The fallout from the leaked MLB financial documents continues, with owners battling owners at its core. With collective bargaining beginning just after the World Series is completed, the focus is likely to not be players vs. owners, but small revenue vs. larger revenue owners.
Today on FanGraphs (see Will Leaked MLB Financials Alter Revenue-Sharing?), I look into how the leak of the Pirates, Marlins, and Rays financials puts ammunition for stopping revenue-sharing increases, or even lowering revenue-sharing into the hands of clubs like the Yankees and the Red Sox. Tables digging deeper into how much these clubs spent on payroll at the Major League level, adding in player development costs, and looking at the revenue-sharing dollars and Central Fund money influence how much money these clubs might need paints the picture. Here’s an excerpt:
This may not be a one-size-fits-all affair. Looking at the net income figures for the Rays in comparison to the Pirates and the Marlins, and one could argue that a new stadium could help bolster their bottom line, something that ownership has said repeatedly. It’s not hard to imagine that the Athletics are in much of the same position. Lowering revenue-sharing could conceivably place those two clubs in difficult, or possibly dire positions. And, remember, we're just looking at the very bottom of the player payroll spenders. Those slightly above the bottom have to be accounted for.
And while the leaked documents are an incredible look inside how clubs truly operate, greedily we should demand more. Those at the top of MLB’s revenue-making ladder should be placed under the same scrutiny. In a perfect world, the leaker of the MLB club financials would have graced us with the Yankees and Red Sox figures, thus giving clarity to the argument that while the bottom needs accountability, so do those at the top. While a cap is out of the question, lowering the Luxury Tax thresholds and increasing the tax rate for those that break them (that’s you every year since the Luxury Tax was implemented, Yankees) needs to be seriously considered in the next CBA.
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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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