An Insider analysis of the New Collective Bargaining Agreement
Major League’s Baseball’s new collective bargaining is signed and sealed but it does not help the Pirates one bit. Well unless a miracle happens and the current ownership sells to a group willing to spend. The first case of business is the Luxury Tax which will climb a astounding 9 percent to 148 million and by the year 2011 it will top out at 178 million. All this does is drive the players prices up dramatically and if you want to spend the money you have more leeway without hitting into the tax penalty of 148 million. Young players will be almost untouchable. There is going to be a whole lot of money for free agents and for teams to lock up young players. The Pirates Jason Bay will be an unrestricted free agent in a few seasons and if they don’t change their ways of spending money he will be gone. If he would maintain his projected pace over the next couple seasons of averaging 30+ homers – 100 RBi’s his price is going to rise all the way up to the 16-18 million range where in the old CBA it would be in 12 million range. With the leverage of spending more, teams are going to spend a lot more according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
This years free agents and beyond are going to become very rich. Everyone said the Yankees over paid for Johnny Damon ( 4yrs – 52 million ) last season. Once players like Vernon Wells and Jason Bay get their 16-18 per in a few seasons, Damon’s deal of 12 million per is going to look like a bargain. Lets take Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan for example. Recently with his post season success Suppan would command a 3yr – 21-25 million deal but now according to Buster Olney baseball executives are projecting Suppan will receive offers similar to what Johan Santana’s agreed to last season ( 4yr – 40 million). Suppan isn’t half the pitcher Santana is but this just shows how outrageous players salaries are going to climb.
Overall this is a good deal for baseball. Financially the game is healthier than ever and it’s not their fault that teams like the Pirates and Royals are ran like Minor League franchises. The facts are out there for small market teams. If you spend in the 60-75 million range and develop through the draft and put the money you receive through the Luxury Tax into the teams payroll instead of your own pocket you will win Mr. McClatchy/Mr. Nutting. If you need some help learning how to put a good product on the field just dial over to Oakland’s and Florida’s front office: They’ll tell you how it’s done.