Since we don't have any real baseball news right now, I thought I would try this. Why don't we do a Rosterbation type post about what each of would do to solve the current CBA disagreement? You can pick a side if you want or examine both sides of the argument depending on how much time you want to spend on it. For me I'm going to look at both sides and what I think the parties could do to solve some of this. I'm going to break down my suggestions into groups:
4- Possible concessions
5- New contracts
1) The players- Per usual the players want to make more money, and have less service time manipulation. In addition to that some feel that a lack of team competitiveness is hurting the game (TANKING). While I do agree with this on principal, as anyone who works will attest that getting a raise from year to year is something we all strive for, at what point is enough money, enough? Salaries these days are beyond ridiculous but I really don't see a way to curb it anytime soon.
That said let's look at some of the other things, lets start with service time. Maybe drop it to 5 years before FA, two at league minimum and 3 ARB years. Also have a set base for years 1&2 say 625k and 750k and then ARB begins, players also hit FA a year sooner which should allow them to get to the bigger contracts they work towards.
I also feel rosters should be 28 man squads. 15 position players and 13 pitchers, this would allow there to be more guys in the majors thus making the union happier as there would be more guys up getting paid. Plus it would allow teams a little more flexibility to overcome a long season.
2) The owners- We all know the game is making money for owners, with TV contracts and revenues going higher we can see the effects by more teams having higher payrolls. That said I do think more of the pie should be going back to players across all the levels. I do believe a payroll floor is necessary, to keep teams from putting an inferior product on the field. I'd start with 75m floor and over the period of the new CBA it would go up 2.5m each year. Teams who violate this policy for three (3) consecutive years can be bought out by MLB for current market value and then placed up for sale to a new ownership group/ or individual. Looking at you Pittsburgh and Bob Nutting! However there are two teams who come to mind that maybe can't afford to have a higher payroll, so maybe the penalty should be no revenue sharing until the base floor is met. In my opinion there should not be any teams receiving revenue sharing that can't have a 75m base payroll, if you are then you shouldn't own a MLB team.
As far as a salary cap goes, raise the limit to 220 for 2022 and then add 2.5m each year moving forward, however if a team exceeds the limit, first yr penalty is 50% on each dollar over, then 75% for yr two with a forfeit of #1 pick and if a third yr happens 125% on each dollar and the forfeiture of the first 3 picks in the draft. This should help keep big market teams a little more honest.
3) MILB Players- These are the guys who should be better taken care of as they feed the pipelines to the majors. I'm proposing a base salary structure like this 60k for Rookie/ A ballers, 80k for AA, and 100k for AAA players. I'm not sure exactly what they are being paid now but it isn't this much. I also think there should be additional coaches available at each level- money coaches, life coaches, nutritionists. Teach these guys early how to approach the game as a professional, and not waiting until they hit the bigs.
4) Possible concessions- This one is tricky obviously. I'd start with making the season 158 games instead of 162 to aid in the timing of an extra round of playoffs being proposed. The reason behind this is twofold- the 4 less games creates a small loss of revenue for owners, thus hopefully making teams build a stronger club for the season and would an impetus on striving to win. The other is that it starts the playoffs a few days earlier in the year for the WC round of games.
5) New contracts- I'm sure this one would get fought over tooth and nail, however moving forward I do believe there needs to be language included regarding player conduct off the field. A way for teams to cut bait so to speak. While it would be nice to get out of a contract completely I do think a small concession would have to be made to get the MLBPA to agree to it. SO maybe include in the contract that if a player violates terms he can be bought out for 5% of the overall contract value and sent on his way. So for example if you have a guy on a 4/60m deal and he violates the policy, he can be bought out for 3m and is then free to sign with anybody, if they will sign him. I do think this would keep the game off the field and clean as we try to make it on.
The other thing I would like is to have more base pay with reachable incentive contracts. This way guys get paid for how they play each season, while providing owners protection against season ending injuries. So I'm going to use Mad Max as an example-- he's going to be paid 43.3mil each yr for 3 yrs. Would it not make sense to offer him a 10m base salary with 35mil worth of incentives? Example- 10m base + 5m for each level of starts starting at 15,20,25,30,full season, maybe another 2.5m for 175 inn and 2.5m for 200 inn and lastly maybe 2.5m for ERA under 3 and another 5m for finishing top 5 in CY voting. Because god forbid he gets hurt a third of the way through the season in yr 1 with maybe needing TJS he wouldn't ready to come back until the end of season 2 maybe. That is ALOT of lost money, whereas if he were on a base it would allow the Mets to fill in the hole with the leftover funds.
The other option I'm thinking about is paying by WAR values. However I keep running into a scenario where a team like the Pirates has a guy put up a superstar season and they can't afford to pay him. It would be awful it he put up a 7WAR season and could only get paid for 2 WAR, so not sure that's going to work.
Anyway guys, these are just a few random thoughts while we wait on the powers that be to figure out a new deal. Let me know what you think.