The Major League Baseball Players Association rejected the league’s most recent proposal to implement a universally named hitter, with Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal taking a big, broad look at the issues facing both sides this morning. MLB complained of a universal DH and a pair of serve times for their willingness to rule in favor of two players, according to Rosenthal, but in return they sought an agreement on extended playoffs, a pitch clock implementation and a Spring Training Run. With electronic strike zones among other elements.
The lack of clarity on whether there will be a DH next season in the National League continues as a major hurdle for teams and for some free agents. Nelson cruise And Marcel OgunaIn particular, they cannot fully get a grip on their markets unless they know that NL will carry a DH. Meanwhile, NL teams are left to make lineups and rosters without knowing if they will have room for an extra hitter.
The MLBPA is clearly not as beneficial to its side other than a designated hitter in the National League as the playoffs extend to the league. This is quite understandable, given that most clubs no longer employ expensive, dedicated designated haters and the expansion of playoff teams will generate far more revenue than league players.
Rosenthal notes that in MLB’s latest proposal, an additional $ 30MM or so was to be split among players – from $ 50MM in the 2020 extended territory – but team-side revenue would grow on a much larger basis. Under the traditional structure (ie pre-2020), players’ postSense shares are linked to gate revenue, while teams collect 100 percent of television revenue. Last year, in the absence of fans, the players agreed to an expanded, 16-team playoff field that saw $ 50MM of television revenue split from the players.
From the players’ vantage point, the postson extension is a double-edged sword. A high chance of playing in October may very well appeal, but there are some people (who, like many fans) worry about “watering down” the arena. Of more concern is that postseason expansion may also affect free agency. The league would certainly argue that an increase in territory would lead to border clubs spending more on the open market, thus making it a win for the players.
However, the opposite effect can also play out; If the bar is shortened to reach the postseason, some clubs will not be forced to spend to push themselves over the top for an extra couple of wins. The margin for error is very high for about half (or even more than half) of the teams in the game who qualify to play the postseason when only a third club do it. This is especially true when at any point, a handful of teams are tanking and actively doing everything they can. No To win the game.
At the end of the day, there is a substantial disconnect between the extent to which the league and the union feel that universal DH will benefit players. The MLBPA knows that playoff expansion, and related revenue, is a huge bargaining chip to leverage in current negotiations and in growing negotiations for a new CBA. This seems a huge concession in exchange for universal DH – especially because the Commissioner’s Office also wants DH implemented in the National League.
Rob Manfred has consistently sought to increase in-game action, and given the fact that pitchers posted a combined .128 / 1/60 / / 162 batting line, with a 44 percent strike rate in 2019, he received a Swapping for competitive hitter will help. That goal. Of course, many traditionalists abhor the notion of a designated hitter and are against its implementation in the National League, but at this point it seems like an inevitability – whether that implementation is in 2021 or in 2022.
As Eugene Freedman, a labor lawyer (who recently chatted with MLBTR’s Tim Dyreux about CB) On twitterSomething very confusing of this scenario as a conversation is misleading. The two sides already have an agreement in place as of the 2016-21 CBA, and the union is not obligated to re-implement that agreement, as the league is now making a push for an expanded postSense format.
The MLBPA’s latest rejection does not mean that the two sides will not ultimately agree to something, of course. The league is clearly very motivated to expand the upcoming postseason arena and increase its postseason revenue, so perhaps they will make a more attractive offer together. We saw in 2020 that both sides were keen to return to the table at the final time, as the 2020 extended postseason format was agreed upon for almost three hours before the first pitch was thrown on Opening Day.