It is the official opening day of the Major League Baseball season despite the fact that two regular season games have been played by Oakland and Seattle in Tokyo, Japan. Major League Baseball is flush with money as more than a billion dollars of worth of salaries is heading to three players, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado for their work over the next decade and into the 2030s. But players are complaining about the system, particularly young players who are being sent to the minor leagues for about two weeks which starts the clock to arbitration and free agency later and gives owners the players’ services for an extra year. The players also didn’t like the owners’ tardiness in signing the two of the biggest named players in the 2018-19 free agent class, Machado and Harper. Money, or how to split the incredible amount of cash on hand, will continue to be a source of contention between the owners and players.
Major League Baseball still has the Oakland/Tampa Bay problem. Tampa Bay Rays ownership struck out in a bid to build a new ball park in Ybor City and it is seemingly back to the drawing board for the owners in an effort to find land to build a stadium somewhere in the Tampa area. Financing a new Tampa area facility could be a problem as well. Rays ownership still has eight years left on a lease to play baseball in St. Petersburg. Meanwhile, Oakland A’s ownership thinks it might have a spot for a new ballpark in the city but many other A’s new ballpark plans have fallen through in the past. Until there is a definitely solution in Oakland and the Tampa area, Major League Baseball won’t expand. Meanwhile, MLB wants to speed up the game to attract younger people to sample the product with the hope they stick around.