As the lockout draws on, time has proved insufficient in healing the conflicts surrounding the current collective bargaining agreement negotiations. The latest reports suggest that the league owners and MLBPA are no closer to finding middle ground on most issues. The most recent concessions were catalogued here by MLBTR’s Darragh McDonald. Today’s analysis, however, comes from’s Travis Sawchik, who provides valuable context for a number of trends that have been at issue during these negotiations.

Sawchik tackles the current imbalance between production and pay, the changing demographics of the player populous, and the role that analytics has played in shaping the game’s financial landscape. I urge you to read Sawchik’s full analysis, but below are a couple of passages from Sawchik’s article that frame the current debate.

For starters, player careers have declined. Sawchik writes, “The average service time of MLB players was 4.79 years in 2003 and fell to 3.71 years in 2019, according to MLBPA data from last year.” It’s no coincidence that players become eligible for their first arbitration raise after three years of service time.