Astros Owner, Dodgers President Out There Saying Questionable Things

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Astros Owner, Dodgers President Out There Saying Questionable Things

Chicago Cubs

Today in things I’m wondering whether you can or should be saying …

First, you’ve got the Astros owner rubbing up so close to the “yeah, I’m literally talking about collusion” line that I’m genuinely wondering if you’re even allowed to say this:

The full quote from Crane is a little softer, but it also references two players by name, and is going to piss the MLBPA off to no end: “I think that teams are very focused on value, and some of the deals that have been thrown out with [Bryce] Harper and [Manny] Machado I think are long-term deals. I don’t think that you’ll see too many more 10-year deals in this business anymore because the analytics are so good and a lot of those deals never work.”

In effect, you have an owner – if nothing else – telling the baseball world that the analytics don’t support giving Harper and Machado 10-year deals. That seems like a wildly inappropriate thing for an owner to be saying publicly. Saying that your organization doesn’t believe it makes sense to offer decade-long deals to any players? Sure. Fine. But instead saying that the whole baseball world is too smart to give 10-year deals to these guys? While they’re still free agents seeking deals? What the hell? That just can’t be appropriate.

At worst, it was some public signaling. At best, it was a dopey thing to say.

Speaking of which:

Kasten, who is also a part-owner of the Dodgers, basically told fans that they are too stupid to understand why the Dodgers would want to stay under the luxury tax. Forgive the language in the tweet, but the sentiment is understandable:

I am an enormous nerd and I’ve read the luxury tax provisions of the CBA, and have also researched attached impacts to being over the luxury tax (for example, the impact on revenue sharing). Unless there are secret documents *about* the CBA that are not public, and/or unless I have missed something obvious, then Kasten has overreached. The impacts of being over the luxury tax are: (1) a modest tax; (2) your top draft pick falls 10 spots if you’re over the top tier of the tax; (3) free agent draft pick/IF compensation is modestly worse if you’re over the tax; and (4) you lose a modest amount of your revenue-sharing rebate if you’re over the tax for multiple consecutive years.

In other worse, the consequences are a little bit of money, and a little bit of draft pain. Neither – as far as we can evaluate them by reading the CBA – justify a large market team fundamentally altering its offseason plans if it otherwise wants to add impact free agents. Instead, it seems like a flimsy reason to keep payroll down, thus saving money to an organization that has such a monstrous TV contract that it could cover a 50+% increase to payroll on its own.

Maybe that’s unfair of me to say, but Kasten was handed the opportunity to explain why that’s wrong, and he declined.

Whatever the reality, you’ve got yet another club pointing to the CBA and the luxury tax as a reason to keep spending down. If you’re the Player’s Association, that should piss you off to no end. It should piss you off that you allowed the last CBA to be such a home run for the owners, and it should piss you off that the luxury tax line has been accepted by some organizations as a salary cap, all while revenues rise and player payroll spending declines.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.