Here’s why MLB players are fighting for ABC changes
Knowing fully that many people will simply never sympathize with professional athletes when it comes to money, I want to share a little perspective on why baseball players are fighting for change at the CBA. Simply put, they are trying to level the playing field of the financial game to make sure they get their fair share of the income they generate. No one paid to see Tom Ricketts even when he was hosting a panel at the Cubs Convention.
MLB Players Association Members Don’t Say They Are Not Getting Enough Money, They Argue They Are Not Getting Enough of the money generated by the league. In addition, the MLB salary structure ensures that an increasing amount of compensation goes to those at the top of the sport, while those in the middle are ousted and those at the bottom subsidize all jobs.
Max Scherzer’s three-year, $ 140 million deal made headlines in a wave of signings in November in which teams spent nearly $ 2 billion on free agents, but the point is, the hype has eclipsed reality. Like Kurt Badenhausen reported for Sportico, the average MLB salary in 2021 was practically the same as in 2015 despite a sharp increase in the number of players with monster annual deals.
Only three players had contracts earning them $ 26 million or more in 2015, but that number jumped to 17 players last season. However, the Associated Press reported that the median wage has fallen 30% from $ 1.65 million to $ 1.15 million in the same time frame and the average MLB salary of $ 4.17 million on opening day of 2021 was down 6. 4% compared to the start of the 2017 season.
It comes as franchise values ââhave skyrocketed over the past decade and the league’s broadcast deals are expected to bring in $ 1.84 billion each year starting in 2022, an additional $ 300 million over previous years. previous agreements. Forbes valued the Cubs at $ 3.36 billion in his last assessment in March, a 5% increase from 2020 despite a season in which the team suffered biblical losses as no supporters were allowed to attend matches. It seems like a big win if the goal is asset appreciation rather than cash flow, which is exactly the case with the Ricketts family and other owners.
Forbes rated the Cubs at barely $ 879 million before the start of the 2012 season, an increase of 14% over the previous year. This means that even if the value of the Cubs does not appreciate at all by the time of the next drop in valuations, which it will not, they will have quadrupled in the last decade. Player salaries, meanwhile, only increased 21% in 2021 compared to 10 years ago.
Salaries in the NFL and NBA have almost doubled over the same period, by Badenhausen, which is significantly better than MLB and is a direct result of these leagues correlating player pay with overall earnings. The NBA ensures an equal share to players, and the NFL requires teams to spend an average of 95% of their cap in any given season or pay the balance to players if that threshold is not met.
MLB also has the lowest minimum wage of the three leagues listed here, with its floor of $ 570,500 falling well below $ 925,000 for the NBA and $ 660,000 for the NFL. Even the $ 750,000 in the NHL is far superior to baseball. There are obvious differences in roster size and schedule length, but a soccer roster is twice the size of a baseball roster and the MLB plays twice as many games as any of its peers.
The point is, Major League Baseball’s salary structure isn’t as fair as it should be, whether you consider it relative to its own income or the way other professional sports operate. As if MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, letter to baseball fans wasn’t ridiculous enough without context, his words ring even more hollow when confronted with the numbers above.
“When we started negotiations on a new deal, the Players’ Association already had a contract that they would not trade for any other in the sport,” Manfred wrote. âBaseball players have no salary cap and are not subject to a term limit or dollar amount on contracts. In fact, only MLB has guaranteed contracts lasting 10 years or more and over $ 300 million. We have not proposed anything that would change these fundamentals.
He goes on to cite the November spending spree, adding to the classic bad-leadership tactic and encouraging fans to lose sight of the forest and look at the trees instead. More than a third of MLB players earned minimum wage last season, a number far higher than those vying for huge contracts like the ones Manfred points out. Is it still a lot of money compared to regular jobs? God damn it. It is also an entirely different industry that does not operate under the same structure as a school system or a factory or [insert your job here].
I mainly preach to the choir here and highly doubt anyone who strongly believes players should just shut up and throw / hit / dribble has even gotten this far, but I still wanted to lay the facts of the matter. It’s not about baseball players saying they don’t get paid well or deserve more money just to earn more, it’s that MLB needs to address the growing income disparity. and its stagnant salary structure.
MLBPA really just wants a fairer share of the revenue pie and a higher salary early in players’ careers through increased base salaries, earlier refereeing, and earlier free agency. There is obviously a lot more to it, but these are some of the main principles. It sounds pretty straightforward when you put it that way.
Oh, and one more thing: Paying a player a huge salary isn’t the reason your ticket prices go up. Do you really think a team would cut payroll and then cut ticket prices accordingly? I sure hope not. That said, I want the best possible product on the pitch and I would be much more willing to pay top dollar to go to a game if I felt the team was doing the right thing to make it happen.