough of a market materialized because teams didn’t want to run the risk of losing a pick by signing them. Free agency doesn’t really work if there is a limit in competition for services. For that alone, I wouldn’t mind if the union took a strong stance on this.
Steve: This happened to Dexter Fowler last season when he turned down the Cubs offer and then re-signed for much less that he would have received. He did the same thing this year and I can’t imagine someone paying him more than 17.2 million dollars for a season. I mean sure it is possible, but, I can’t see it.
As for the union going to War? Yeah, they will go to War over it, that is what they do.
4) Since David Ortiz is now retired, it is being rumored that the Boston Red Sox are looking at various sluggers/hitters such as Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Carlos Beltran and Mark Trumbo.
In your opinion should the Sox pursue any of these bats to replace Big Papi? Or, do they already have enough offense and instead should look for the best pitching they can find… either through free agency or by way of trade… on the market?
With that said I say get someone that can possibly fill a couple of gaps; someone that can play the field as well as hit. But, I would not pay Bautista or Encarnacion big bucks with long term contracts.
But, I would Trumbo.
I would not even pursue Beltran.
Dan: I think, out of those four, the Red Sox should go after Encarnacion. I feel like he has the best bat, can still play in the field if need be and is a better home run hitter. I feel like that’s the best move to make if they sign somebody.
But, in all reality, I’m always going the pitching route. There is always the risk of injury, etc… however, it’s really that when you hit the playoffs and World Series, like you saw this season, you need pitching.
Earl: I think the Sox have enough bats, that they could shift someone to DH. If, that creates a hole someplace else, then fill that hole but to sign a big name free agent just to replace Big Papi doesn’t make that much sense.
However, if they were going to sign a player I would go with Beltran. He’s a good short term fit, and you know he will have no problem fitting in with the expectations that the Red Sox have.
Steve: I said going into the end of the season that I thought that the Red Sox would make a serious push for Edwin Encarnacion. He has the same makeup that a David Ortiz has and would be a great replacement for him. The real question is going to be if they are going to pay him a huge salary to be a Designated Hitter full time.
I would bet on the probability that Encarnacion will be in Boston next year.
5) Do you think Aroldis Chapman will sign for the his rumored desired $100 million plus contract? And, which team do you think would be the most likely to go that high to get him in their bullpen?
Unless of course it is for 8 plus years. I do not see him getting that for 5 years or less.
Dan: Yes, Aroldis Chapman will get a $100 million contract. He had a solid performance in the World Series and showed he’s worth the money. The only reason that he had the blemish in game 7 was due to being over worked which isn’t really his fault at all and could’ve seriously damaged him.
I think the team that’ll end up signing him will be the Cubs, followed by the Yankees.
NYY is really showing interest in him and it would be the perfect move. They not only receive some prospects for giving him up for half of a season, but they also bring him back? How great! But I believe the Cubs will re-sign him as he just won a World Series, they’re early favorites to win it next year and Chapman is a perfect reliever for them. He goes back to Chicago and gets his nice $100 million reward.
However, if, I were Theo Epstein, I would spare no expense in bringing Chapman back. His performance in the World Series alone should make him a must keep for the Cubs General Manager.
Steve: Aroldis Chapman was one of the key reasons why the Chicago Cubs can call themselves World Series Champions right now. That being said, he is really only successful in one dimensional roles and that is coming in during the 9th inning. He does not fair very well if he comes in before then.
Will he get what he is asking? Yeah, probably, but, there will only be a handful of teams that would be willing to pay that for him. I see him either back with the Yankees, or maybe in Los Angeles with the Dodgers or even Angels assuming Kenley Jannsen does not re-sign with the Dodgers.
On Nov. 17, 1944, future Hall of Famer George Thomas Seaver was born in Fresno, Calif. Better known as Tom, Seaver would make his Major League debut in 1967, when he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award pictured here. The hard-throwing right-hander finished the 1967 season with a 16-13 record and a 2.76 ERA.
Nicknamed “Tom Terrific” and “The Franchise”, he pitched from 1967 to 1986 for four different teams (Mets, Reds, White Sox and Red Sox) but is noted primarily for his time with the New York Mets.
During a 20-year career, Seaver won 311 games, struck out 3,640, threw 61 shutouts, and had a lifetime 2.86 ERA.
In 1992, Seaver was inducted into the the Baseball Hall of Fame by the highest percentage of votes ever recorded at the time (Ken Griffey Jr has since surpassed) and is one of only two players wearing a New York Mets hat on his plaque at Cooperstown. Mike Piazza is the other.
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