Just after 11pm ET on Wednesday the 30 Major League Baseball team owners voted unanimously to institute a lockout of the players. At midnight the owners officially informed the Major League Baseball Players Association that they were being locked out.

There’s a lot to take in here, but let’s start with the basics. The lockout means that player trades and signings can not happen. Teams can talk to each other, but they aren’t supposed to talk to players or agents while there is a lockout.

Another key point here is that there is no reason to actually have a lockout right now. It is not something that is required when a collective bargaining agreement expires. This is being done in order to try and put pressure on the players who are free agents and break their solidarity as a union.

If you’ve been to MLB.com today you will have noticed that basically anything and everything related to current players has been removed from the website. Names, pictures, etc. – all gone and removed. That, however, is to comply with federal labor law according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

On Wednesday the MLBPA and the representation from MLB met to try and move forward with negotiations. The meeting lasted all of 7 minutes before the MLB representatives got up and left the meeting according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. Of course MLB then had the audacity to put this sentence in their press release about the lockout:

MLB is ready to work around the clock to meet that goal. I urge the Players Association to join us at the table.

Around the clock must mean something different than what it sounds like. Perhaps it was translated from hieroglyphics incorrectly? If you would like to read the statement from the Players Association, you can see that here.

As for the wants of each side – they seem to want very different things. The players want less revenue sharing because they feel too many teams are taking advantage of it to make profits rather than trying to win baseball games in order to make profits. They also want players to be paid more when they are younger and more productive because they have watched teams in the last decade stop giving out contracts to non-superstars once they reach their 30’s that pay well, leaving many players underpaid before free agency and now unable to cash in, so to speak, like players would do in the past once they get to free agency. They also want to reach free agency sooner and to close service time manipulation loopholes.

The owners seem to want more teams in the playoffs. The reason for that is probably two-fold. First is that more playoff games means a lot more money in the owners pockets. Playoff games are worth big, big bucks and being able to add a few more games is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Secondly is that by adding more teams to the playoffs it waters down how many games you need to win in order to have a shot, and that also means teams don’t have to try and be *as good* to make the playoffs. That leads to teams being less competitive in the market for talent and ultimately reduces salary across the board and makes the owners more profitable.

Sports are supposed to be competitive. As we’ve seen over the last decade, more and more teams are simply not trying to win. Between 5-year rebuilds that mostly don’t work, especially now when more and more teams are trying the same thing and thus deluding the odds of landing both the right draft pick as well as the right trade for prospects that can turn things around (not to mention teams have mostly stopped trading their top prospects because they now know just how much money they save by underpaying them before they reach free agency compared to trying to get that production on the actual market), and the ability to make money no longer being tied to ticket sales and instead to television deals (both local and national) – it feels like nearly half of the teams in the league simply aren’t trying to win.

However, despite what we can all see is happening before our eyes, MLB said in their statement “This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive.”

The Cleveland Guardians, who currently have an opening day payroll of $43,200,000 for the 2022 season valued their own franchise just a few weeks ago at $1,400,000,000 when they began looking for minority owners to buy in with a possibility of potentially becoming majority owners down the line. Cleveland is one of the smallest market teams in all of baseball, but values themselves as a 1.4 BILLION DOLLAR company, has a payroll set for 2022 that is less than Max Scherzer is set to make next season, and the league says that it’s the players asking for more of the revenue that would keep teams from being competitive.

It could be a long winter of nothingness. The Winter Meetings have already been cancelled with the exception of the minor league stuff. That means there will be no Major League version of the Rule 5 draft next week, though the minor league version of it will still take place because transactions involving players not on the 40-man roster can still happen since those players are not members of the MLBPA and thus not locked out.

57 Responses

  1. Melvin

    MLB owners are taking off their shoes and pulling back the hammer….again. They’re destroying the game. They don’t care about the game today. They don’t care about the longevity of the game. They don’t care about keeping the fans they have much less getting new ones. The fact that it’s hard to even listen to a game on the radio without paying for it in some way pretty much says it all.

    • JayTheRed

      I wouldn’t say no owners care about winning.

      Miami, Toronto, Detroit, Texas Rangers, Mariners, Mets, and a few more teams have made a legit effort already this offseason to make legit improvements to their teams.

      Heck even the Cubs have made some pretty decent moves to improve.

      It’s more of a problem with several of the smaller market teams just crying poor even with Revenue Sharing and other TV Deals that give them millions of dollars a year they don’t put that money back onto the field basically pocketing a good chunk of money.

      It makes me sick how both the owners and players are so greedy about how much they are making. Players should not be making 30 million plus a year PERIOD!

      It wasn’t that long ago that teams with 150 million payroll were some of the top costing teams.

      Yes, salaries should go up and yes Owners should be allowed to make a profit from what they own in baseball.

      Just makes me mad how much both make and they whine about and want more profits. Like you’re not making enough money already

  2. Optimist

    It would take a lot of effort to pull off another Federal League, but not nearly as much as the original effort, and it would take very little effort to show how it could be done. I think the MLBPA knows its strength here and expect some interestingly timed PR moves as this goes on.

    There are plenty of pressure points available, just on the political side are public stadium leases, minor league consolidation, and anti-trust issues, among many others.

    And if ownership breaks contracts, what stops large groups of players from going to Japan. Korea, or elsewhere?

    Finally, I know Doug is the drum major on the issue of MiLB pay, so what’s stopping the creation of the MiLBPA? And could the NIL crowd in the NCAA be enticed to join the fray?

  3. GreatRedLegsFan

    I guess something got to give and the players’ salaries shall be limited in someway, otherwise the richer clubs will continue mastering the leagues for good.

  4. Redhaze

    A lockout for a league that has a team (Rangers) that signed a player (Corey Seager) for a third of a BILLION dollars. What money is Juan Soto going to get?
    Seager worth 32.5 million a season? Hardly.
    Sad. I digress.

    • 2020ball

      The problem isn’t players getting paid – and this is, mind you, money from someone else with more money than anyone can even fathom that no fan wants to watch do anything – the problem is that the owners only care about their business’ pocket books and not the actual growth of the game. There are plenty of things I’d like to see in the game such as robo umps, less shifts, etc., but none of it gets implemented unless the owners finally cater to the people actually playing the game instead of those simply signing the checks. Only the players can grow this game, and the owners dont seem to get that, or even care about growing the game.

      Doubtful in my mind we see much of a resolution to this lockout soon. I have some optimism they can figure something out before the start of the 2022 season, but I fully expect it to just be a compromise and not much of an actual solution to the game’s real problems.

  5. CI3J

    The players’ position seems reasonable. The owners are making billions from their teams, and all but the absolute biggest superstars are being locked out from taking earning their fair share of that pie. I also agree that revenue sharing and free-agency need to be retooled to force teams to invest in player and actually be competitive in order to be profitable. It’s absolutely absurd to think someone like Bob Castellini can make only a token effort to field a competitive team but still make millions every year from that team.

    As for the owners, what do you expect? They want more money. They are making a mockery of baseball as a competitive sport. Why not just start the playoffs in August and have the top 20 teams make it? Oh boy, your team is in the playoffs! Sure they have a losing record, but anything can happen in the playoffs! Pack my wallet the stadium, tune in on television (just $99.99!), and root for your team IN THE PLAYOFFS!

  6. CI3J

    I also want to add, this is not unique to MLB. Anyone who follows soccer has probably heard about the proposal to have the World Cup every 2 years instead of every 4 years, and in the Premiere League about adding even more games to the schedule. The NFL already added another game to the schedule this season, and of course, College Football is looking to triple the size of their playoffs, meaning more games for their student athletes to play, and more money in the universities and sponsors pockets. Then of course, the NBA is starting to show ads on their uniforms, just like what soccer does.

    It’s all about rampant capitalism with little respect for the integrity of the games.

      • Mike V

        Yes Yes,Yes .. Both sides need to “soften ” their all or nothing positions and “sacrifice” something for the “good of the game ” .. That seems impossible at this point .. So here go down this three month back and forth everyone seems to hate .. but apparently not enough to sacrifice any of their their own greed ..

    • doofus

      “It’s all about rampant capitalism with little respect for the integrity of the games.” Crash Davis quote?

  7. TR

    I’ll always be a baseball fan and keep a good book at hand until all this is resolved.

  8. Hoosierdad

    Gee whiz, owners want more money and players want more, too! Why does that surprise anyone? MLB needs to look long and hard at what the NBA and NFL do. Those who decry small market teams having smaller payrolls than large markets fail to realize that every team has fixed costs of staff at the MLB level as well as all the costs of MiLB. Buying in to a franchise is very costly and realizes a small return on that investment until they eventually sell the team.

    • CI3J

      It’s not so much that players want “more” money, it’s more that they want the money coming in to be more evenly distributed among the players. The contracts for the brightest stars are reaching absurd amounts, while the everyday players are making a relatively tiny portion. All those players are important, so is it fair that the “average” players get so little compensation?

      The players also want the owners to be forced to field competitive teams, which not only means players will be paid more, but it also means there will be more parity in the game, so a better overall product on the field. Players and fans both win in this scenario, and in the long term, the owners will win too by attracting new fans.

      Honestly, what the players are asking for is what’s best for the game of baseball. The owners are squarely in the wrong here to try to squeeze even more money out of their “investments” without giving a hoot about the game of baseball itself.

      • MBS

        Baseball is broken, and only an overhaul can fix it. League minimums and maximums need to be established. Those mins and maxs need to be an agreed upon percentage of annual median league revenue. Revenue sharing needs to increase. TV deals need to be sold together like the NFL does, instead of individual teams negotiating their own. A league should not have a team like the above mentioned Guardians total spending less on a 26 man roster than a team like the Mets spending on 1 of 26. I don’t mind an expanded playoff system, but the season is long enough. If they do that then maybe the season should be cut back to 140ish games with a longer playoff.

      • Frostgiant80

        I agree with the sentiment but the players don’t want the money more evenly distributed. They want even more for the top and more from the bottom. The top players aren’t trying to give up some of their money to have it distributed to the guys making league minimum.

      • Doc

        How much of the Scherzer and Seager contracts is earmarked for the other players, if they really want it to be more equitably shared?

  9. LDS

    The owners are being shortsighted, very. They are picking at a thread that can unravel the entire fabric. Fans tend to be overlooked because of revenue sharing, media contracts, etc. But it’s all part of the whole. Once you lose your fan base, the rest is threatened. The COVID year didn’t help the owner’s case nor did the minor league consolidation, and neither will this. MLB needs competition. And personally, if the league continues to have its antitrust exemption then it should have o open the books.

    • Freel6

      One of the players’ primary asks is to decrease revenue sharing so the big market teams have more money to spend. They claim to want more competition, but they don’t.

      • Doug Gray

        The reason they are asking for less revenue sharing is so that teams like Pittsburgh have to try and win baseball games to remain very profitable because they have to actually sell tickets to make up the loss of the massive revenue sharing that they get. As things stand right now, the Pirates really don’t have to try and win at all, don’t need to sell any tickets, and they can still make profits hand over fist because they get revenue sharing money (an unknown amount), national TV money ($60 million per year), and local TV money $45M all before they sell a single seat, advertisement, sponsorship deal, radio deal money, hot dog, parking spot, or beer.

      • BK

        I understand MLBPA’s position, but their logic seems flawed. If a team loses revenue, it will not spend more. Now the teams no longer having to share revenues may spend more which would only widen the competitive gap. A far better solution would be to put in a mechanism such as a salary floor or other means to require teams to spend their revenue sharing dollars on player payroll. The bottom-line is the players true priority is preserving the record-setting contracts for a very small percentage of their players–contracts only a few franchises can afford to issue more than one to two of at any one time.

        I don’t think small market fans will react well if their teams get less competitive because the players insisted on eliminating a big chunk of revenue sharing. I don’t think their owners would tolerate the hit to their franchises’ valuation either. If we think things are bad now from a competitive balance perspective imagine if teams slashed payroll to the minimum, just hoping to preserve a small operating profit each year, and only won 40 to 50 games.

  10. LDS

    BTW Doug, did you actually intend “deluded” instead of “diluted”? If so, I think it’s a nice hit on the owners.

  11. Don A

    So the Billionaires and Millionaires are fighting over who gets more of the pie? Yawn… Wake me up when they are ready to play ball!!!

  12. Mark Moore

    Expected result. I really don’t know where I fall in terms of support, other than as a fan I’m sad to see this happen again.

    Bring on the MiLB season. I believe they saw an attendance boost the last time and should see it again if this isn’t resolved.

  13. ClevelandRedsFan

    Is the salary cap and salary floor not part of the negotiations for either side? I haven’t seen anything reported on that anywhere.

    • JayTheRed

      Doesn’t seem like either want a cap or a minimum.

  14. greenmtred

    If the lockout extends into the season and results in its cancellation– certainly– or the loss of a substantial number of games, I have a hard time believing that baseball–already teetering on the brink of being a marginalized niche sport, will be able to recover. Younger potential fans are not very attracted to it as is. I won’t be devastated, but I’ll be saddened if this goes as I fear it might. I generally sympathize with the players, but Doug’s point about the Cleveland payroll as compared to Scherzer’s pay illustrates the absurdity–in both ways–of where professional sports stand in relation to the rest of society.

    • CI3J

      Agreed. Honestly, at this point it might be best if MLB just burned itself to the ground and the players went out and formed a new league with rules in place to force the teams to be competitive. Just start all over again from scratch, rent out stadiums from the cities to play the games in, and if people like it, they will come to watch. Of course, the owners might try to sue to stop this from ever happening, but since THEY were the ones who initiated the current lockout, it would be tough to say the players were breaking their contracts. The players could simply argue “Our bosses shut down our place of work, making our contracts null and void. Don’t we have a right to earn a living for ourselves now?”

      MLB as it is right now is untenable with owners who don’t feel the need to invest in the product on the field since they are making all their money from TV deals, no matter how the team is actually doing. Remember when all the TV deals were being announced years ago and we thought “Yes, finally the Reds will have enough money to go after the big name players!”. What happened to that money? It went straight into Bob’s pocket. The same played out with many teams across baseball. It was basically free money just for owning a baseball team. In the future, if there are TV deals again, 50% of that money has to be guaranteed to go to paying the players of the team.

      Finally, revenue sharing. Again, free money just for owning a baseball team. Again, this is money that has to be forced to be invested into the team, since owners have shown that they won’t do it on their own. It’s a lot like the myth of Reaganomics: If you just give the rich people more money, they’ll spend it to make the world better for everyone. Nope, the fact is, these rich people got rich by being selfish and greedy. If you give them more money, they are going to keep it and spend it on themselves. How anyone still doesn’t realize this is beyond me, and if you need further proof, just look at MLB today.

      • west larry

        The owners and players must realize that if this lockout takes away one day of the regular season, fans will leave, and many won’t return. Greed is good, but not to the extent it poisons the fanbase. I side a little with the players, but I do think a floor and a ceiling will be resolved, maybe in my lifetime.

      • Doc

        For players to form a new league would require that they have to put up their own money to finance it, like that is ever going to happen.

      • Melvin

        I’m not sure I agree with everything you said but since we’re not supposed to talk politics on here, out of respect for the rules of this site I won’t comment further.

  15. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    And it appears the Reds are one of those teams who are not trying to win. Last season, precious months went by and this team was forced to play games with a bullpen which was a joke, blowing game after game late. Psychologically that takes a toll on your starters and the whole team.

    Now they appear to be unloading salary and are seeking out trades for their remaining starters. if all goes to the Owner’s plans, this will guarantee another uncompetitive team for at least three years, waiting and hoping prospects pan out.

    Being a Reds fan can be depressing and frustrating, it is what it is.

  16. AllTheHype

    I will say that on two issues important to the players union, 1) address the competition issue and 2) get players paid more early in their career prior to free agency, particularly the first 3 service years,

    I side with the players.

    • Redsvol

      I side with the owners- to a degree.
      – put a salary cap and floor in (see nfl)
      – but pay younger players more, earlier (see nba)
      – put in a veterans minimum (see nba)
      – quit guaranteeing ridiculous salaries for 10- 12 years. (See nba, nfl)
      – raise the cap & floor as revenues increase
      – quit squabbling about rules – put a committee together and agree to competition changes yearly. You don’t see the nfl players refusing to implement changes recommended by their committees. This shouldn’t be collectively bargained.
      The mega contracts are ruining the game and killing any chance 20 of the 30 teams have to realistically win a World Series. Players like kole Calhoun and Dylan bunny get 5 million $ contracts – the players don’t have a leg to stand on. But the young players get shafted – that’s the Unions fault by not understanding that some $ from mega contracts needs to go to their younger members. None of those players in their labor committee want to give one cent of their mega contracts to their younger union members. 43 million $ to pitch in 30 of your teams 162 games? While your younger union members get paid $500k to play all 162. That’s a shame and the players’ leadership is a failure for not understanding the two are totally related.

  17. Frostgiant80

    Lock out? Work stoppage? Does that mean India can come in next year with an
    increased helmet size and smash 75 homers?

  18. realist

    Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, I’m just a Caveman. I fell in some ice and later got thawed out by your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me. But I do know, this offseason is going to be the worst ever.

  19. LeRoy

    If you don’t work, You don’t get paid! The players and owners will pretend their side of things can’t change until they see the loss of all revenue just before spring training. Then they will bend and stretch their demands and finally start actually trying to work out a deal that should have been done by December 1st. Until both side can feel the pain of not being filthy richer nothing will get done. Baseball is not a game any more, it is strictly a business for both the players and owners. The love of baseball is gone and the dollar has become the national past time.

    • Doug Gray

      On one side every single person involved is beyond filthy rich.

      On the other side are players who literally make less money than most adults posting in these comments made this year (1st year 40-man roster players who have not been in the Major Leagues make $41,500).

  20. Old Big Ed

    I’ve said this before, but I don’t understand why people get worked up over a predictable business dispute over how to divide a TON of money. MLB now pays its players roughly $4.5 billion per year. (It was maybe $1.7 billion in 2000.) Total MLB revenues are now over $10 billion/year. People are — for a fact, every single time — going to argue about how to split up $10 billion/year.

    Both players and management recognize at least three things:

    1. The players are the show. Nobody pays money to watch GMs make phone calls.
    2. Management has tripled MLB revenue over the past 20+ years (much greater than inflation), selling the same number of games among the same number of teams.
    3. Each side needs each other, and they will jointly cook the goose that lays the golden eggs, if they don’t reach an agreement.

    So, they are going to hash out an agreement soon enough, and it will accommodate the participants’ legitimate business interests. Every billion-dollar deal in any business requires some tough negotiating, and this is no different except for the emotional investment of the customers.

    The other thing is that this is not really a two-sided negotiation. The players have different interests among themselves, and so do the owners. I count 44 players last year who made $20 million or more. Hundreds make close to the minimum salary of about $600,000. Nick Castellanos and Max Schrock want different things in the CBA, with (for example) the Schrocks of the world wanting more money for players earlier in their careers.

    The owners’ interests don’t align with each other, either. Kansas City can’t generate the revenues that New York can, but on the other hand the Yankees should not receive 85% of the overall revenue generated by a Yankees-Royals game.

    It is a complicated negotiation, and anybody paying attention knew a year ago that there would be a lockout. I can’t get morally outraged about ordinary business negotiations over $10 billion/year, among entities with complex interests and sophisticated people negotiating for them. If it turns out that they are too obtuse to understand that they all need an agreement, then I will just laugh at their hubris. But the parties will ultimately reach an agreement.

    And MLB will also expand to 32 teams within a few years.

  21. Jon

    The ironic thing about MLB is that it is arguably the one major professional sports league where one player is not enough to carry the entire team, or even come close. Mike Trout and the Angels over the past decade is the prime example. Yet teams are paying massive contracts to certain players (the elite ones now making over $40 million per season), while young MLB players earn a tiny fraction of that (less than two percent). There definitely needs to be more of a balance. The monster contracts rarely ever end up well for the signing clubs anyway.

    • TR

      I can remember an article in the Enquirer when I was a kid that Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Joe Dimaggio would soon be making over $100,000 a year which seemed unimaginable. How times have changed.

      • greenmtred

        I remember that, too. But 100K was a lot of money then. Not as much as 43 million, probably, but lots of money. During the same era, I remember gas for 25 cents a gallon, bread for 20 cents a loaf, first-class stamps for 3 cents, and so on.

    • Doc

      And yet the majority of commenters on this site yell loudly and long that the Reds need to sign people to those big contracts, despite seeing how they don’t work out.

      I still follow the Reds but baseball lost me as a fan decades ago with the first strike/walkout. If they want to be unionized, then unionize. No individual contracts. Everybody on a pay scale, by position and seniority. Roster decisions made based on seniority.

      Won’t matter to me what they do. I don’t watch baseball. I don’t go to baseball games at the MLB level. And if the Reds do what Doug and most of the posters on the site do, I’ll quit reading about baseball. And I grew up in Cincinnati at Crosley Filed as a dyed in the wool baseball fan. Covid proved the country, and I, can live without baseball.

  22. BK

    My take on the problem:

    Owners – they want cost certainty. I’m sure they are well aware that they have a bigger piece of the pie than in the past and are likely willing to give some. Within the current system, service time is their key to controlling cost and preserving some semblance of competitive balance. Relatively few teams have the resources to approach Competitive Balance Tax spending limits and so few teams will make larger contract commitments and assume the disproportionate risk that comes with them. Owners are unlikely to commit to revenue sharing to the point that each team would be on relatively equal footing from a talent acquisition perspective.

    Players – going on strike in 1994 precipitated this lock out. It will be decades before owners will let them control the timing of a work stoppage again in any sport and especially baseball. MLBPA bought into a salary system that favors relatively few players and has yielded the majority of the largest contracts across all of professional sports. Now, they want the Owners to give them a bigger share of the pie to shore up the salaries of the rest of the players, but they don’t want this at the expense of the ever-increasing top contracts. They say they want competitive balance but are frustrated by smaller market teams’ unwillingness to commit revenue sharing dollars to payroll (Note: our Reds do not appear to be a guilty party in this). I would love to see the math on how they believe competitive balance will be improved without revenue sharing. They expect us to believe smaller market teams will spend more dollars if they have less money?

    In summary, the Owners are doing pretty well, at least as a whole, under the current structure as they continue to grow their share of the overall pie. The players want a bigger share of the pie, but don’t want revenue sharing (and the salary cap and likely floor that would come with it). Neither side seems to be offering solutions to improve competitive balance. This could be a long impasse.

    • Old-school

      Well said. Owners learned from 1994. Dont negotiate without an agreement or the players will leverage the playoffs- owners and fans and sports’ best time….and players flushed it down the toilet as a leveraging tool.

      After 1994, I dont see how anyone can support allowing the players to dictate and control when the game shuts down. They already used the nuclear option.

      That said, the real issue is the disparity between the owners of the top 8 franchises and the owners of the bottom 22. Same on the player side. The top 100 players are Uber wealthy and have zero conscience fighting for the rookies or the AA guys or 32 year old veterans trying to get that last contract.

      From an optics point of view….the players lose. Average Joe looks at Mike moustakis and his 64 million guarantee for non-performing and 30 pounds over-weight and the players cry foul while every headline is another $100 mil deal and they claim victim-hood.

      I dont care how much money the Reds owner makes if the Reds are good. When the Dodgers can lose Trevor Bauer and replace him with Max Scherzer and Trae Turner and a payroll of $250 million and The Rangers spend a gazillion for not 1 but 2 FA shortstops….thats a broken system and every Reds fan should demand the system change to benefit small markets more. This isnt about players and owners. It’s about players vs players and owners vs owners. There’s more than enough money.

      • Doug Gray

        The Cincinnati Reds can spend. They’ve chosen not to.

      • BK

        The Reds have chosen not to take out loans to spend more. They’ve continually maintained a payroll well above their market size. Forbes annual analysis shows they have put new revenues to payroll fairly consistently which supports Bob Castellini’s repeated statements that the club operates on a break-even basis. Spending more than comes in each year is not a sustainable course of action.

        The fact is, now that we have a little more insight into the CBA negotiations, the Reds may quiet off-season to date may actually be prudent preparation for lost revenue sharing dollars if MLBPA prevails with their approach to improve competitive balance.

      • Doug Gray

        Forbes statements say that the Reds brought in more than they’ve spent every year for the entirety of Castellini’s ownership group being in control with the exception of 2 years, but have brought in $195,000,000 more than they’ve spent in that time, while also watching the franchise value nearly quadruple in the process.

      • BK

        Over the last 10 years Forbes reports the Reds have had an “operating income” of $80.8M. “Operating income” excludes several additional expenses to include interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (see note 3 on their chart). Forbes also reports the Reds have ~$130M in debt. The Braves, who’s annual report is public, paid 5% on their debt in 2020–this is at a time when interest is at record lows. At the same interest rate we can estimate the Reds are paying $6.5M in interest each year. It is quite reasonable to estimate their operating profit over these last 10 years has been consumed by interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation. “Net income” includes these additional expenses and is the general standard for profit/loss for a business.

        Yes, the Reds could borrow against the value of the club. However, as stated above this is not a viable long-term strategy as the money would eventually have to be repaid, with interest and the practice would destroy the teams value over time. For that reason, the unrealized gains are not proof that the Reds can pay more than they do.


    • Redgoggles

      @BK; this is my take as well. The equivalency of a retired couple on fixed income having to borrow against their real estate/home that has equity. Not generally a good long term financial plan.

      And, even if the Reds are just “tight” as many suggest the issue is that they cannot spend the same as other markets. It’s the reality of a small market club, and as a fan of such I hope these negotations do not make it even harder to compete by some of the suggested proposals.

  23. Old-school

    Reds fest should be a blast this weekend down at the convention center.

    Considering covid scuttled spring training, opening day parade and game 2020 and 60% of the season in 2020, the MLBPA and owners are going down a dangerous road.

    Reds fest is the first casualty of the 2021/22 labor stoppage. Both parties would be fools if this isnt wrapped up by feb 1. A cancelled ST and opening day in 2020 due to natural causes was awful. Cancelling ST or delaying OD 2 years later due to human greed would damage the game for both parties

    “Theres golf to be played and tennis to be served” -Sam Wyche

  24. Old-school

    Actual baseball content from Bobby Nightengale.
    Prior to the shutdown,Alan Zinter and new asst hitting coach Joel McKeithan spent several days in Florida with Jose Barrero to give him a game plan for hitting mechanics and set up and approach during the lock out.

    “He should have an opportunity to start every day in the Majors next season and he will compete with Kyle Farmer for the SS starting gig.” – From Nightengale

    Very good article and Zinter has some great things to say about Barrero and about the Reds re-focused approached to hitting line drives instead of launch angle.

    Any word from Doug on the Dominican leagues this winter? Presumably Barrero will be playing there and getting valuable hitting reps.