Late on Monday night Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported some more on the meeting between the MLBPA and the ownership representation and there were a few pieces of key information worth noting within. The biggest one, though, was that Dan Halem – MLB’s deputy commissioner – said that MLB is willing to lose games over some of the outstanding issues between the two sides.
That the ownership group is basically taking this stance more than two months before the regular season is even set to begin probably isn’t great. Now, can it be a mostly empty threat as a part of negotiating? Sure, it can be. Maybe it is.
But that wasn’t the only part that stood out from the meeting. Dick Monfort, owner of the Colorado Rockies and the only owner directly in the meeting (he’s the head of a 7-owner labor policy committee) complained about the difficulty that some owners have affording teams and the ancillary costs of ownership.
Just a fun reminder here that Dick Monfort and his brother Charles Monfort bought the Colorado Rockies for $190,000,000 (including the expansion fee) in 1992 and it’s now valued at $1,300,000,000 according to Forbes. If you can’t afford it, fellas, sell it and take in your $1.1 BILLION dollars in profit that doesn’t account for any profit made during any season they’ve owned the team (which is probably in the hundreds of millions).
While it was reported earlier on Tuesday that the players dropped their ask of less time to reach free agency, there are still two rather big options on the table that the players want and that the owners have stated that they absolutely will not budge on: Lower revenue sharing and earlier entry into the arbitration system.
The players believe that the current amount of revenue sharing allows teams to not even try and compete and still be profitable. The league, however, argues that not having revenue sharing would hurt the competitive balance. There’s probably some truth in both sides. Not every team that gets revenue sharing checks are simply pocketing the money. But then there are teams like the Pirates….
The two sides are set to meet again this afternoon with the owners coming back to the table to make a limited proposal on some issues they want to see addressed. It’s not expected to be as big of a proposal as the one presented on Monday by the players, but that’s understandable given that the players had a little bit over a week to come with their counter proposal to the last ownership presentation, while the owners now have less than a day. Of course they have had plenty of time to come up with what they want to present – they know what their goals are – but if they are actually going to negotiate in good faith, they need to respond to what the players actually presented on Monday.