One of the most problematic items in negotiations between MLB and the players’ union is the Competitive Balance Tax, or CBT.
It’s unofficially called the luxury tax.
Basically, players want teams to be able to spend more, and that means a higher CBT threshold and lower penalties.
Owners don’t want to spend too much, and that’s why the CBT is such a bothersome thing for them: they want lower CBT thresholds and higher penalties to discourage exceeding the limit.
It’s not a hard cap, though, like it happens in other professional leagues in America.
It’s something of a soft cap: teams can exceed it, but there will be penalties involved.
On the other hand, we have the teams that spend the least possible amount of money and are uncompetitive as a result.
If the stars don’t align for them, they just tear everything apart and start over, hoping for another competitive cycle in which several of their prospects’ timelines are similar.
Because of teams like that, some fans, and even some specialists, have talked about the need of a salary floor.
What Do MLB And The Union Think About A Salary Cap And Floor?
Where do the MLB and the Players Association stand on these?
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, they have completely different opinions.
Asked if a salary cap/floor was being discussed in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks, and if it was possible for the league to adopt that structure, Passan ruled it out.
“0%. Saying cap to the union is like saying Voldemort at Hogwarts. It’s a non-starter. MLB offered a $100M salary floor in an early negotiation. With it came a $180M CBT threshold in which overages would’ve subsidized lower-revenue teams. The union felt the trade wasn’t worth it,” he tweeted, making a funny reference to clarify the MLBPA’s position on the subject.
0%. Saying cap to the union is like saying Voldemort at Hogwarts. It's a non-starter.
MLB offered a $100M salary floor in an early negotiation. With it came a $180M CBT threshold in which overages would've subsidized lower-revenue teams. The union felt the trade wasn't worth it. https://t.co/RImBiLBcim
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 17, 2022
The MLBPA wants nothing to do with a hard cap, just like MLB doesn’t love the idea of a salary floor.
We will see what comes out of the negotiations.