Did Major League Baseball Owners Collude To Depress Salaries?

Almost time for spring training. The battle is beginning between the owners and players.



Did Major League Baseball owners collude and not sign free agents to long term, big money deals over the winter? That might be answered at another time but agent Scott Boras and the Major League Baseball Players Association have some questions about the owners spending habits during the 2017-18 off season. Boras has spent a good deal of the off season taking aim at individual teams, the New York Mets and Miami Marlins, and said Major League Baseball, presumably Commissioner Rob Manfred, should consider hitting teams whose owners have cut payroll where it hurts the most. In the pocketbook. Meanwhile, the Major League Baseball Players Association complained to Major League Baseball about the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Miami Marlins business practices.

Association spokesman Greg Bouris, told the Miami Herald. “We have raised our concerns regarding both Miami and Pittsburgh with the commissioner, as is the protocol under the collective bargaining agreement and its revenue sharing provisions.” The Miami and Pittsburgh owners get money from Major League Baseball’s revenue sharing plan.  Teams that get money from the revenue sharing pool are supposed to reinvest that money in players or players’ development. This is the second time that the Major League Baseball Players Association has complained to Major League Baseball about the Miami Marlins. In 2010, Major League Baseball did put pressure on then Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. The complaint worked in that Loria opened up his wallet and spent some money on his business. Major League Baseball doesn’t seem to be that concerned that the new Marlins owner Bruce Sherman has traded away his best and highest paid players and cut payroll. Pirates ownership has also traded away some of the team’s best and highest paid players. Boras had a tough off season getting his clients signed and thinks teams have tanked seasons to get high draft picks calling it a noncompetitive cancer and bad for the game.

Rob Manfred

Some owners have not bid for players and Rob Manfred will eventually have to explain that policy.