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Maverick Hiker

MLB Strike Is Near?

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If things come to a head in 2021, I think decertification of the union is far more likely than a strike.  The root cause as always (in recent times at least) is the non-competitive labor market, which is enabled by the union itself. The biggest leverage the union has is in not being a union and suing MLB for being a cartel.

The absence of a major league union would also perhaps free up the minor league players to create their own union. Collective bargaining makes more sense at that end of the power disparity. There are some interesting bits in this  article:

https://www.latimes.com/sports/mlb/la-sp-mlb-column-20180915-story.html
 

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In triple-A, the highest level of minor league baseball, the minimum salary is $10,750 per year. At the highest level of minor league hockey, where players are represented by a union, the minimum salary is $47,500.

Larry Landon, the executive director of the Professional Hockey Players Assn., said he has taken numerous calls from minor league baseball players interested in learning whether the PHPA model could work in baseball.

 

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Tony Clark, executive director of the MLBPA and a former major leaguer himself, said the union is supportive of the minor leaguers, and of a better wage for them. He said the executive board never has formally considered a proposal to represent the minor leaguers.

“In negotiations, everything is essentially traded dollar for dollar,” Miller said. “There might be a possibility for us to pressure the MLB side to raise wages on the minor league side. However, we would probably be sacrificing, say, arbitration, or some sort of dollars that are being spent on us elsewhere. That is just the reality of the deal.”

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Maverick Hiker said:

Yeah that's a contradiction. . The platers say the owners are keeping  certain players  in the minors and thus keep him from being a free agent and leaving the team, for another year.  But if the teams are doing  on a wide scale, that then why are the MLB players getting younger?

From a purely mathematical standpoint, it may be because there are far fewer players getting contract through ages 38-40. Take away the old dudes and the average automatically gets younger, even without regard to when the youngest are being promoted 

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The 3 major sports that have salary caps are are wildly successful and growing, while the one that doesn't is headed for a strike and is losing hoards of fans year over year, with the average age of remaining fans similar to that of being eligible for senior citizen discounts at McDonald's. Put in a cap and give players a larger percentage of revenue. And spare me the "revenue sharing/luxury tax" nonsense because that is what it is.....nonsense. 

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40 minutes ago, TradeAngelos said:

The 3 major sports that have salary caps are are wildly successful and growing, while the one that doesn't is headed for a strike and is losing hoards of fans year over year, with the average age of remaining fans similar to that of being eligible for senior citizen discounts at McDonald's. Put in a cap and give players a larger percentage of revenue. And spare me the "revenue sharing/luxury tax" nonsense because that is what it is.....nonsense. 

Yeah I think a cap would be best for the game in the long term. If the player go on strike I hope the owners win for once, and that they achieve a salary cap in the next contract.I'm tired of the big market teams in MLB having such an advantage. 

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Baseball has such a myriad of problems that no one thing can be done to turn it around. Analytics has discovered that players peak early in their 30's and show a steady decline. Those players for the most part are "expensive" and don't give much more (and usually less) than a player earning 10% of his salary. In order to have some $$$ for a few FA's you may decide to sign you drop the veteran. With roster fluidity, teams lose the team/player identity, which IMO is important to draw fan interest (the "who are those guys" doesn't work). The FA's/agents are ruining the game. I am not anti FA..., but look at other sports, as soon as the season ends they create excitement by signing over a shorter period of time (fan interest). Baseball..the signings drag on for months. This certainly has some impact on pre season ticket sales. Analytics seem to indicate that walks are important for position players, strike outs for pitchers because balls in play are bad (for pitchers). Not a lot of excitement there for fans...just longer games. You want to see walks and K's go to a little league game. Back in the day, kids would head to the park, have pick up games without adult supervision all summer long..today the same fields are empty, parents are fearful to let kids go out and play on their own. Kids have more choices....lax, hockey, soccer, video games, computers, 100's of TV stations. So, the growth of baseball is challenged. MLB does its very best to keep people form watching what is the most "exciting" time, the WS, from half the country's population...games are too late. So, go on strike.....minimum 555k (plus I think they pick up about 100K in merchandising share, unused meal money too). Most of these men, at the minimum, would be lucky to earn 10% of that salary outside of baseball. Manny, Trout, etc...what would their earnings be like outside of baseball? I realize they work hard and the time away from family creates problems. They certainly have freakish skills. But these "stars" (like Davis??) earn multigenerational wealth for skills that have a very limited domain in the real world. So, strike and help continue the game's ultimate demise.

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17 hours ago, Maverick Hiker said:

The players are not happy. It seems teams no longer want to pay big money for free agents in their 30's.  Also teams keeping young players in the minors longer to prevent them from leaving as free agents.

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/1690983001

 

The Adam Jones complaint is a joke.  Adam had a bad year at 32.  Expecting owners to give  multi year contracts to aging players that are fading in performance is a non starter.

I agree with Frobby.  No strike until after 2021.

What needs to happen is a greater transfer of revenue from the big money teams to the small money teams to create more balance and make the money that is transferred  "spend it on salaries or lost it".

Lets say the league gave Elias 40m in money that  was spend it on salaries that is an increase in payroll over last year or lose it.  Do you think he would spend it?

Also reduce the eligibility on free agency from 6 years to 4 years.    That way is a player enters the league at 24  is a free agent at 28.    There is more chance for multi year deals that way.

It would also to be harder to hold player in the minors if FA was after 4 years.  It increases the need for young players to be promoted to the majors.

Contracts for players over 30 would become a lot more one year contract which is the way it should be.   Less contracts for players that are not performing to there salary level.

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I'd be against lowering the eligibility time for free agency from 6 to 4 years.  When a team drafts and develops a player they should have him for at least 6 years. Also 4 years would increase the incentive for teams to keep players buried in the minor leagues longer.

I don't think Adam Jones was valuable enough for a big contract. Even in his prime he wasn't going to carry a team.  He was a solid outfielder and above average hitter, but in his 30's who knows what to expect. Also I think his last couple of years in. Baltimore showed some decline. 

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16 hours ago, Sessh said:

Being regular season champions shouldn't mean anything after the regular season is over. Finishing first is winning a championship, not winning the regular season. That is true in baseball as well. It's nice to win the division, but in the end, so what if you lose in the playoffs? How much does the regular season mean at that point? It's all about the top prize in the end. The regular season is where you earn your right to be one of the teams playing for it.

Well, I didn't say eliminate tanking. There's some teams who are rebuilding or not doing so well. How many more NBA teams would be terrible if only 500,000 teams were allowed in instead?

The regular season should mean something.  What we've done with expanded playoffs is make the pennant race nothing.  Used to be you'd have the two or three best teams fighting to the death to finish first so they'd get to the Series.  Now if you're nine games up on the wildcard in August you coast for eight weeks.  And a bunch of 86-win teams fight to get to the play-in game.

The pennant used to be a big thing.  You fly the League Championship pennant over your stadium.  Now finishing first just doesn't matter unless you beat a bunch of teams you already finished in front of in multiple short series.

What I want is 3-4 mostly independent major leagues like the old AL and NL, and you celebrate winning your league.  Then you also have some playoffs where the main point is making the league a lot of cash after 2/3rds of the teams are home playing golf and fishing.

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59 minutes ago, Maverick Hiker said:

I'd be against lowering the eligibility time for free agency from 6 to 4 years.  When a team drafts and develops a player they should have him for at least 6 years. Also 4 years would increase the incentive for teams to keep players buried in the minor leagues longer.

I don't think Adam Jones was valuable enough for a big contract. Even in his prime he wasn't going to carry a team.  He was a solid outfielder and above average hitter, but in his 30's who knows what to expect. Also I think his last couple of years in. Baltimore showed some decline. 

Players should become free agents at 28.  If you're really good and get called up at 19 you stay with your team for nine years.  If you aren't good enough to play in the majors until 26 you get two.  No service time games, no trying to get that 7th year.  Get them to the majors when they're ready to contribute in some role, and you have them until 28 unless you negotiate an extension.

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7 hours ago, 99ct said:

From a purely mathematical standpoint, it may be because there are far fewer players getting contract through ages 38-40. Take away the old dudes and the average automatically gets younger, even without regard to when the youngest are being promoted 

Exactly.  There are fewer players in their 30s.  An average 31-year-old is about as good as a 24-year-old.  The 24-year-old is cheaper, so they're picking him.

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16 hours ago, Sessh said:

Agree. This is another reason why expanding the playoffs might make the regular season better. It's not so much for the top seeds, but more for the teams battling it out for the two wild card spots in each league. There are 30 teams in baseball and 10 make the postseason, so that's 2/3rds of the league that won't make it and many of those teams won't have a chance at all. So, the question at that point is why try at all? If you know you have no chance, then you're already thinking about things like your position in next year's draft before May is over.

How far down do you have to go to give a 70-win team a shot?  And how hard do you try if the end result is a 1/16 or 1/20 chance of getting through multiple layers of playoffs against obviously better teams?

Again, I think expanded playoffs basically just tells the good teams to pull back on investing in their teams and take that in profit.  Because there's little or nothing you can do to turn a 1/20th shot at the championship into worthwhile odds.  Shoot for 85 wins or so, and hope the luck works out.

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13 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Players should become free agents at 28.  If you're really good and get called up at 19 you stay with your team for nine years.  If you aren't good enough to play in the majors until 26 you get two.  No service time games, no trying to get that 7th year.  Get them to the majors when they're ready to contribute in some role, and you have them until 28 unless you negotiate an extension.

While I think that makes some sense it does not solve the problem that players need to get paid when they are younger and peaking.  Given current trends a 28 year free agency would likely grant a player one significant free agent contract.  Maybe players should start getting arbitration once they pass a performance threshold.

I also think it's a tough balance to pay players when they are younger and keep a competitive parity without some protections.

I think what baseball needs is not incrementalism, but wholesale changes, and I worry that cant happen unless there is serious market disruption.

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Also worth noting in this thread the Garrett Cole comments on 50% of the league tanking.  He doesnt get it.  That's fine.  But worth noting when arguably the biggest free agent this next off season comes out with a statement like that.

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19 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Players should become free agents at 28.  If you're really good and get called up at 19 you stay with your team for nine years.  If you aren't good enough to play in the majors until 26 you get two.  No service time games, no trying to get that 7th year.  Get them to the majors when they're ready to contribute in some role, and you have them until 28 unless you negotiate an extension.

I think this is a good approach as well.

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12 hours ago, Oriole1940 said:

Answer to question as to WHY TRY AT ALL is several reasons.  Pride in your work, Honesty to your employer, and Dignity as a Human Being.  My goodness you are getting paid big bucks to Play a childs  game. Surely you should be expected to give it your Best even if your Best is not equal to some other peoples Best.  

There's a difference between trying on the field, and the front office trying to do everything they can to win the most games.  If the league puts heavy disincentives to winning the league by making 4-, 5-, 6-round playoffs teams will not try as hard to win 100 games.  If you give the worst team the best picks some teams will try to be the worst team.

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