MLB Lockout Day 75: The New Money Value of Increased Minimums and a Bonus Pool, Luxury Tax Flexibility?

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MLB Lockout Day 75: The New Money Value of Increased Minimums and a Bonus Pool, Luxury Tax Flexibility?

Chicago Cubs

Three quarters of a century. NEAT!

No word today on how and when the Players Association will respond to the owners’ new, “underwhelming” offer from Saturday. It takes time to unpack the thing, to communicate with necessary parties, to develop a strategy for response, and then to actually put the response together in a useful way. I wouldn’t have expected a full-on counter by today or even tomorrow, but I kinda hope we hear something by tomorrow, with maybe the counter coming by Friday?

In the meantime …

•   Another way to think about the difference between the sides on the issues of money going to players before their third service year:

•   To be sure, that is NOT the only set of issues on which the sides are far apart, but I do like the idea of breaking them down into one unit and just playing with the money to find the right landing place. The owners moved both the minimum and the pre-arbitration bonus pool in their latest offer, albeit in a very modest way. Can the sides bridge the current $108.5M spread in a fair way? Is it simply splitting it down the middle? Or is that not enough, given the salary stagnation in the game? But what if it were paired with improvements to the luxury tax? Speaking of which …

•   I can’t recommend the at-issue article, to be honest, but I do think it’s important to point this out:

•   In an article that reads as heavily-informed by MLB’s arguments in favor of its own offer, there is a sudden mention that the luxury tax level should be raised dramatically, almost reaching the level sought by the players. Given the context, it’s hard for me not to think that, in addition to hearing the many pro-owner arguments that he shares, Jim Bowden also heard that the owners know they’ll have to move significantly on the luxury tax. Is this a breadcrumb that they are indeed willing to do so, eventually? If they hold the line on the penalties, and arbitration, and revenue-sharing, for example?

•   One last financial item for the day – Joe Sheehan argues that the owners are already in a good place in the negotiations, even if they simply accepted the players’ last offer:

•   The idea is that Sheehan is approximating the added money that would flow to the players from increased minimums, increased arbitration, and the pre-arbitration bonus pool, and it would, by his calculations, merely bump total layout to players back to where it was in 2018. Adding to that, if Sheehan’s math is right, that doesn’t even include the increases in revenue that are contemplated by the players offering to expand the postseason to 12 teams (and also the possible revenue from uniform patches, which I still expect are coming).

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.