With full realization that a lot of folks are simply never going to sympathize with professional athletes when it comes to money matters, I want to share a little perspective on why baseball players are fighting for changes to the CBA. Put as simply as possible, they’re trying to level the financial playing field to ensure they to receive their fair share of the revenues they produce. No one was paying to see Tom Ricketts even when he was actually holding a panel at Cubs Convention.
Members of the MLB Players Association aren’t saying they don’t get enough money, they’re arguing that they don’t get enough of the money generated by the league. What’s more, MLB’s salary structure sees to it that an increasing amount of pay is being dedicated to those at the very top of the sport while those in the middle are squeezed out and those at the bottom subsidize the whole works.
Max Scherzer’s three-year, $140 million deal made lots of headlines as part of a November signing spree in which teams dedicated nearly $2 billion to free agents, but the fact of the matter is that the hype overshadowed reality. As Kurt Badenhausen reported for Sportico, the average MLB salary in 2021 was virtually the same as in 2015 despite a sharp increase in the number of players with monster annual deals.