One of the key issues in the MLB – Players Association negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is the competitive balance tax (CBT).
The latter is also known as the luxury tax, and its application remains a controversial point in talks.
Lots of people, including the union and the league, are focused on what should be the threshold and which penalties to apply to those who exceed it.
However, part of the reason there have been so many uncompetitive teams in recent seasons is because many of them don’t want to spend.
There Are A Lot Of Teams That Spend Too Little
Therefore, there should also be penalties, one would think, for those organizations who show they are not truly trying to compete and save money for a “future window” that may never come.
Regarding that point, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal recently touched on the subject in an article for The Athletic.
One of his colleagues, Jayson Stark, seems to support the idea: “Among the great points Ken makes here is one I wonder about all the time. Why hasn’t there been more talk about a reverse luxury tax – a tax on teams that go under a minimum payroll threshold? That idea died way too early,” he said via Twitter.
Among the great points Ken makes here is one I wonder about all the time.
Why hasn’t there been more talk about a reverse luxury tax – a tax on teams that go under a minimum payroll threshold?
That idea died way too early. https://t.co/7vVZnRH9vl
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) February 16, 2022
The “reverse luxury tax” could help.
It’s certainly an interesting topic: why are we fixated in maintaining a competitive advantage for those who spend too much (arguably three or four teams in the league) and forget to focus on those who don’t want to spend (at least six or seven clubs in recent seasons)?
It’s true that there has to be a way to control (not limit) how much some clubs spend on the roster, and that’s why the luxury tax exists.
However, there should also be a way to incentive, or force, those teams with extremely low payrolls to invest in their team to be competitive.