Major League Baseball is reportedly pushing to install a salary cap to close the gap between MLB's richest teams and its smaller-market franchises.
According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, commissioner Rob Manfred has said MLB's economic reform committee is focusing on television distribution and revenue disparity, but an industry source told Drellich an "underlying motivation" of the committee is to address small-market owners' concerns:
"The whole idea is to basically come up with a system that gets to a salary cap. Rob didn't lie by saying it has to do with the [regional sports networks], dealing with the RSNs. Because these teams will lose more money and the disparity will get bigger. So they're using that excuse to have a study committee."
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The MLB Players Association has remained steadfast in its opposition to a salary cap. MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark told reporters Saturday that players are "never going to agree to a cap."
Drellich noted Feb. 19 that MLB created the committee with Bally Sports near bankruptcy in part to address the impact that would have on MLB games that air on RSNs, but also to explore solutions for "owners who are unhappy about the difference in the amount of money teams make."
While MLB's haves and have-nots have long experienced financial disparity as big-market teams spend huge money and small-market teams scrape by, it has seemingly gotten more pronounced.
The New York Mets, led by billionaire owner Steve Cohen, have become the poster child for throwing money around as they lead MLB with a $336 million payroll, according to Spotrac. That puts them nearly $70 million ahead of the second-place New York Yankees.