October 27, 2020 at 7:47 am #145729
As you can see, I started two new threads. This one is focused on the decisions that need to be negotiated before MLB can play in 2021. We had a similar thread for 2020.
(The other thread, not this one, is about the new CBA to replace the one that expires in December 2021.)October 27, 2020 at 7:49 am #145730
I will start it off. The following article quotes Manfred as saying:
MLB teams will have operational losses of between $2.8 and $3 billion in 2020.
MLB teams have a total of $8.3 billion in debt to various lenders.
"We are going to be at historic high levels of debt." Manfred told @Sportico about the $8.3 billion of debt from lenders to fund the clubs this past season.
The free agent market this offseason is going to take a hit.
— Conduct Detrimental (@ConDetrimental) October 27, 2020October 27, 2020 at 7:56 am #145732
The numbers in this article are very curious. They come from an anonymous MLB official who provided them to The Athletic.
2019 MLB revenues $10.7 billion
Original 2020 MLB revenue projection $10 billion
Original 2020 MLB expense projection $10.2 billion
Actual 2020 MLB revenue $3 billion
Actual 2020 MLB expense $6.1 billion
I find it very questionable that BEFORE COVID, MLB both expected down revenues and to lose money in 2020. Prior to 2020, MLB had grown revenues in the last 17 consecutive years.
It feels to me like the posturing with the union has begun. Since MLB’s books are private, there is no way to independently verify what they say.
This sentence comes late in the article.
But ownership’s calculus of “need” is not typically based on a desire for dipping into their personal wealth, or tolerance for losses, even if their financial well-being is not seriously threatened.October 27, 2020 at 8:24 am #145739
The math is more than a bit hazy, too. $10.7B split 30 ways is more than $333M per team. When I added payroll up for all 30 teams in 2019, it comes to about $4.15B. Are teams really spending almost 60% of their budget on things beyond payroll? Seems very fishy.October 27, 2020 at 9:24 am #145766gscottarParticipantPaid - Annual
I assume this will be the thread to discuss any rule changes that may be rolled over from 2020 into 2021. If MLB is smart they will bring some kind of resolution to the DH issue as quickly as possible after the world series so the NL GM’s will know what they are dealing with. It could make a big difference for a guy like Nelson Cruz if he can negotiate with 30 teams instead of 15.October 27, 2020 at 9:29 am #145768
There are very good reasons to decide the DH question quickly as you noted. There are also very good reasons for one side to not make individual concessions to the other side while the bigger issues for 2021 are open.
Which approach will prevail? My money is on the latter. Delay. (That is not what I wish, but I don’t get a vote.)
The NL got along fine in 2020 by deciding the DH just a few weeks before the delayed season began. It could happen that way again.October 28, 2020 at 10:29 am #145894gscottarParticipantPaid - AnnualNovember 6, 2020 at 1:50 pm #146857
The amount of losses Manfred claims for 2020 is being disputed using the numbers from the one team that is publicly owned, the Braves.
Good look at the MLBPA outlook with Braves' financials mentioned. I took a look at 2Q+3Q reports. On an operating basis, the Braves made money July-September and from April through September, lost just $20 M. Kind of hard to square with Manfred's claims of $100 M losses per team. https://t.co/OvgG1nVrOc
— Craig Edwards (@craigjedwards) November 6, 2020November 7, 2020 at 5:18 pm #146938CariocaCardinalParticipantPaid - Monthly
Hard to square but also hard to see how you can lose nearly 3 million in paid attendence and only lose $20 millionNovember 8, 2020 at 4:10 pm #146974
On KMOX this morning, Mo said not to expect any decisions on 2021 rules soon. He said GMs have talked but they need to talk more. The owners also need to discuss. (He didn’t even mention that they then need to take it to the players and negotiate from there.)November 9, 2020 at 8:37 am #147002
Here is the real issue. Until it is hammered out, nothing else matters.
Both sides now have their opening arguments. Players: We have a contract and expect to be paid for a full 162-game season. Owners: We lost $3 billion and accrued $8.3 billion in debt and don’t have the money to do it. By @Boomskie https://t.co/lvvY15lfIk
— Barry M. Bloom (@Boomskie) November 9, 2020November 9, 2020 at 9:18 am #147007ZTRParticipantFree
Interesting. I think some contraction at the major league level would do wonders for the quality of the product on the field.
Don’t see it happening but each league contracting by 2 teams might open a few eyes around the league.
They fight over millions for playing a game while most people live paycheck to paycheck or gov’t check to gov’t check.
ESPN is laying off or not filling a total of 500 jobs.
More and more people are ‘cutting the cord’ of cable / satellite tv and their bloated packages.
The financial challenges we are seeing may not be as temporary as some would hope.
As an off-sport example, my 2 sons and I went to see the USMNT (soccer) play 3 years ago.
3 tickets = $300
Lunch at Stadium $60
2 t-shirts $50
(The cheapest tickets were around $50 each after fees and taxes)November 9, 2020 at 9:54 am #147018
Just the opposite is more likely to happen in a few years. They are talking about adding two teams for a more symmetric 32 teams. Each of the new entrants would have to pay millions in entry fees, creating a windfall for the remaining teams, cash-strapped by the current economy.
One such hopeful city is Nashville, whose prospective ownership group has hired former Red Sox/Tigers/Marlins exec Dave Dombrowski to help get them into the MLB fraternity. The Angels wanted to talk with him about their opening leading baseball ops, but he turned them down.
But none of this is going to change in 2021. More pressing matters are on the front burner – or need to get there in a hurry!November 9, 2020 at 4:38 pm #147052
A nice overview of the landscape, but of course, no answers…
This offseason, decisions need to be made quickly by a league and union that rarely agree on anything quickly – when they agree at all.@Ken_Rosenthal looks at trades, collective bargaining, pandemic-related changes and more offseason storylines ⤵️https://t.co/yjQknkEEpX
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) November 9, 2020November 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm #147171
Some guarded good news. Both sides (Players and owners) have plans to coalesce their own sides’ positions on the rules for 2021 and may be in a position to talk next month.
— Barry M. Bloom (@Boomskie) November 11, 2020November 12, 2020 at 6:30 pm #147227CariocaCardinalParticipantPaid - Monthly
I dont see how they expect a NL GM to construct a team without knowing if there is a DH, how many roster spots, etc.November 12, 2020 at 8:02 pm #147229
The NBA did a pretty fair job of putting together a nearly complete season that gives the owners some protection against fans not being allowed at games while also keeping a good chunk of money in players pockets for 2021. Why is it that baseball struggles so much worse to come to an amicable agreement?November 12, 2020 at 8:35 pm #147236
I am not an expert on this, but a quick check led me to think that the NBA agreement assumes teams can play in full arenas in a season that starts less than six weeks from now. If that isn’t allowed, will the deal hold?November 12, 2020 at 9:08 pm #147238
This is from an article on ESPN about it…
The two sides also came up with a compromise on the escrow system to spread the losses out across multiple seasons. The typical escrow withholding of 10% will remain in place. If there is a need to reduce player salaries by more than that 10%, that loss will be spread out over that season, as well as the following two — and players can never have more than 20% of their salary withheld in a single season. The hope on both sides is that future seasons will see the league be able to return to normal financial footing as the pandemic subsides.November 12, 2020 at 9:59 pm #147240
Thanks. So the NBA owners are guaranteeing 80% of the salaries. Further, the rest is not eliminated, just deferred. That seems far more generous terms than MLB owners would agree to. I wonder if NBA revenue is less than 40% dependent on game-day. The approach in baseball has been to tether pay to number of games played. Maybe they will be more creative in 2021, though.November 13, 2020 at 7:13 am #147243
It would be nice if MLB and the MLBPA could come to a similar agreement. Some risk on players, some risk on owners. Maybe a 140 game season that allows for some windows later in the season to fill in for games that might be lost to COVID. Salaries could be mostly guaranteed (in the 80% range) and tied somewhat to fans in the stands scenarios (90% if fans are fully allowed to show up by half season, 100% if there’s, by some miracle, full fans all year). But that’s probably too much to ask.November 27, 2020 at 5:16 pm #148317
Right, Big Jim. I bet the two parties are diligently working on the DH during this holiday weekend… And surely next season will be ruined if this is still open on Monday…
Major League Baseball and Players Union need to agree on Universal DH this weekend:https://t.co/BoWcotfVtN
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) November 27, 2020November 28, 2020 at 8:11 am #148348
Would it be better for free agents and NL front offices if the designated hitter question for 2021 is resolved quickly? Of course, but that doesn't mean it WILL be or really even needs to be on a fast track. (FREE article) https://t.co/fn2lq1hGLQ pic.twitter.com/IGZCGa037h
— Brian Walton (@B_Walton) November 28, 2020November 28, 2020 at 4:37 pm #148388
The NY Daily News’ Bill Madden ran a story this morning saying that the Phillies owner lost $2 billion last season so they cannot re-sign Realmuto. After countless people cried BS, the paper made a retraction about the exact size of the loss.
Madden also included the out-of-context line that MLB owners are carrying $8.3 billion in debt instead of noting the total 2020-only losses for all clubs were estimated to be $2.8 billion to $3 billion, per Manfred.
Don’t these reporters who follow the game for a living know that it would be pretty much impossible for one team to lose twice as money than the other 29 put together? Are they just really sloppy or carrying water for the owners?
So then later today, the AP ran a story that pegged the Phillies’ 2020 losses at a far more realistic $145 million. What is $1.855 billion among friends? 😉December 4, 2020 at 7:49 pm #148831
Andrew Miller will remain in the middle of the action going forward.
The five new members of #MLBPA's executive subcommittee who will be instrumental in the upcoming labor negotiations:
They join holdovers Andrew Miller, Max Scherzer and James Paxton.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 5, 2020
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