CBA expires Dec. 2-- how will this affect the Red Sox?

wade boggs chicken dinner

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So the question is, in the salary cap/luxury tax era, as one collective bargaining agreement expired and negotiations began on the next one, has there been a case where owners have publicly demanded that players accept a lower salary cap than existed in the previous CBA? I'm not asking whether they've demanded a lower percentage of growth over the previous salary cap/luxury tax. I'm asking whether they have said, The salary cap in the just-expired CBA was X. In the new CBA we want it to be Y percent lower than X.
Without parsing the specifics of the CBAs (including what constitutes "Revenues" as it is defined to mean the portion of the pie divided between owners and players, the NBA once gave players 57% of "Revenues" but reduced it to 51.5% of "Revenues" in the subsequent CBA as they said that was too much. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_salary_cap, which says "Under the 2005 CBA, salaries were capped at 57 percent of basketball-related income (BRI) and lasted for six years until June 30, 2011.[3] The next CBA, which took effect in 2011, set the cap at 51.2 percent of BRI in 2011–12, with a 49-to-51 band in subsequent years.[4][5] "
 

lexrageorge

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I don't mean to turn this thread into a back and forth on this subject, but I think it's worth pursuing this question further because I want to get a sense of whether others are seeing in this negotiating approach by owners something as radical as I am. The owners’ reported proposal is not to slow the growth of player salaries in the next collective bargaining agreement, it is to actually cut them.

I’m not sure that in evaluating this question it is particularly helpful to keep bringing up the circumstances that led to the implementation of the first salary caps. I agree with you 100 percent that salary caps, luxury taxes, etc. were created to suppress player salaries. There is no question about that and there is no part of what I am asking that doesn't accept that. But the caps have typically worked to slow the growth of salaries rather than cut them. In fact, the caps have typically risen along with revenues. So the question is, in the salary cap/luxury tax era, as one collective bargaining agreement expired and negotiations began on the next one, has there been a case where owners have publicly demanded that players accept a lower salary cap than existed in the previous CBA? I'm not asking whether they've demanded a lower percentage of growth over the previous salary cap/luxury tax. I'm asking whether they have said, The salary cap in the just-expired CBA was X. In the new CBA we want it to be Y percent lower than X.
On your question, during the last couple of work stoppages during professional sports (NFL, NHL, and NBA), the owners did want to change the formula used to determine the percentage of revenues going to players as a way to reduce the growth in salaries. But in some cases, there was a decrease in what the salary cap would have been in the first year of the CBA.

The last NBA stoppage was in 2011, after which the formula for calculating basketball related income was reset. Between the CBA and the 2008 recession, the NBA salary cap was essentially flat at $58M from 2008 to 2013, after which the cap started to climb again. According to the link below, the mean and median player salary did drop after 2008 and did not go up again until 2017. Note that the NBA only more recently went to a 15+2 player roster, and the extra players would be minimum salaried players, so that may have caused the averages to drop:

https://runrepeat.com/salary-analysis-in-the-nba-1991-2019

The NHL had a salary cap of $70M in 2012-13, which dropped to $64M in 2013-14, but there were some exceptions allowed, and bumped above $71M in 2015:

https://dobberhockey.com/2013/05/16/2013-14-nhl-salary-cap-landscape/#:~:text=The NHL has a new,$70.2 million in 2012-13.

The NFL also saw a drop in the salary cap. In 2009, the cap was $123M, and 2010 was technically an uncapped year, but there were some other restrictions put in place on player salaries as a result. After the 2011 lockout was ended, the salary cap was reduced to $120M the next 2 seasons, finally going back to $123M in 2013:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salary_cap#National_Football_League
 

BringBackMo

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Without parsing the specifics of the CBAs (including what constitutes "Revenues" as it is defined to mean the portion of the pie divided between owners and players, the NBA once gave players 57% of "Revenues" but reduced it to 51.5% of "Revenues" in the subsequent CBA as they said that was too much. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_salary_cap, which says "Under the 2005 CBA, salaries were capped at 57 percent of basketball-related income (BRI) and lasted for six years until June 30, 2011.[3] The next CBA, which took effect in 2011, set the cap at 51.2 percent of BRI in 2011–12, with a 49-to-51 band in subsequent years.[4][5] "
Thank you for digging this up, and for your continued engagement on this question. I know that, similarly, MLB players also get a smaller percentage of revenues than they have in the past. I guess the assumption--and it may well be a flawed one--is that even as the percentage goes down, the real dollars in their paycheck go up because of growing overall revenue.
 

BringBackMo

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On your question, during the last couple of work stoppages during professional sports (NFL, NHL, and NBA), the owners did want to change the formula used to determine the percentage of revenues going to players as a way to reduce the growth in salaries. But in some cases, there was a decrease in what the salary cap would have been in the first year of the CBA.

The last NBA stoppage was in 2011, after which the formula for calculating basketball related income was reset. Between the CBA and the 2008 recession, the NBA salary cap was essentially flat at $58M from 2008 to 2013, after which the cap started to climb again. According to the link below, the mean and median player salary did drop after 2008 and did not go up again until 2017. Note that the NBA only more recently went to a 15+2 player roster, and the extra players would be minimum salaried players, so that may have caused the averages to drop:

https://runrepeat.com/salary-analysis-in-the-nba-1991-2019

The NHL had a salary cap of $70M in 2012-13, which dropped to $64M in 2013-14, but there were some exceptions allowed, and bumped above $71M in 2015:

https://dobberhockey.com/2013/05/16/2013-14-nhl-salary-cap-landscape/#:~:text=The NHL has a new,$70.2 million in 2012-13.

The NFL also saw a drop in the salary cap. In 2009, the cap was $123M, and 2010 was technically an uncapped year, but there were some other restrictions put in place on player salaries as a result. After the 2011 lockout was ended, the salary cap was reduced to $120M the next 2 seasons, finally going back to $123M in 2013:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salary_cap#National_Football_League
Very helpful! And thank you for these examples. If I'm reading your summary accurately, it seems as though these drops/stagnations would be tied less to a previously negotiated payroll number than to a negotiated payroll formula that resulted in lower payrolls because overall revenues were down due to external economic conditions. If I have that right (and I may not!), that strikes me as a reasonable risk for players to bear in a new CBA, and different than ownership negotiating for a reduction in payroll at the same time that revenues are growing.
 

lexrageorge

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Very helpful! And thank you for these examples. If I'm reading your summary accurately, it seems as though these drops/stagnations would be tied less to a previously negotiated payroll number than to a negotiated payroll formula that resulted in lower payrolls because overall revenues were down due to external economic conditions. If I have that right (and I may not!), that strikes me as a reasonable risk for players to bear in a new CBA, and different than ownership negotiating for a reduction in payroll at the same time that revenues are growing.
Not entirely. The new formulas did cause the items to be considered in calculating income to drop, and the percentage of income formula may have dropped as well (not as clear on those details). But the 2008 recession did squeeze the owners, which did lead to their hardline stances when the NFL and NBA CBA's expired in 2011.

Interjecting my opinion: the sides were not that far apart when the NBA lockout, and many people thought the owners may have overplayed their hand in an attempt to create a hard cap (which the NBAPA was never going to agree to). The NFL lockout was turning ugly until Kraft saved the day, as there was a deal to be had there from day 1. The NHL lockout was the NHLPA, still smarting from the imposition of a hard cap in 2004, badly overplaying their hand and refusing to acknowledge the amount of leverage the league owners had.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Thank you for digging this up, and for your continued engagement on this question. I know that, similarly, MLB players also get a smaller percentage of revenues than they have in the past. I guess the assumption--and it may well be a flawed one--is that even as the percentage goes down, the real dollars in their paycheck go up because of growing overall revenue.
Without doing any research, it is my sense that yes, across the major sports leagues, aggregate player salaries have basically gone up over the years (minus a few outliers like the Great Recession or the pandemic or what not).

However, you are correct that the owners will certainly pitch their position as being "good for the game" - that "cost certainty" will mean uninterrupted play and then the owners can grow the base of fans plus they can continue "investing" in the game.

It'll be interesting in seeing how the many different player factions respond. The other sports have shown that salary caps are good for stars but not as good for the average player IMO.
 

snowmanny

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Without doing any research, it is my sense that yes, across the major sports leagues, aggregate player salaries have basically gone up over the years (minus a few outliers like the Great Recession or the pandemic or what not).

However, you are correct that the owners will certainly pitch their position as being "good for the game" - that "cost certainty" will mean uninterrupted play and then the owners can grow the base of fans plus they can continue "investing" in the game.

It'll be interesting in seeing how the many different player factions respond. The other sports have shown that salary caps are good for stars but not as good for the average player IMO.
That last part must be only partially true. With true free agency and no salary cap I can't imagine what a Doncic or Mahomes would get on the open market .I am pretty sure the answer is "a lot more."
 

Rice4HOF

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Just reading through all of this, I wanted to add the point that I don't think teams tank to get a better draft pick. This isn't the NBA where obtaining the top college star can turn your frachise around almost immediately. There is very little correlation between where a team picks in the draft, and how good those draft picks end up being (there IS some, just not a lot, and it takes several years for them to develop). (This somewhat dated article measures this - it shows top 5 picks get an average of 9 WAR before becoming FAs, mid round picks get 4 WAR. A difference of 5 WAR from a player over several seasons isn't going to be franchise changing). Anecdotally, I recall how excited we all were when we had four 1st round picks in 2011. And we ended up with Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, and JBJ. Not a bad haul, but not exactly franchise-changing moves even though there were a couple of all-stars there. However, in the 5th round, on the 172nd overall pick, we drafted a small second baseman out of high school - Markus Lynn something. And for every Bryce Harper picked #1 overall, there is a Brady Aiken or Mark Appel, or even Kumar Rocker who everyone was salivating about for the past two years.

Anyhow... I think teams do tank, but it's inadvertent. They're not TRYING to lose more games. But once they are out of playoff contention they will (1) trade stars on expiring contracts for some prospects and/or (2) call up minor leaguers to see what they have and take away playing time from starters. Both of these things affect how many games a team is going to win, and that is why teams that are in the lower half of the standings end up doing even worse towards the end of the season. So I don't think all the talk about changing the draft system would change this at all.
 

shaggydog2000

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Just reading through all of this, I wanted to add the point that I don't think teams tank to get a better draft pick. This isn't the NBA where obtaining the top college star can turn your frachise around almost immediately. There is very little correlation between where a team picks in the draft, and how good those draft picks end up being (there IS some, just not a lot, and it takes several years for them to develop). (This somewhat dated article measures this - it shows top 5 picks get an average of 9 WAR before becoming FAs, mid round picks get 4 WAR. A difference of 5 WAR from a player over several seasons isn't going to be franchise changing). Anecdotally, I recall how excited we all were when we had four 1st round picks in 2011. And we ended up with Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, and JBJ. Not a bad haul, but not exactly franchise-changing moves even though there were a couple of all-stars there. However, in the 5th round, on the 172nd overall pick, we drafted a small second baseman out of high school - Markus Lynn something. And for every Bryce Harper picked #1 overall, there is a Brady Aiken or Mark Appel, or even Kumar Rocker who everyone was salivating about for the past two years.

Anyhow... I think teams do tank, but it's inadvertent. They're not TRYING to lose more games. But once they are out of playoff contention they will (1) trade stars on expiring contracts for some prospects and/or (2) call up minor leaguers to see what they have and take away playing time from starters. Both of these things affect how many games a team is going to win, and that is why teams that are in the lower half of the standings end up doing even worse towards the end of the season. So I don't think all the talk about changing the draft system would change this at all.
The Astros were built by tanking hard going into seasons, not in season. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-astros-tanked-their-way-to-the-top/
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Just reading through all of this, I wanted to add the point that I don't think teams tank to get a better draft pick. This isn't the NBA where obtaining the top college star can turn your frachise around almost immediately. There is very little correlation between where a team picks in the draft, and how good those draft picks end up being (there IS some, just not a lot, and it takes several years for them to develop). (This somewhat dated article measures this - it shows top 5 picks get an average of 9 WAR before becoming FAs, mid round picks get 4 WAR. A difference of 5 WAR from a player over several seasons isn't going to be franchise changing). Anecdotally, I recall how excited we all were when we had four 1st round picks in 2011. And we ended up with Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, and JBJ. Not a bad haul, but not exactly franchise-changing moves even though there were a couple of all-stars there. However, in the 5th round, on the 172nd overall pick, we drafted a small second baseman out of high school - Markus Lynn something. And for every Bryce Harper picked #1 overall, there is a Brady Aiken or Mark Appel, or even Kumar Rocker who everyone was salivating about for the past two years.

Anyhow... I think teams do tank, but it's inadvertent. They're not TRYING to lose more games. But once they are out of playoff contention they will (1) trade stars on expiring contracts for some prospects and/or (2) call up minor leaguers to see what they have and take away playing time from starters. Both of these things affect how many games a team is going to win, and that is why teams that are in the lower half of the standings end up doing even worse towards the end of the season. So I don't think all the talk about changing the draft system would change this at all.
Strongly disagree. The Orioles are absolutely tanking to get better draft picks. And while it's not like, "We have to finish last to get the #1 draft pick," there is no question that a top 5 draft pick that hits is insanely valuable in the pre-FA years.

Also - the article you cite is a composite value. If a top draft pick hits, he's going to be worth a lot more than 9.2 WAR. And while baseball is a bigger crap shoot than other leagues in terms of drafting, that's why teams like CHC, HOU, and the Os know that in order to successfully pull it off, the team needs multiple years drafting at the top of the draft.

Here's the chart you should be looking at:

46133

Cite.

Just for reference, this article has similar valuation analysis as the one you posted but breaks it out by pick in the first round. Note that 1/1 has a PV valuation of $45.5M (as of 2019) while 1/15 has a PV value of only $18.4M.
 

Harry Hooper

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BringBackMo, check out what happened with the NHL:

At the same time, the negotiations that followed the cancellation of the 2004-05 season were a huge success for Commissioner Gary Bettman. He was able to shepherd in the current CBA, which not only instituted the hard salary cap owners were clamoring for but also reduced player salaries by more than 20%. These were both tremendous wins for NHL team owners.

These massive victories were the direct result of Bettman’s hardline negotiating tactics and his willingness to cancel an entire season to get what the owners wanted. Bettman remained steadfast and unwavering while hundreds of players were out of work and desperate to return. The pressure on the NHLPA to get players back on the ice was what gave Bettman and the league the leverage they needed to ask for everything they could want and get it.
 

OCD SS

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As a baseball only guy, do other leagues have open books? My understanding is that part of the problem is that the MLBPA really only has the league's assertions on profit and loss, they never get a full look at the books to see how these things are calculated. This is why MLB is not pegging salary limits to revenues; they'd have to supply line items for actual revenues that the players could audit, and no way in hell would they do that...
 

Earthbound64

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BringBackMo, check out what happened with the NHL:
Since him first becoming commissioner, I've maintained that Manfred is trying – likely unintentionally, but still – to make Baseball as terrible as possible, and, at the very least, to kill my interest in it going forward.

So, he would seem the best/most likely person to have as commissioner when canceling a season.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I wonder if there would ever be some sort of rule that a "starter" MUST pitch at least 6 innings- with injury obviously a caveat to the rule. And an "injured" pitcher pulled prior to 6 innings forced to miss at least the following two scheduled starts so that "fakes" are punished.
Would it speed up the game or slow it down even more? Not advocating for it, but wondering. There's definitely a problem right now with bullpen usage in keeping the game moving and I would even add a growing lack of interest in the game due to starters not being at the center of the game for as long as they used to. It'd be a little about adding some "celebrity/star" quality back into starting pitching... Just wondering what others thoughts on this would be.
 

Max Power

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I wonder if there would ever be some sort of rule that a "starter" MUST pitch at least 6 innings- with injury obviously a caveat to the rule. And an "injured" pitcher pulled prior to 6 innings forced to miss at least the following two scheduled starts so that "fakes" are punished.
Would it speed up the game or slow it down even more? Not advocating for it, but wondering. There's definitely a problem right now with bullpen usage in keeping the game moving and I would even add a growing lack of interest in the game due to starters not being at the center of the game for as long as they used to. It'd be a little about adding some "celebrity/star" quality back into starting pitching... Just wondering what others thoughts on this would be.
The more straightforward solution would be to limit teams to an 11 man staff along with rules to prevent overuse of the IL or minor league shuttle. Then you'd see teams have to stick with pitchers longer when they're going well. They'd still be allowed to pull someone who just doesn't have it on a particular day.
 

lurker42

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The more straightforward solution would be to limit teams to an 11 man staff along with rules to prevent overuse of the IL or minor league shuttle. Then you'd see teams have to stick with pitchers longer when they're going well. They'd still be allowed to pull someone who just doesn't have it on a particular day.
Unlike most people on this board (and most A.L. fans in general), I'm not in favor of a universal DH. But my favorite proposal for standardizing the rules would also address this issue to some extent: have the DH attached to the starting pitcher. I.e., when your starting pitcher comes out of the game, so does your DH and for the rest of the game the pitcher's spot has to bat.

You'd avoid the boredom/buzzkill of pitchers batting for the first 5-6 innings, you'd get the additional strategy of working around the pitcher's spot in the late innings, and you'd encourage teams to keep their starters in as long as they're effective.

I'm half expecting to be reprimanded for not supporting a full-time DH...but I love this idea, that will never, ever happen.
 

absintheofmalaise

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Unlike most people on this board (and most A.L. fans in general), I'm not in favor of a universal DH. But my favorite proposal for standardizing the rules would also address this issue to some extent: have the DH attached to the starting pitcher. I.e., when your starting pitcher comes out of the game, so does your DH and for the rest of the game the pitcher's spot has to bat.

You'd avoid the boredom/buzzkill of pitchers batting for the first 5-6 innings, you'd get the additional strategy of working around the pitcher's spot in the late innings, and you'd encourage teams to keep their starters in as long as they're effective.

I'm half expecting to be reprimanded for not supporting a full-time DH...but I love this idea, that will never, ever happen.
We have a thread for you.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Unlike most people on this board (and most A.L. fans in general), I'm not in favor of a universal DH. But my favorite proposal for standardizing the rules would also address this issue to some extent: have the DH attached to the starting pitcher. I.e., when your starting pitcher comes out of the game, so does your DH and for the rest of the game the pitcher's spot has to bat.

You'd avoid the boredom/buzzkill of pitchers batting for the first 5-6 innings, you'd get the additional strategy of working around the pitcher's spot in the late innings, and you'd encourage teams to keep their starters in as long as they're effective.

I'm half expecting to be reprimanded for not supporting a full-time DH...but I love this idea, that will never, ever happen.
I won't reprimand you (don't have that kind of authority), but I don't understand the appeal of this compromise. If your starter gets shelled and doesn't get out of the first inning, you lose not only him but the DH as well, before he even gets an AB?

I'd rather keep the status quo, even if I find the "strategy" of pinch hitting for pitchers over-rated.
 

vadertime

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Stupid question, as I must be missing something obvious. Why have the CBA expire on Dec 2 as opposed to the day after the world series? Why have part of the off-season under old CBA rules and part under the new? Why not make it simple and have it expire the day after the world series so that you have the entire offseason under the same rules?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Stupid question, as I must be missing something obvious. Why have the CBA expire on Dec 2 as opposed to the day after the world series? Why have part of the off-season under old CBA rules and part under the new? Why not make it simple and have it expire the day after the world series so that you have the entire offseason under the same rules?
I think, and I'm not 100% on this, it is because the MLB fiscal year (for lack of a better term) used to begin on/around December 1. Free agency signing periods in particular weren't always tied to the end of the World Series. I believe it began on/around December 1 every year, which afforded teams a window of exclusivity to re-sign their players before other teams could negotiate. They did away with that and went to the 5-days-after-the-WS-ends approach instead, but during that time they've also been pretty good about agreeing to a new CBA well in advance of the deadline so it's never been an issue.
 

Earthbound64

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Stupid question, as I must be missing something obvious. Why have the CBA expire on Dec 2 as opposed to the day after the world series?
There are other reasons, but I would imagine they wouldn't want to be having critical discussions happening over the World Series – while 2 of the teams are still playing, and with a deadline date that could change depending on how many games there were.

"Gee, I really hope the Red Sox lose here so we have a couple more days to work on this deal. Has anyone seen John Henry?"

They're not Scott Boras, after all.