top of page
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

STRIKEOUT! How can MLB survive?

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Baseball is in a terrible spot in 2022. With a looming CBA expiration on December, 1st MLB and the players union are headed for a cold off-season, and I'm not talking about the winter. We are talking about enormous implications for the MLB following a shortened season in 2020 due to the pandemic that sent most major sports leagues reeling.

The MLB needs to address the 10,000-pound elephant in the room that is this possible strike. Unfortunately, the players union has ideas of their own for a new collective bargaining agreement. The players union has a list of wants on their list, such as rewarding teams for success and punishing teams for intentionally tanking. The issue of rookie contracts and team control needs to be addressed as well.

Taking has been one of the hot-button topics of the last couple of years in the MLB, even big-market teams. The Cubs in 2021 had an excellent start to the season and had a real chance to compete this year, but instead of competing, the front office blew up the team by trading key pieces like pitcher Yu Darvish, 3rd baseman Kris Bryant, and closer Craig Kimbrel.

The argument that gets made for teams that tank either by the team itself or by fans that buy into the nonsense that teams cannot afford to pay players the salary that the market will dictate is ludicrous. This goes back to earlier in this story. A salary cap is needed to balance things so teams in smaller markets can compete on the same playing field as the top markets in the MLB. When you have teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers that can spend to the tax threshold and only use 20%-30% of their revenue streams and teams like the Cardinals and other smaller market teams spend well below the threshold and are spending between 40%-60% of their revenue stream that's where the problem lies. A salary cap with revenue sharing would resolve a great deal of the issues.

For example, you are starting to see teams dip into other business ventures to offset the market differences. In St. Louis, the Cardinals have gotten into real estate with their Ballpark Village initiative. The organization can have another basket to pull from to try and compete with teams in those significantly larger markets.

The rub is this. Teams, significantly the smaller market teams, would rally behind this approach. Bigger market teams in New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles would be heavily against such a plan because that would dip into their profit margins.

MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark-Via Morry Gash

The players union would be against such a measure because it would regulate how much a player could make on a contract. It would reset the market on players, and the union knows it. The problem is for baseball to survive, it needs regulation. The NFL has had this rule in place for decades, and it has helped the league flourish into what it is financially.

So how do you solve these issues and agree before the clock strikes twelve and everyone turns into a pumpkin? Compromise on both ends. If the MLB wants to survive and go into the future with a successful business model, they need to give the MLBPA what they want on service time for players. The same can be said on the MLBPA side of things. If the MLBPA wants this golden goose to keep laying eggs, they need to be flexible and allow the passage of a salary cap in the MLB. If one side dies, they both die. It's a symbiotic relationship.

These issues are not the only meat on the table here. There is much more to this spread than what has been discussed. It's an excellent start, though. We can talk about the universal DH later, maybe next year.

Derek King

184 views0 comments


bottom of page