MLB Season Preview: Season Two of the Moneybox Dominoes

Money doesn’t buy a championship, but it definitely helps.

Of the last 12 World Series winners, they have won the top 10 in Major League Baseball in the season in which they won. Exceptions: 2011 St. Louis Cardinals, 2015 Kansas City Royals, Houston Steelers vs. 2017 and 2021 Atlanta Braves. Of the winners, the Royals are the only ones considered to be a small market club.

So when the 2022 MLB campaign starts on Thursday – a 99-day lockout ended in time to save the 162-game season – expectations are high for the top team at the top of the salary range. They are a combination of ordinary skeptics (Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Yankees) and a newcomer (Mets) – all from the big markets. These are teams, which are, in many ways, at the center of a conflict that ended nearly three decades of labor peace in sports.

The once-lightweight Mets revamp has added a new dynamic to baseball in New York and the MLB because of the new luxury of spending money, with the consent of the Mets’ second-year owner, Steven A. Cohen. The tax threshold that was negotiated by the owners of the 30 MLB clubs in the new labor contract of the game is named after them. In addition, the ever-competitive Yankees owner, Hall Steinbrenner, relied on the idea that he needed to keep up with Kahn.

“I can’t control what resources are with other owners or other teams, and what they’re going to do with those resources,” Steinbrenner said last month. “I make the same commitment every year, my family does, which is capable of doing everything we can to field a championship team and win a World Series.”

But the Yankees have not won a World Series since 2009, or have appeared in any. The Mets’ last title came in 1986, but their most recent visit was in 2015. The Dodgers have appeared in three of the last five, the winners in 2020.

These three clubs, all offered this season to pay the luxury tax, are among the most anticipated MLB salary class opening day. For luxury tax purposes, the Dodgers ($ 293 million) lead the pack, followed by the Mets ($ 287 million) and the Yankees ($ 262 million), according to FanGraph’s salary.

“It’s great to have two competitive baseball teams in New York for the fans,” Steinbrenner said.

Steinbrenner was one of seven owners on the MLB’s labor committee, which negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union. For months, the sides argued about the economic fundamentals of the game. An important reason for the tension: MLB is the only North American men’s professional sports league without a tight salary cap. In the NFL and NBA, revenue is split between team owners and players at a fixed rate.

But in the MLB, where players’ salaries are public but owners do not have income, teams can spend as much as they want. They can spend as much as they want – as long as they are willing to pay competitive balance tax penalties, which are hard-hit by some teams, soft cap and others. The union successfully negotiated the biggest luxury tax threshold jump from one labor agreement to another, with the first limit increasing from $ 210 million in 2021 to $ 230 million in 2022. To achieve this, though, the players agreed to a new, fourth down. Based on $ 60 million.

This is not a problem for anyone.

“Why, $ 290 million is a lot of money to spend and I’m fine with that,” he said last month. “I don’t feel like it’s so limited that I can’t keep up with it.”

Before the outbreak affected revenue in games, players complained about how teams were behaving. In recent years, despite record-breaking agreements, overall spending has dropped.

In 2021, $ 4.05 billion spent on payroll was minimal in the full year since 2015, according to Associated Press calculations. Only two teams – the San Diego Padres and Dodgers – paid the luxury tax. Nine teams spent $ 92 million or less on salary. The median MLB salary was $ 1.15 million, down from a record-high $ 1.65 million in 2015. And the average length of a career is about four years, with salary arbitrage, which provides significant additions, usually doesn’t start until a player’s three-year money is deposited. Service time

Those numbers, however, are expected to increase in the current contract because both sides agreed to raise the minimum rate for the league, which most players make, from $ 570,500 in 2021 to $ 700,000 in 2022. General Chat Chat Lounge There will also be a $ 50 million bonus. Pool for top young players who are not yet eligible for mediation. This off-season, owners spent more than $ 3 billion on salary for new players, breaking last winter’s record, which was set in 2016.

“The MLBPA has historically wanted a tax-free system on the market,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred, referring to the players’ union, who signed a new contract last night. “Most of the discussions that have their main purpose. The markets produce results. And I think the changes made in this agreement have moved dramatically in their direction on topics like the CBT threshold. آهن.

During labor talks, the owners – who ran an estimated $ 11 billion business before the epidemic – discussed ways to reduce high costs and improve qualification or money sharing between clubs. Players, a more diverse group whose members are not all millions, want an open market, better competition among the clubs (and thus more expenditures) and push the economics of leading top clubs.

“The large market costs of teams mean the system is working well. This is not the case here for a long time,” said Mets short-stop Francisco Londor, a senior union committee member in Spanish.

He continued, pointing out that the team in the Bronx had spent less than a few years to reset its luxury tax penalties: “The Yankees also stopped spending some time. And that means the system wasn’t working as it should. We expect that with this new CBA new teams will spend, and especially in larger markets.

New teams open their checkbooks this winter. After keeping their salaries relatively low in recent years, the Texas Rangers have committed more than half a billion dollars. They signed a 10-year, $ 325 million contract on the short-stop Corey Seager and a seven-year, $ 175 million contract on second baseman Marcus Siemens. The Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies join the Dodgers and Mets in guaranteed more than $ 200 million this winter.

“This is important for the industry as a whole – and I have said before that this is nothing new – not a fan should come to Spring Training thinking that their team has no chance of winning the division, There’s no chance of making a playoff, “Steinbrenner said. “This can only be bad for the entire industry. So I support the balance of measures and the measures to try to resolve this, too.

But some clubs don’t seem ready to compete for the playoffs, expanding to 10 of 12 teams. Some – even in the larger markets (Auckland Athletics) or those who are gaining revenue share from others (Pittsburgh Pirates) – are rebuilding and eliminating players and salaries. The growing gap between the least and most expensive teams has upset people like Lindor.

Case in point: Landor’s teammate Max Scherzer, who will earn $ 43.3 million this season after signing with the Mets, is expected to earn more than the full-time starting day salary of the following teams, coating baseball. According to contract: Baltimore Orioles, Athletics and Pirates. The Cleveland Guardians are not much ahead of Scherzer, with a suggested salary of $ 52 million. Lundore did them all alone and compared them to the Mets’ back.

“That’s a $ 200 million difference, and you couldn’t stand it,” said Lindor, who was traded to the Mets by Cleland before last season and signed a 10-year, $ 341 million extension to stay. He added: “When teams are winning, they make money. They say they do not make good money, but they are making good money. The industry is growing.”

At one point in the labor talks, MLB offered a $ 100 million hard pay floor – the first for sports – in addition to the $ 180 million lower luxury tax threshold, which included a faster rate to move. Some players were open to the idea of ​​setting the minimum wage for a team salary, but were disappointed with the tight cap.

Despite a draft lottery that was designed to help teams avoid losing goals, in the hope of achieving No. 1, Michael Leroy, a professor and sports labor expert at Urbana-Champaign at the University of Illinois, called baseball “white.” up to. A game that is bound to suffer from the inequality of spending on quality games. He points to small market teams in the NFL who compete in sports.

“The teams that want to loaf continue to loaf,” he continued. “And it will be hooked on the overall economics of the game. I think finances, management can stay with it. And they also have enough freedom to allow the Dodgers and Yankees and anyone who wants to go out and really. Competing in the free agency market to do this and to pay taxes, so I think it’s the same with only a higher limit – and I also think that the money will be caught up to the players in the middle by opening that cap. , So you can have less than one million players.

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