köpa Seroquel på apoteket köpa Ayurslim på nätet kan man köpa Finax receptfritt på apoteket köpa Tamoxifen i tallinn beställa Trial Erection packs på nätet Coreg pris på apoteket hur kan man köpa Skelaxin lagligt att beställa Noroxin på nätet Brahmi pris i sverige viagra Hydrea köpa var köper man Flonase utan recept olagligt att beställa Myambutol på nätet köpa Mestinon kräm Orlistat liniment pris köpa Aldara orifarm köpa Erexin-V grekland köpa Carafate på kreta försäljning av Chloramphenicol Atorlip-10 kräm köpa är generisk Cymbalta farligt flytande Cardura dos köpa Fertomid gran canaria köpa Top Avana i butik stockholm bästa pris Diltiazem köpa Avalide spanien köpa Cozaar i lettland Deltasone eljo pris dosering Malegra k köpa Zofran internet köpa Flagyl ER egypten Myambutol utan recept spanien lagligt att beställa Sinequan på nätet Flonase dos migrän Bactroban oral jelly billig köpa Purim för tjejer vad är generisk Isoniazid köpa Acticin thailand kan man köpa Temovate i danmark lagligt beställa Propranolol Methotrexate första dos beställa Lukol pulver köpa Benadryl egypten Elimite lägre pris pris på Prinivil med recept beställa Tinidazole 2012 kan man köpa Lithium på apoteket hur köpa Tenormin kan man köpa Ranitidine på apoteket utan recept kan man köpa Pyridium spanien skaffa recept till Geriforte Caverta och träning dosering beställa Prograf på internet Methotrexate kräm pris beställa Calan på nätet lagligt köpa Zovirax från turkiet Proscar utan recept spanien köpa Top Avana i vietnam Doxazosin var köpa eljo Betapace uttag pris skaffa recept Trial Erection packs beställa Celebrex online fungerar generisk Charboleps Buspar köpa apoteket vill du köpa Tadalis Triamterene i sverige utan recept vart kan jag köpa Venlor Aspirin dosering rampfeber köpa riktig Yougara köpa Cephalexin säkert på nätet köpa Fluoxetine i frankrike köpa Abilify egypten var kan man köpa Cymbalta receptfritt köpa billigaste Zebeta köpa Zantac i spanien beställa Depakote på internet var köpa Triamterene billigt köpa Cholestoplex mot faktura i vilka länder kan man köpa Aldara receptfritt Alesse strömbrytare pris olagligt att beställa Amoxil köpa Silvitra på apoteket köpa Motrin på nätet flashback billig Trental på nätet lagligt köpa Minocycline köpa Zyrtec billig var köpa Slimex på nätet köpa Clomid postförskott köpa Keflex online 2012 skaffa recept Aleve vad är generisk Dilantin Shallaki recept FML Forte 10 mg köpa köpa Cipro lagligt i sverige var kan man köpa Slim Tea receptfritt Olanzapine hög dos köpa riktig Phexin köpa Serophene i apoteket Clomid usa köpa vem vill köpa Voveran köpa Ophthacare polen köpa Trental på nätet billigt Hyzaar liniment pris köpa Noroxin från turkiet olagligt att köpa Entocort eljo Mestinon bästa pris Kytril på apoteket pris bra ställe att köpa Himcolin hur få recept på Chloramphenicol hur köpa Abilify köpa Cialis på kanarieöarna köpa Claritin i tallinn köpa Cytotec estland kan man köpa Clozaril receptfritt kan man köpa Carbozyne i turkiet beställa billig Actos rekommenderad dos Tamoxifen köpa Neurontin i phuket Grifulvin V bästa pris köpa Trazodone i spanien Pariet tabletter pris sverige Zoloft dosering halsfluss beställa Diltiazem utomlands Minocycline billig dödlig dos av Provera köpa blå Yougara köpa Finpecia online 2013 olagligt att beställa Voveran på nätet köpa kvinnlig Benfotiamine Skelaxin köpa köpa Nizoral lagligt i sverige köpa Zyvox i indien Vasodilan dos nervositet köpa Provera inom eu köpa Albenza super active Urispas oral jelly köpa Tetracycline jelly köpa köpa Bactroban 2013 Renagel utan recept köpa Isoptin online billigt Alavert köpa flashback Diflucan köpa flashback köpa kvinnlig Proventil köpa Mobic på rhodos vad kan man köpa Clarina köpa Naltrexone 2013 köpa Duetact i amsterdam Slimex pris apotek sverige generisk Benicar biverkningar sänkt pris Cardizem vart kan man köpa Prednisone våga köpa Prometrium på nätet köpa Diakof tyskland köpa Levothroid säkert ställe att köpa Panmycin Nimotop bästa pris köpa äkta Epivir-HBV kan man köpa Himplasia i italien Carbozyne dosering urinvägsinfektion eljo Himplasia bästa pris Diclofenac utan recept i sverige köpa Atrovent inrikes bra ställe o köpa Motrin beställa Pamelor inrikes skaffa recept till Prednisone beställa Trental på internet köpa riktig Lithium Diltiazem köpa jord köpa Triamcinolone phuket pris Astelin sverige Doxazosin 100 billig kan man köpa Tadalis utan recept köpa Beconase AQ i sverige Bactrim i sverige utan recept köpa Prandin i spanien var köpa äkta Nimotop Cialis dosering rampfeber flytande Cyklokapron dos köpa Ralista i sverige köpa Proscar från sverige kan man köpa Erythromycin på gran canaria beställa Urispas på nätet flashback är generisk Urispas farligt kan man köpa Ethionamide på nätet hur ska man köpa Valtrex köpa eljo Shatavari köpa Slimex online 2013 Atrovent kräm köpa Pletal låg dos Vasotec turkiet pris köpa Cyklokapron i riga köpa Calan i tallin köpa Alavert på postförskott köpa Antivert flashback 2015 Cozaar på recept köpa Evecare i butik säkert att köpa Styplon på nätet köpa Anacin inrikes köpa Prometrium 20mg var kan man köpa Buspar på nätet köpa Epivir-HBV apoteket Zofran dosering till katt köpa Voltaren lagligt på nätet köpa Zyprexa apoteket dödlig dos Confido Kytril dosering vuxna kan man beställa Evista Doxazosin migrän dosering Augmentin till katt dosering Antabuse dosering lunginflammation lägsta pris på Plendil köpa Zyloprim inom eu köpa Topamax patong lagligt att beställa Keflex på nätet vill du köpa Big Appeal köpa Slimex i norge var köpa Zyloprim billigt köpa Atorlip-5 Himcolin till hund dosering köpa Diakof i sverige flashback köpa riktig Claritin rekommenderad dos Floxin Tetracycline köpa på nätet Yougara köpa flashback hur stor dos Ventolin ska man ta köpa Fosamax på gatan köpa Probalan i bangkok kan man beställa Aciphex köpa Tadapox i tallin Caverta dos migrän köp Rogaine 2 snabb leverans lagligt köpa Cephalexin bästa stället att köpa Lipitor Azulfidine online utan recept köpa Zithromax köpa Bystolic 400 mg Prinivil till katt dosering beställa Crestor utomlands Nexium k dosering lagligt att köpa Viramune på nätet Oxytrol sverige snabb leverans köpa Shallaki i butik stockholm beställa container Sildalis göteborg köpa Vasotec från turkiet hyra container Detrol pris köpa Lasuna för män Zantac i sverige utan recept vad kostar Lopressor på recept Tinidazole utan recept Benemid dosering ångest köpa Zoloft från sverige beställa Metformin på nätet 2014 sänkt pris Bupron SR köpa Tegretol tjeckien köpa Zenegra gran canaria Hydrea dosering ångest Zyrtec utan recept generisk Luvox i sverige Zocor bästa pris köpa Lanoxin stockholm Benfotiamine oral jelly billig beställa Dramamine var kan man köpa Nitrofurantoin receptfritt hur kan jag köpa Ayurslim lagligt att beställa Mircette för hög dos Coumadin köpa Cleocin tallinn försäljning Stromectol kan man köpa Himcolin utan recept Ciplox hexal köpa köpa laglig Indinavir Vytorin online utan recept köpa Haldol online 2013 köpa Zyban i usa Clonidine generisk Clonidine skillnad var kan jag köpa Mycelex-g beställa Zanaflex på nätet lagligt dosering Biaxin till hund köpa Lukol i lettland olagligt att beställa Premarin köpa Mestinon 50mg vart ska man köpa Cephalexin skillnad mellan generisk Zovirax köpa Toradol flashback 2014 Top Avana nervositet dos köpa Arava från sverige för hög dos Apcalis köpa Cytotec flashback 2013 pris Keflex på apoteket apoteket hjärtat Estrace pris köpa Erythromycin phuket köpa generisk Lozol online beställa Cholestoplex pulver köpa Aricept på nätet flashback Viramune uttag pris kan man köpa Levothroid receptfritt beställa Nasonex på faktura köpa Mestinon egypten skaffa recept till Olanzapine vart kan man köpa Pletal online köpa jord Xalatan dödlig dos av Yasmin köpa Benfotiamine grekland köpa Erexin-V i frankrike beställa Benadryl billig Lopressor snabb leverans kan man köpa Atarax i thailand köpa Seroquel för kvinnor Lipitor turkiet pris Precose köpa på nätet köpa Flagyl ER göteborg Metformin hög dos Tinidazole säker leverans Aricept snabbast leverans köpa eljo Pilex kan man köpa Copegus i england köpa Renagel i vietnam köpa Gasex i bangkok kan man köpa Sumycin på gran canaria Diovan dos migrän viagra Naprosyn köpa köpa Shuddha amsterdam köpa Zyrtec amsterdam lagligt beställa Himplasia köpa Tadapox thailand köpa Flagyl ER på postförskott köpa Cefadroxil i usa kan man köpa Beconase AQ i england köpa Serevent i helsingborg Bactroban migrän dosering köpa Toprol teneriffa beställa container Haldol Acivir gel pris apoteket köpa Coreg sverige 2012 hur får man recept på Nimotop köpa Orlistat köpenhamn rekommenderad dos Xenical kan man köpa Cipro på apoteket bästa sidan att köpa Cardizem köpa Anacin i göteborg köpa Cabgolin på gatan Minomycin liniment pris köpa Clonidine flashback 2014 kan man köpa Doxycycline i sverige köpa Aleve tallinn kan man köpa Orlistat i grekland köpa Vasotec på rhodos köpa Xalatan apotek köpa Kamagra på kanarieöarna köpa Probalan 10 mg köpa Rocaltrol malmö Confido vet dosering köpa billiga Zanaflex köpa Cipro flashback Benzac mot ångest dos säkra sidor att köpa Finax köpa Bonnispaz turkiet Pyridium dosering till katt Cardizem snabb leverans Differin dos migrän flytande Keftab dos köpa Big Appeal 10mg dosering Keftab till hund pris på Doxycycline i sverige köpa Accutane i london beställa blå Serevent generisk Doxycycline sverige köpa Kemadrin göteborg Aldactone plåster pris köpa Anacin i sverige flashback kan man köpa Zenegra receptfritt på apoteket köpa Arimidex 400 mg köpa Arcoxia butik Phexin vägguttag pris hur kan jag köpa Chloroquine bästa stället att köpa Elimite var köpa Baclofen beställa Zoloft på internet köpa Stromectol super active lägsta pris Amantadine Lasix online snabb leverans är det farligt att köpa Prinivil på nätet köpa Cymbalta på internet Actoplus köpa jord säker sida att köpa Proscar köpa Benzac sverige är det olagligt att köpa Seroquel på nätet Valtrex snabb leverans beställa container Betapace Prednisolone på recept Haldol dos nervositet behövs recept för Finax i spanien köpa Florinef på kanarieöarna Prazosin till katt dosering köpa Premarin receptfritt pris Anafranil turkiet beställa Viramune från thailand köpa laglig V-gel Seroflo dosering första gången köpa Keftab i ungern bästa pris på Protonix Vantin gel pris apoteket Kemadrin pris apoteket hjärtat var köpa Bentyl flashback Bystolic beställa container Proventil i sverige utan recept vart kan man köpa Ciplox Septilin pulver köpa köpa Alli i riga Zofran duo leverans Skelaxin strömbrytare pris Tofranil snabb leverans köpa Lexapro 100mg generisk Seroflo i sverige snabb leverans av Atorlip-20 Cholestoplex dos första gången Olanzapine oral jelly köpa kan man köpa Propecia i turkiet köpa generisk Aciclovir kan man köpa Liponexol på apoteket var kan man köpa Cleocin receptfritt Chloromycetin snabb leverans sverige kan man köpa Hyzaar på mallorca köpa Femara från england Suprax hög dos beställa billig Eurax köpa billiga Confido är det olagligt att köpa Benzac billig Benzac sverige Fucidin pris apotek sverige köpa Zestoretic i barcelona apoteket Tegretol gel pris Alesse gel pris apoteket hyra container Diarex pris Nizagara turkiet pris fungerar generisk Alli Clomid online snabb leverans köpa Strattera internet köpa Tofranil på teneriffa köpa Zoloft orifarm köpa Motilium i riga bästa stället att köpa Etodolac på Atarax pris apotek sverige Accutane köpa apoteket köpa kvinnlig Prazosin Cephalexin dödlig dos köpa Dipyridamole säkert billig Phexin snabb leverans köpa Coumadin billig Temovate dosering föredrag i vilka länder kan man köpa Imitrex receptfritt köpa Bystolic i london var kan man köpa NPXL beställa hem Bestina viagra Albendazole köpa generisk Hydrochlorothiazide snabb leverans köpa Lariam internet var kan jag köpa Rizact snabb leverans av Abana var kan man beställa Azulfidine Diclofenac shampoo köpa Xenical mot ångest dos bästa sidan att köpa Lotrisone köpa Grifulvin V mot postförskott köpa Yougara barcelona lägre pris på Zanaflex beställa Micronase pulver pris på Eulexin med recept köpa Noroxin estland säkert att köpa Nizagara på nätet hur få recept på Minomycin försäljning av Ponstel köpa Decadron flashback pris för Antabuse kan man köpa Diakof på apoteket utan recept beställa billig Doxycycline köpa Clozaril på gran canaria köpa Finax kräm beställa Zocor online bästa pris på Abana Actoplus vilken dos lagligt att köpa Cholestoplex köpa Avalide estland köpa kvinnlig Dulcolax beställa Actonel lagligt billig Flagyl ER sverige köpa Combivent prag beställa Alavert utomlands köpa Minocin nätet var köpa Aygestin på nätet köpa Alli i kina vågar man köpa Arava på nätet Atorlip-10 oral jelly billig var kan jag köpa Lukol var kan jag köpa Fertomid lägsta pris Naprosyn Copegus pris sverige köpa Nimotop seriöst är det recept på Aleve köpa Acivir snabbt Seroquel migrän dos
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Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 01 February 2010 10:21

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in "Last Week in Bizball", is it time for the MLBPA to abandon their long held philosophical opposition to a salary cap?, can reforming the amateur draft result in increased competitive balance? plus a few brief tidbits.

TIME FOR THE MLBPA TO EMBRACE THE SALARY CAP?

One of the most important challenges facing new MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner is increasing the amount of MLB revenues being spent on veteran players. “Rookie compensation” is a contentious issue within player ranks in both MLB and the NFL. In both leagues there is a movement amongst veteran players to curtail the escalating compensation being awarded “unproven” rookies (Stephen Strasburg and Matthew Stafford being the most high profile examples) and apportioning those savings to “proven” veterans. MLB veteran players have met with diminished demand for their services in the free agent markets of recent years both in terms of dollars and contract length while competition amongst clubs in the amateur draft and international free agent market has sharply increased. As well, the percentage of industry revenues being paid to MLB players has steadily diminished. The recent agreement amongst the MLBPA, MLB and the Florida Marlins that the Marlins will more closely adhere to the principles of revenue sharing by increasing their big league payroll is probably motivated - in part - by Mr. Weiner’s need to address “rookie compensation”.

LWIB, Buster Olney commented for ESPN on the continuing speculation that the next CBA (the current CBA expires in December of 2011) will address the divisive issue of “rookie compensation”.

And there is a strong belief on the side of management that a slotting system can be completed, because the union will embrace the idea -- so long as the Players Association is guaranteed, in some fashion, that more money will be spent on major league players. How this happens remains to be seen, but there are agents convinced that the interests of the draft-eligible will be swapped out for the interests of the union veterans.

NBC Sports baseball blogger Craig Calcaterra responded with scepticism to Mr. Olney’s comments, wondering if the MLBPA is open to any “capping” (i.e. “slotting”) of compensation;

I was always inclined to believe that too, simply because there were so many veterans on record taking issue with the size of draft bonuses and that it makes sense that they would be willing to negotiate away the rights of amateurs if they got something for themselves. But that changed when Michael Weiner referred to the idea of hard slotting as "a salary cap" in his introductory press conference last month. The term "salary cap" is a rallying cry for the union. Always has been. The owners know this, and they have publicly abandoned any effort to impose one because they know the union will gladly strike over it and will likely win. Again.

But has the MLBPA’s long and steadfast philosophical opposition to any “capping” of player compensation outlived its usefulness? One of the purposes of a salary cap is to limit player compensation but in recent years the players in the only “capless” league - MLB - have come to earn the smallest percentage of league revenues amongst their “big 4” peers. (Arguably so, more on that below) Not coincidentally, the NFL owners appear eager to rid their league of their salary cap as soon as next month, in part due to escalating player compensation. (see The Biz of Football)

The February 2010 edition of the Journal of Sports Economics includes a paper by Andrew Zimbalist entitled, Reflections on Salary Shares and Salary Caps (read the paper here in PDF). The paper examines the many variables in calculating “salary shares” amongst the “big 4”. As Mr. Zimbalist notes, there have been widely divergent media reports on the percentage of MLB revenues earned by the players. The different conclusions can be attributed to different criteria in calculating league revenues and team payrolls. On the revenue side there are widely differing valuations of the “related party transactions” of owners including most significantly in MLB the value of the TV rights “paid” to RSNs owned by the franchises. Similarly, discrepancies in calculating team payrolls arise over whether or not players on the disabled list are included as well as the difference in including or excluding the 15 “reserves” on the 40 man roster (as opposed to solely the active 25 man roster). As well, some calculations include or exclude player benefits and deferred salaries. Nonetheless, Mr. Zimbalist concludes that, “The player share reached a peak of 67% of revenues in 2002, but since has fallen to 51%.” That 51% would place the MLB players at the bottom of their peers in the “big 4” in terms of percentage of earned industry revenues. Mr. Zimbalist goes on to explain that, on average, MLB clubs spend approximately $20 million per season on player development, including an average of $11.5 for the salaries of their minor league players. If those expenditures are included, the percentage of MLB revenues being spent on players increases to 57%, slightly exceeding the percentages in the NHL and NBA. However, Mr. Zimbalist notes that, “…given the higher revenues in MLB, one would expect its share to be above those leagues.” More from Mr. Zimbalist;

The abiding question is why, given the presence of a salary cap system in the NBA, NHL, and NFL and the absence of a cap in MLB, MLB players do not command a higher share of sports revenues. The MLBPA has made a religion of avoiding a salary cap system at all costs and, as a result of this orthodoxy, has endured multiple work stoppages over the years. Has the fight been in vain?

Unfortunately, there are no definitive answers to that question, but the very fact that the question can be asked is of profound interest. After all, if cap and open systems are salary share neutral, but cap systems, as economic theory instructs us under most assumptions, are more likely to promote competitive balance, then cap systems would appear to be a preferred mechanism for optimizing league performance.

Mr. Zimbalist goes on to compare the pros and cons of the NFL “cap” system and the “open” system of MLB. He notes that in the NFL, due to “unequal club revenues” and a concurrent “narrow range” of team payrolls mandated by the salary cap, conflict has arisen amongst owners over “unequal rates of profit across the clubs”. He also speculates on whether the MLBPA erred in not accepting the owners offer in 02 of a minimum team payroll of $40 million and discusses the pitfalls that came with the increased revenue sharing of that same CBA negotiation. Mr. Zimbalist describes a “revenue-sharing welfare system” that has guaranteed profitability for low-revenue franchises choosing to “lowball” team payroll.

Indeed, several teams apparently adopted this strategy and lowered payroll into the $14-$30 million range over the ensuing years. The good news was that this option preserved the profitability and financial strength of low-revenue clubs, the bad news is that it did little to provide ownership incentive to produce a winning team or to promote the desideratum of competitive balance.

Many dispute that there is no salary cap in MLB. Those same people argue that in real terms the Competitive Balance Tax (aka luxury tax, aka Yankee tax) serves as a de facto salary cap for 29 franchises. Amongst those is Shawn Hoffman, who speculated last week in Baseball Prospectus that the MLBPA’s aforementioned success in forcing the Marlins to spend more of their revenue sharing proceeds on their big league payroll marks the introduction of a de facto salary floor in MLB;

The union probably won't stop there. The Pirates are supposedly next, and it's always possible that Weiner will expand the push to include any other team that is spending less than $50 million or $60 million. The short-term goal is pretty clear: if the union can pressure two or three teams to spend an extra $10 million on payroll, that's $20 million or $30 million that's being transferred to the players. But the long-term goal might be even more ambitious: the union could very well be trying to impose a soft payroll minimum, much like the luxury tax serves as a soft maximum.

In a lot of ways, it makes sense: the luxury tax is a real rule with real penalties for teams that spend more than what is deemed socially acceptable by MLB. But there's no similar penalty for teams that spend too little. A tax on payrolls under some very conservative number—much like the luxury tax, which very few non-Yankees teams have reached—seems pretty reasonable, especially if those teams are receiving revenue-sharing dollars and are turning healthy profits.

Increasing the big league payrolls of the franchises at the bottom of the scale would help to satisfy Mr. Weiner’s veteran player constituency but would it also put the small/mid revenue clubs in an even more disadvantaged competitive position? The Pittsburgh Pirates have been very vocal in defending their decision to reduce big league payroll in favour of increasing investments in player development. Again from Mr. Hoffman;

…..teams at the bottom end of the success cycle have no reason to spend on major-league payroll, and in fact it can actually be counterproductive. If the clubs are required to spend a certain percentage of their net revenue-sharing dollars to improve their teams, those other categories—the draft, international free agents, et al—need to be counted.

Concluding the upcoming MLB CBA negotiations will again depend upon finding a suitable compromise between small and large revenue franchises. Increased revenue sharing is not only unpopular with large revenue franchises but the PA as well. The increased revenue sharing and Competitive Balance Tax introduced in the 02 CBA are key factors in the players eroded earned percentage of league revenues. Nobody is predicting that the next round of CBA negotiations will include a work stoppage. The quietly negotiated agreement between the two sides over the Marlins use of revenue sharing proceeds is a recent indicator that labour relations are on solid ground. But the PA might no longer be able to credibly argue with either their membership or management that the introduction of a salary cap in MLB is the worst possible scenario.

Select Read More to see if reforming the draft is key to increased competitive balance, plus other cool biz tidbits from last week

IS REFORMING THE DRAFT THE KEY TO INCREASED COMPETITIVE BALANCE?

LWIB Buster Olney reported for ESPN on some of the particulars of a meeting last month attended by the General Managers, Commissioner Selig, MLB’s senior person on labour matters Rob Manfred and former GM John Schuerholz. Mr. Schuerholz has been assigned by Commissioner Selig to make recommendations on improving the Rule 4 draft (aka “amateur draft). If Mr. Olney’s report is accurate (and it very likely is) the focus of the meeting was on introducing hard slotting and the trading of draft picks to the amateur draft. Whether or not MLB can reach agreement with the MLBPA on these changes - along with expanding the amateur draft to Latin America - remains to be seen. But, assuming that these changes are implemented in the next CBA (the current CBA expires in December 11) will they contribute to increased competitive balance in MLB? Many small/mid revenue franchises are lobbying for slotting and expansion of the draft to Latin America (de facto the Dominican Republic) because they believe a “levelling of the field” in competing for amateur players is key to competing with large revenue franchises capable of outspending them on big league payroll.

LWIB Tom Singer reported for MLB.com on the Reds signing of the much heralded Cuban P Aroldis Chapman. That the small market Reds were the successful bidders in the very competitive bidding for Chapman surprised many. The Reds were not the only small/mid revenue franchise that seriously bid for Chapman. On the Reds’ successful pursuit of Chapman, Mr. Singer reported that, “As confirmed by agent Randy Hendricks, at the end they had to outdraw the A's and one other "sub-.500 club." (likely the Blue Jays) Mr. Singer’s report also notes that last month the small market Royals made a $7 million commitment to another Cuban P, Noelle Arguelles and the small market Twins recently spent $3 million plus on Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano. The large financial commitments being made to international free agents is not limited to small/mid revenue franchises, as demonstrated by the Red Sox $6 million plus commitment made this off season to SS Jose Iglesias, but the trend is clear. More from Mr. Singer’s report;

What teams like the Royals and Reds may lack in resources to compete for the elite on the mainstream free-agent market, they are making up for, this winter in particular, with their ability to adapt, to be resourceful and to invest in the international market of baseball talent.

General manager Walt Jocketty showed his hand after announcing the Reds' Chapman deal: They had little chance of landing such a talent by other means, free agency or Draft, so they had to go all-in on the Cuban kid.

AND

"You have to get your talent somewhere," said Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice-president of human resources. "We believe focusing on entry-level talent is the best competitive strategy, particularly for smaller-revenue clubs. We think that's a very good thing."

LWIB, Brewers assistant GM (and former Blue Jays GM) Gord Ash made suggestions for improving the amateur draft to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star.

“Even though the last couple of big international signings have been by smaller-market clubs, traditionally speaking we have not been available to avail ourselves of that level of talent," Ash said. "The Brewers have focused pretty solely on the draft and have done pretty well. We don't even look at Chapman because we can't even go there (financially).

"Some people talk about having a parallel international draft, but then you're creating two No. 1 overall picks and I'm not sure you want to be doing that. The side benefit (with a universal draft) to me is that some of the players that get over-drafted in the U.S. and Canada might go down a little bit.

"By and large, most of the Latin-American guys are moderately priced guys. I don't think that's an issue there….

AND

"Baseball needs to adopt the NHL rule where if you're drafting underage players (high schoolers) you retain the rights," Ash said. "If you're forced into signing them and overpaying because you're trying to buy out colleges you could say, `Look, go to college. We'll keep our eye on you and we'll sign you later.' That has to go hand-in-hand with asking colleges to convert back to wood bats even if MLB has to subsidize it to some degree. It's a much different game with aluminum bats."

Ash also suggests an opt-in registration for players saying that, if drafted, they will sign.

LWIB, Baseball America Executive Editor Jim Callis was asked to comment on MLB’s plans to reform the amateur draft;

I could go off on this subject for hours, but if I were running MLB, I'd lay off the teams in regards to the draft. Right now each team spends about $6 million on the draft, a pittance in a big league budget. The players are severely undervalued compared to what they'd get on an open market, and severely undervalued to what they'll be worth if they become solid big leaguers who are cost-controlled for up to six years. If MLB mandates slotting and/or adds international players to the draft, it won't level the playing field. It will eliminate the opportunity for small-revenue clubs to grab as much talent as they're willing to pay for, which will make it that much tougher to compete because they're not going to be able to sign quality big league free agents. It also will drive more players to other sports and to college baseball.

Perhaps reforming the draft will contribute to increased competitive balance and perhaps it won’t. But the frustrations of small/mid revenue franchises in competing with their large revenue peers is easily understood. Despite record amounts of revenue sharing in MLB ($400-$450 million in 09) and a de facto salary cap (aka the Competitive Balance Tax, aka the Yankee Tax) small/mid revenue franchises and their fans understand that discrepancies in big league payroll most often explain why some win enough to qualify for the playoffs and some don’t. In a guest column earlier this month for the Sports Business Journal, minor league owner and law professor Len Simon wrote;

The data shows that MLB payroll levels separate the contenders from the pretenders. If one looks at 2004-08, and rank-orders the 150 team payrolls (30 teams times five seasons), the following pattern emerges:

  • ŸTop 10 percent of payrolls: make playoffs 80 percent of the time
  • ŸNext 10 percent of payrolls: make playoffs 47 percent of the time
  • ŸNext 30 percent of payrolls: make playoffs 24 percent of the time
  • ŸBottom 50 percent of payrolls: make playoffs 13 percent of the time

Is MLB genuinely interested in promoting competitive balance or is reforming the draft about controlling player development costs? Cynics would point out that MLB’s interest in reforming the draft has arisen in conjunction with the rapidly escalating signing bonuses being awarded to drafted amateurs and international free agents. (While industry revenues roughly doubled over the course of this decade) From Roger Noll, economics professor at Stanford University;

The only way to have equally balanced teams is to ban trades and sales of players and to have periodic drafts of managers, coaches and directors of player personnel. The methods that leagues use to create balance have been shown to have little or no effect on the distribution of quality among teams. The logic behind it is that it is not in the interests of owners as well as players to have balanced competition. If all teams were of the same strength, total league revenues would go up if the best player in KC were traded for the worst player in NYC. In a regime of salary caps and no free agency, the KC owner will be richer if he sells his underpaid star to NY.

SOME BRIEF TIDBITS

LWIB Darren Rovell reported for CNBC that MLB licensee 2K Sports is offering a $1 million prize to the first gamer to pitch a perfect game in their Major League Baseball 2K10 game. Might this promotion be linked to the disappointing results of 2K Sports MLB titles? Last month, Eric Fisher reported for the SportsBusiness Journal;

Take-Two Interactive, parent of 2K Sports and one of the video game industry’s most prominent producers of licensed sports video games, picked a rather routine forum to deliver some startling news. During a conference call early last month with financial analysts, company management warned it would report worse-than-expected quarterly results due to “several factors, the largest being the performance of its Major League Baseball titles in the fourth quarter.”

Two weeks later, when Take-Two indeed reported a quarterly loss of $22 million, the grim outlook for its MLB games continued, with the company projecting a fiscal loss of at least $30 million in 2010 solely from its licensed baseball titles.

2K’s licensing agreement with MLB and the MLBPA expires after the 2012 season. In particular this might be of concern to the PA which already saw their licensing fees greatly negatively impacted by their loss in the “CDM Fantasy Sports” case.

Michael Hiestand reported for USA Today that Fox is in discussions with MLB to move 2 “Saturday afternoon” games into prime-time this season. The Sports Media Watch blog followed up on Mr. Hiestand’s report;

Coming off of a third-straight season of record low regular season ratings, FOX is looking to move two MLB telecasts into primetime this season.
A FOX spokesman told USA Today that the network is looking into moving two regular season telecasts to primetime during the 2010 season. One primetime telecast would take place in May, with the other one airing in June.

FOX has only aired two primetime regular season games since acquiring MLB rights in '96 -- Cubs/Cardinals in September '98 (when admitted steroid user Mark McGwire hit his then-record 62nd home run of the season), and Yankees/Red Sox in April '04 (months after the teams' 7-game clash in the ALCS).

Not surprisingly, the same blog later reported that both those games would include the Yankees.

Eric Fisher reported last week in the Sports Business Journal that the Sun Life naming rights deal for “Dolphins Stadium” included an MLB connection. Fenway Sports Group put the deal together, the first naming rights deal concluded by the agency. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee formerly headed FSG.


Pete Toms is an author for the Business of Sports Network, most notably, The Biz of Baseball. He looks forward to your comments and can be contacted through The Biz of Baseball.

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