It was only a matter of time before all the bitter statements and accusatory press releases turned into an actual fight between the Major League Baseball Players Association and the owners of MLB’s teams.
The first fight is here:
BREAKING: Baseball's players union filed a grievance against four teams, including the Rays, claiming they have failed to comply with rules of how they spend their revenue sharing money. #Rays @TB_Times @TBTimes_Rays #MLBPA https://t.co/hJP9Q75jIc
— TampaBayTimesSports (@TBTimes_Sports) February 27, 2018
The four teams being targeted, per the report, are the Rays, Pirates, Marlins, and A’s. The allegation is that, over the course of the last two years, those teams have received revenue-sharing money from the rest of the league, but have not spent it to improve their on-field product, as required by the league.
Proving that the revenue-sharing money isn’t going into the organization in some way is going to be a tall task for the MLBPA, but perhaps they thought this would be the safest shot across the bow start off any new negotiations, since it’s possible they’ll actually find favor with some large-market owners on this particular issue.
More details will be emerging about this fight, I’d imagine. It’s not entirely clear what the MLBPA hopes to get out of this – force those teams to sign some players? have MLB fine the teams and give the money to the MLBPA? – but obviously they are frustrated and want to show their players that they are doing something about it.