CBA: Key points discussed @ MLBRT 12/8



Let’s talk CBA…

… the Collective Bargaining Agreement… that was just agreed to between MLB management and the MLB players.

Some things included in the CBA…

1) The league that wins Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game no longer will get home-field advantage in the World Series, which instead will go to the pennant winner with the better regular-season record.

What is your opinion about this decision? Good bad or indifferent? And, will it negatively affect the way the players play in the All-Star game going forward?

Mookie Betts, left, and Salvador Perez at 2016 All-Star Game.
Mookie Betts, left, and Salvador Perez at 2016 All-Star Game.

Archie: What is wrong with the way it used to be; rotate every year regardless of ASG or best record? When did “your turn, my turn” become “unfair”? In this “everybody” wins by participating it appears that would be the best way to go.

For instance, let’s say the NL East falls to shit except for one team. Just for the sake of argument, the Nationals could be that team and they dominate their division opponents and have the best record in baseball for four or five years. Is that any better than the way we decide now?

Hell no.

IF, we are going to change it; and believe me we should; let’s go back to annual rotation.

Earl: Thank goodness. That rule was a silly rule anyway, and it didn’t really bring any more eyeballs to the All-Star Game. It won’t change how both fans and players view the game, but at least they got rid of the silly home field advantage stipulation.

Steve: I am so glad that this question was asked this week.

World Series home field advantage no longer connected to ASG... best record is.
World Series home field advantage no longer connected to ASG… best record is.

I love this! I was never a big fan of the All Star game, though I did like that there was something to play for. There are too many players that simply skip the festivities whether it is due to injury, or that they just wanted the extra rest. You never got the best team from each league on that field in any game. It is great that they are going away from that, and putting the team with the best record to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. It makes the regular season mean something. Love it, and glad they made this change.

If nothing else got done other than this, I would call it a successful offseason.

2) Teams no longer have to lose their 1st round pick if they sign a quality free agent from another team. Teams will still forfeit at least one pick for signing one of those players. And if they’re a team with a payroll that rises above the luxury-tax threshold, it will cost two picks… a 2nd and a 5th round pick…

What’s your opinion on this? Good, bad or indifferent and why?

Archie: I always hated the 1st round loss and I’m still not sure what the appropriate compensation back to the league should be. I am definitely on board with a stiffer penalty should the team break the luxury-tax threshold but I’m not so sure in a market trying to compete that can lure a big name and remain within the tax confines. That just does not seem fair. There are owners out there that for whatever reason who do not care IF their team is competitive and there are those owners that try to buy every available talent. So, I guess there has to be some parameters for controlling; but NOT a 1st round pick vacated.

Draft pick compensation changing for teams losing free agents
Draft pick compensation changing for teams losing free agents

Earl: I’m absolutely in favor of this. I felt that rule sort of limited the market for those free agents because it eliminated certain teams for pursuing that free agent because they did not want to lose that draft pick. Now, the market for free agents will expand some. There will be some teams that may not want to surrender picks under any cost, but this move opens the playing field in my opinion.

Steve: I don’t like the rule at all that teams lose a draft pick because they are trying to better their organization. I have no problem with the luxury tax and having to pay a premium to sign top tier talent, but to lose a draft pick because you wanted to sign someone? I don’t like it.

3) The luxury-tax threshold will jump from $189 million to $195 million next year, then to $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $209 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021.

What’s your opinion on this escalating threshold for MLB team salaries? (Warning! Please, be aware of question 4 when answering this question.)  

Archie: If, I understand the salary cap thing correctly it only applies to the 25 man roster. At the $195 million threshold, and not saying that every team will try to max out their payroll to try and slip under that; but let’s say every team comes close. That means that every man on the team would be averaging $7.8 million dollars a season. Really? Is the going rate for players barely making the roster still worth enough to jack salaries that high? There is NOT enough talent in MLB to justify this kind of spending.  I know you have those that come at a high price tag and I get that, but to force the average dollar amount to $7.8 is

Before someone tells me the average MLB player only makes $3.2 million a year; yeah I know. I’m just using the threshold number as the guide.

My issue here is that there is already a large disparity between the small market and large market teams in what they can afford versus talent they have or is available. Every year now when someone like Albert Pujols or Alex Rodriguez or even Zach Grienke, Max Scherzer and soon Clayton Kershaw hits the FA market you can AUTOMATICALLY count OUT 3/4 of the teams from the bidding wars that take place; they just don’t have the revenue. I for one would like to see a “hard cap” that a team cannot even sign or trade for someone that puts them over the cap.

Earl: Big market teams can spend more, but I don’t know how much an escalating luxury tax threshold will really change things.

Steve: I think it is pennies for what these teams make, and it really doesn’t make any difference if you ask me. It is solely an attempt to have smaller markets being able to compete. I think that there are plenty of small markets that can compete, as we have seen it in the past.  

4) Under previous versions of the luxury tax… aka the competitive balance tax… the highest tax rate a team could pay was 50 percent, no matter how many times its payroll went beyond the tax threshold. Now, per the new CBA, if teams are $40 million over the salary threshold and are a 3rd time offender the team will be subjected to a 50 percent tax plus a 42 percent “surtax” for their failure to reign in their salary costs. Some agents were calling this MLB’s version of a soft cap on salaries.
(Note… the 92% rate is rumored to be only on the overage of the $40 million-plus.)

Could some MLB high roller actually pay a 92% luxury tax?
Could some MLB high roller actually pay a 92% luxury tax?

Opinion… good bad or indifferent? Why?  

Archie: Believe it or not this is just ANOTHER way to make the rich richer. In other words, the Yankees and Dodgers benefit from this based on they are the only ones that can afford the tax now. If, you increase the ceiling of spending they can still be just as competitive in the FA market and might not HAVE to pay the tax.

Let’s face it, some clubs will NEVER reach the threshold amount of spending.

Earl: I’m indifferent to be honest.

Steve: Pretty sure I just answered this.

I have no opinion on it, because if you are in a large market, the tax is not going to affect you what so ever. Teams have money to spend, and the ones with massive TV deals are making that much more. In the end, no matter the tax, the owners are still going to be millionaires or better.
5) As part of the drug agreement, there will be increased testing, players will not be credited with major league service time during suspensions, and biomarker testing for HGH will begin next year.
What’s your opinion… about time, it will make no difference, not strong enough or who cares? Why?

New CBA changes MLB drug testing agreement
New CBA changes MLB drug testing agreement

Archie: Suspension time should NOT be credited as service time. Service time goes a long way with players claiming it during arbitration and contract negotiations. A suspended player should not get this credit.


Earl: Who cares?

Those who want to cheat still will. Regardless of what penalties are enforced.

Steve: Good, that makes sense to me.

Why hold other players to another standard when it comes to drug testing. Contracts? No trade clause? Sure! But, a lesser standard for drug testing. I think that opens a can of worms, that I would not want to get  involved with.

Extra Innings…

Mike Mussina was born on Sunday, December 8, 1968, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Mussina was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on August 4, 1991, with the Baltimore Orioles. He retired as a New York Yankee and played in MLB and he American League for 18 years.Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina throws to h

Mike Mussina won ten-or-more games in seventeen seasons, all consecutively, from 1992 through 2008. The only pitchers in baseball history with more 10+ win seasons in a career are Steve Carlton, Tom Glavine and Walter Johnson, each with 18 seasons; Roger Clemens, with 19, Greg Maddux and Nolan Ryan, with 20 and Don Sutton, who has the most with 21 ten-win seasons in his career.MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Mike Mussina pitched 57 complete games. He has  117 more wins than losses and Every pitcher with that same statistical feat has been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2014, Mussina appeared on his first ballot and received 116 votes, 20.3%, putting him fifteenth overall.

His lifetime numbers include… a career .638 winning percentage;  270 wins (33rd all-time), 535 games started (33rd all-time); 3, 562 innings pitched; 2,813 strikeouts (19th all-time); five All-Star selections; 7 Gold Gloves and 6 top-five finishes in the voting for his the AL Cy Young Award.

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