Over the years, we have witnessed franchises within sports attempt to “rebuild” or even “tank” in order to receive success in the future. The front office proceeds to gut the individuals with the largest contracts in return for future value. Based on the 2018 MLB offseason, two teams that have certainly taken advantage of the system include the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Although the Marlins have been more extreme to this point, according to multiple reports, the MLB Baseball Players Association is not happy with both clubs, and could very well file grievances against both the Marlins and Pirates for failing to put revenue-sharing money back into baseball operations.
Both Miami and Pittsburgh are scheduled to receive more than $50 million in revenue-sharing, which is all part of the current collective bargaining agreement. Within the deal, franchises who are struggling receive more revenue than those with success in what is described as “evening the playing field”.
According to the numbers, the Pirates are projected to begin Opening Day with roughly $85.5 million in open payroll. The Marlins on the other hand have trimmed their payroll down to nearly $90 million, but began the 2017 season with just above $115 million.
Is this fair to the league? In theory, rebuilds in the MLB actually work more times than not. Take a peek at the Chicago Cubs or Houston Astros for instance, both of whom have received World Series titles in recent years. Of course, neither franchise used revenue-sharing as a manner of success, but the concept is still similar. All in all, should smaller markets be allowed to use the method of revenue-sharing in order to have potential success?
After the Marlins most recent trade, which involved sending Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers, some fans are even calling for collusion on behalf of owner Derek Jeter. Other giveaways on behalf of Miami include deals involving Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon.
The Pirates on the other hand have been more mild, but by giving off Andrew McCutchen, the club is without a face. Another underrated name that Pittsburgh gave away was Gerrit Cole, who was arguably their most elite starting pitcher.
Based on Emma Baccellieri’s findings, the percentage of money being spent on players is at its lowest rate in decades. With the league making $10+ billion in gross profit, surely the union will find a way to fight this absurdity. The next CBA won’t occur until 2021, but be on the lookout for the Marlins and Pirates, who are two franchises that are continuing to gut their rosters.
Al Diaz- Miami Herald
Want more? Subscribe to The Athletes Hub YouTube page for a variety of sports debate.