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MiLB contraction

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10 hours ago, atomic said:

No matter how many teams you have thousands of players won’t have a chance to play after college.  Tons more don’t even make their high school team.  It is just a reality that teams draft player they never see making it to even AA to fill out rosters.  Given the players a token $3k signing bonus while other players are given millions. 

In an alternate universe baseball could be just like baseball in 1880.  You mostly go straight from amateur ball to the majors.  There are only a few hundred players making a living at baseball in the world.  Is that better than having thousands of players in the minors?  I don't know. I'm sure a lot of guys look fondly on their careers that topped out as a halfway decent player in the Carolina League.  I don't think the world is necessarily a better place if 100 extra guys get to be something besides baseball players a few years sooner.

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14 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

In an alternate universe baseball could be just like baseball in 1880.  You mostly go straight from amateur ball to the majors.  There are only a few hundred players making a living at baseball in the world.  Is that better than having thousands of players in the minors?  I don't know. I'm sure a lot of guys look fondly on their careers that topped out as a halfway decent player in the Carolina League.  I don't think the world is necessarily a better place if 100 extra guys get to be something besides baseball players a few years sooner.

The whole economics part doesn't take into account that a lot of these guys, baseball more so than other sports, want to be around the game because they love it.  These milb'rs aren't just all going to enter careers outside of baseball when they are done playing.  I'm sure the majority of them find a career where they can still be involved with the game somehow.  What's next?   Telling HS/NCAA asst coaches, that they can't coach because they aren't making min wage for all the hours they are working.  

Let people chase their dreams.  It's their choice.  By doing this, "they" are just taking away that choice because "they" feel like that people aren't smart enough to make their own decisions.  

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I grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota. I saw Palmer, Watt, Etchebarren and Belanger before they were Orioles.  I also saw Scruggs, Rathbun, Rouse and Mazzerelli, who never made it.  I enjoyed them all.  For 40 plus years now there has not been a farm club in Aberdeen.  The nearest baseball is Minneapolis.  So I would like more minor leagues, but I understand the economics (and Aberdeen I'm told was disliked by black players as an all white town).  But I don't see a reason for cutting further, and I don't see the logic in assuming that someone coming out of college is all he is ever likely to be.  Remember under the new scheme Toby Welk would never be drafted; yet he's looked good so far. 

The major league teams spend less on their entire farm systems than they do on a few players in the majors.  If they are losing money, it is not because of the minors but because of bad decisions elsewhere.  Yet this is a "good" place to cut because the people who live near the big league stadium don't care, the major leaguers who run the union don't care, the media who cover the majors don't care, the owners can slip a few dollars in their pockets, and the people who do care can be labeled dreamers and mopers and unrealistic.

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On 2/3/2020 at 4:24 PM, Pheasants said:

I grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota. I saw Palmer, Watt, Etchebarren and Belanger before they were Orioles.  I also saw Scruggs, Rathbun, Rouse and Mazzerelli, who never made it.  I enjoyed them all.  For 40 plus years now there has not been a farm club in Aberdeen.  The nearest baseball is Minneapolis.  So I would like more minor leagues, but I understand the economics (and Aberdeen I'm told was disliked by black players as an all white town).  But I don't see a reason for cutting further, and I don't see the logic in assuming that someone coming out of college is all he is ever likely to be.  Remember under the new scheme Toby Welk would never be drafted; yet he's looked good so far. 

The major league teams spend less on their entire farm systems than they do on a few players in the majors.  If they are losing money, it is not because of the minors but because of bad decisions elsewhere.  Yet this is a "good" place to cut because the people who live near the big league stadium don't care, the major leaguers who run the union don't care, the media who cover the majors don't care, the owners can slip a few dollars in their pockets, and the people who do care can be labeled dreamers and mopers and unrealistic.

The economics part is a bunch of malarkey.  250 players assuming a $15k annual salary(both overestimates) is $3.75M.  I don't believe it is current economic impact, but future.  With the push to pay players a livable wage, will give MLB players more incentive to ask for more money.  I think this is a negotiating tactic for 2021 negotiations, which coincidentally is when minor league contracts run out.  And by getting Congress involved, it could help MLB owners get a better deal from MLBPA.  Either way, it is about keeping around cheap labor for the owners.

Edited by jarman86

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18 hours ago, jarman86 said:

The economics part is a bunch of malarkey.  250 players assuming a $15k annual salary(both overestimates) is $3.75M.  I don't believe it is current economic impact, but future.  With the push to pay players a livable wage, will give MLB players more incentive to ask for more money.  I think this is a negotiating tactic for 2021 negotiations, which coincidentally is when minor league contracts run out.  And by getting Congress involved, it could help MLB owners get a better deal from MLBPA.  Either way, it is about keeping around cheap labor for the owners.

You seem to be agreeing with me; $3.75 million is less that what the teams pay for a few players in the majors--it's less than for one!  Paying 250 people  a living wage, say $50,000, would be $12.5 million; still low compared to mlb salaries.  I see no reason why a major league player would see that raise as a reason for them to ask for more money except maybe a few thousand more for the rookies coming up.  A guy making 5 million a year should not be saying I deserve 5 million plus 50,000.

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I think the economics of it has less to do with can we pay players, but more about do we need this many players.

Just for a loose analogy, you're a company and you employ 300 janitors, but only need 150 to clean the building. Meanwhile the janitor union says to you "hey, $7.50/hr isn't a living wage, you need to pay us $15!" So you're looking around and you're paying twice as many people as you need half as much as they should earn.

It's a no brainer; lay off 150 people and double salaries. Meanwhile, people are foaming at the mouth you didn't just double everyone's salary. But we don't need 300 janitors.

Like, layoffs happen in every organization, and it's happening daily. Players get cut all the time from teams; why does it matter if every team cuts 150 players all at once? This is truly the opposite of "the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic". We literally don't care if one guy gets fired but do it in en mass? We need protests.

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18 hours ago, jarman86 said:

The economics part is a bunch of malarkey.  250 players assuming a $15k annual salary(both overestimates) is $3.75M.  I don't believe it is current economic impact, but future.  With the push to pay players a livable wage, will give MLB players more incentive to ask for more money.  I think this is a negotiating tactic for 2021 negotiations, which coincidentally is when minor league contracts run out.  And by getting Congress involved, it could help MLB owners get a better deal from MLBPA.  Either way, it is about keeping around cheap labor for the owners.

MLB should double down on their position and claim that all minor leaguers are just unpaid interns.  Stop all bonuses and salaries until a player gets to the majors.  Field as many minor league teams as you can get players to volunteer for.  If thousands of players will play for $1000 a month, I'd bet you'd keep at least 50% for free if you found them host families to live with and gave them a few peanut butter sandwiches.

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2 hours ago, Enjoy Terror said:

I think the economics of it has less to do with can we pay players, but more about do we need this many players.

Just for a loose analogy, you're a company and you employ 300 janitors, but only need 150 to clean the building. Meanwhile the janitor union says to you "hey, $7.50/hr isn't a living wage, you need to pay us $15!" So you're looking around and you're paying twice as many people as you need half as much as they should earn.

It's a no brainer; lay off 150 people and double salaries. Meanwhile, people are foaming at the mouth you didn't just double everyone's salary. But we don't need 300 janitors.

Like, layoffs happen in every organization, and it's happening daily. Players get cut all the time from teams; why does it matter if every team cuts 150 players all at once? This is truly the opposite of "the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic". We literally don't care if one guy gets fired but do it in en mass? We need protests.

One of my points has been how do you know which of the 300 are going to develop into the best janitors and get to clean the major league locker rooms?  The sooner you have to make that decision, the sooner you are likely to discard someone who could have been good.  And the playing field for 18 or 21 year olds isn't even.  For instance, people from northern states get less year-round opportunity.  As you read the descriptions of draftees, you see words like raw more commonly used for northerners.  Do we give them a chance to develop?  I've seen high school soccer coaches who only want players who play all year on travel teams so they make the judgment of potential at 14 when really they are looking at training and experience (and no not everyone had the option of playing for travel teams; they cost money).  Is that what baseball should be like?  I'd rather see more possible players given the opportunity to develop with good coaching than to decide at 18 or 21 or 23 that this is all a player will ever be and discard him.  Two years ago, how many people would have included Means in the throwaway pile?

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23 minutes ago, Pheasants said:

One of my points has been how do you know which of the 300 are going to develop into the best janitors and get to clean the major league locker rooms?  The sooner you have to make that decision, the sooner you are likely to discard someone who could have been good.  And the playing field for 18 or 21 year olds isn't even.  For instance, people from northern states get less year-round opportunity.  As you read the descriptions of draftees, you see words like raw more commonly used for northerners.  Do we give them a chance to develop?  I've seen high school soccer coaches who only want players who play all year on travel teams so they make the judgment of potential at 14 when really they are looking at training and experience (and no not everyone had the option of playing for travel teams; they cost money).  Is that what baseball should be like?  I'd rather see more possible players given the opportunity to develop with good coaching than to decide at 18 or 21 or 23 that this is all a player will ever be and discard him.  Two years ago, how many people would have included Means in the throwaway pile?

Not a good argument sorry. People go undrafted every year. Potential superstars never given a shot cast aside early on is happening right now. If that was never a good enough argument for expansion of the league then it's not one you can use against contraction.

 

 

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19 hours ago, Pheasants said:

One of my points has been how do you know which of the 300 are going to develop into the best janitors and get to clean the major league locker rooms?  The sooner you have to make that decision, the sooner you are likely to discard someone who could have been good.  And the playing field for 18 or 21 year olds isn't even.  For instance, people from northern states get less year-round opportunity.  As you read the descriptions of draftees, you see words like raw more commonly used for northerners.  Do we give them a chance to develop?  I've seen high school soccer coaches who only want players who play all year on travel teams so they make the judgment of potential at 14 when really they are looking at training and experience (and no not everyone had the option of playing for travel teams; they cost money).  Is that what baseball should be like?  I'd rather see more possible players given the opportunity to develop with good coaching than to decide at 18 or 21 or 23 that this is all a player will ever be and discard him.  Two years ago, how many people would have included Means in the throwaway pile?

How do you determine the correct cutoff?  If you set up a system where anyone who wants to be a professional player can become one you might have 30,000 or 50,000 people or more in the minors.  And you'd probably only find one additional major leaguer per 1000 players added.  

Look at the draft.  The number of real prospects drops off logarithmically or exponentially with round or pick.  By the 30th round you'll find a productive major leaguer once every five years or something.  

The current number of MiLB teams wasn't arrived at by analysis and logic deducing where a good balance is between investment and prospects.  It just kind of happened, and more-or-less ended up in a place that MLB thought was fiscally sustainable. Go look at a league from 15-20 years ago... let's say the 2005 Sally League.  Of the top 100 players in batting average, only 25 ever eventually appeared in the majors.  About 30 of the top 100 in innings ever made the majors at all.  Is that the right balance?  Paying to support an entire 16-team league of 400+ players plus coaches, umps, and infrastructure so that you get a handful of regulars and stars and maybe 50 or 60 players who ever appear in the majors?  I don't know.  And if you go down a level or two to short-season or rookie ball I'd assume the percentages that ever make it are even lower.

I assume the majors support the number of MiLB teams they do not because it's optimal for development, but because they want a local connection to baseball for the good of the long-term fanbase.  Although if they really thought about it that way (and maybe they are now) they'd cut out a few levels to increase short-term profits. Someone else will be in charge in 5-10 years and who cares about them?

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23 hours ago, Pheasants said:

You seem to be agreeing with me; $3.75 million is less that what the teams pay for a few players in the majors--it's less than for one!  Paying 250 people  a living wage, say $50,000, would be $12.5 million; still low compared to mlb salaries.  I see no reason why a major league player would see that raise as a reason for them to ask for more money except maybe a few thousand more for the rookies coming up.  A guy making 5 million a year should not be saying I deserve 5 million plus 50,000.

Negotiating.  If a minor leaguer nobody is getting his salary doubled, you don't think Scott Boras isn't going to use that to double or even increase his clients salaries by 25% minimum?  so now a 12M contract is $15M for a BOR guy

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22 hours ago, Enjoy Terror said:

I think the economics of it has less to do with can we pay players, but more about do we need this many players.

Just for a loose analogy, you're a company and you employ 300 janitors, but only need 150 to clean the building. Meanwhile the janitor union says to you "hey, $7.50/hr isn't a living wage, you need to pay us $15!" So you're looking around and you're paying twice as many people as you need half as much as they should earn.

It's a no brainer; lay off 150 people and double salaries. Meanwhile, people are foaming at the mouth you didn't just double everyone's salary. But we don't need 300 janitors.

Like, layoffs happen in every organization, and it's happening daily. Players get cut all the time from teams; why does it matter if every team cuts 150 players all at once? This is truly the opposite of "the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic". We literally don't care if one guy gets fired but do it in en mass? We need protests.

That’s an excellent point but unfortunately it doesn’t apply to this instance. A baseball team is a unit of entertainment. If people come buy the entertainment, then by definition there is a market the team. If there is no market for a baseball team in Cut’nShoot, Texas, there won’t be a team there. The only time you eliminate a team is if there’s no market for it, and in that case, player pay is moot.

I live ten minutes from the Frisco rough riders, a Rangers AA team. The games are fun, and you see a lot of guys that will be with the Rangers soon.

most of them won’t, and yes they deserve a living wage because they are producing income for the owners.

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22 hours ago, Enjoy Terror said:

I think the economics of it has less to do with can we pay players, but more about do we need this many players.

Just for a loose analogy, you're a company and you employ 300 janitors, but only need 150 to clean the building. Meanwhile the janitor union says to you "hey, $7.50/hr isn't a living wage, you need to pay us $15!" So you're looking around and you're paying twice as many people as you need half as much as they should earn.

It's a no brainer; lay off 150 people and double salaries. Meanwhile, people are foaming at the mouth you didn't just double everyone's salary. But we don't need 300 janitors.

Like, layoffs happen in every organization, and it's happening daily. Players get cut all the time from teams; why does it matter if every team cuts 150 players all at once? This is truly the opposite of "the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic". We literally don't care if one guy gets fired but do it in en mass? We need protests.

I don't think janitors is a good comparison as I don't know there are many janitors who have at least a 5-10% chance of being multimillionaires.  Essentially MLB is getting 300 lottery tickets for a dollar and are now saying they can't afford 300 lottery tickets, but only 150.  They may not be winning the lottery mega jackpot on those 300, but their chances of winning are better at winning the megajackpot or some of the other prizes.  

Players get cut because the teams evaluate their skillset.  Most 18 year olds are playing against lesser competition or 21 year olds using aluminum bats that skew analysis some.  When they get against better competition, you can see who has more potential and who doesn't for a cheap cost.  MLB teams can afford to pay these kids double what they are making but the ramifications are huge, I think that is why they are playing Congress and MLBPA and will most likely win and this conversation is moot.

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2 hours ago, Philip said:

If there is no market for a baseball team in Cut’nShoot, Texas, there won’t be a team there. The only time you eliminate a team is if there’s no market for it, and in that case, player pay is moot.

Then the minor league team should be responsible for paying the employees through gate receipts, concessions, and merchandising.

Otherwise the MLB is just propping up a loss. Personally I don't think some of these stadiums can support a team without MLB cash, and that would lead me to believe that the market wouldn't bear a team naturally. If it could, then they could go independent and this conversation isn't necessary.

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