MLB has a salary problem that was addressed during collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations in the spring, but it didn’t bring much progress.
And the issues are not tied to those teams who spend a lot: the problem is those who doesn’t spend enough to truly compete.
The Oakland Athletics, right now, represent a problem for MLB.
The franchise doesn’t appear to have long-term stability, the stadium (Oakland Coliseum) is old, the team is not competitive (45-77 record as of Monday afternoon), and its owners don’t want to spend a penny more than the bare minimum.
MLB insider Jon Heyman illustrated a big issue with the A’s payroll.
“Highest paid Oakland A: Chad Pinder,$2.725M (1 of 3 A’s over $1M),” he tweeted.
Highest paid Oakland A: Chad Pinder,$2.725M (1 of 3 A’s over $1M)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 22, 2022
When your highest-paid player makes less than $3 million per year, you have entered the year with virtually no hope of making the playoffs.
The A’s Were Very Clear With Their 2022 Intentions During The Offseason
The A’s traded or let go of their best players before the campaign started, clearly signaling their intentions for the 2022 campaign.
Their payroll is currently a little over $47 million, per Spotrac.
Thinking about franchises like the A’s, the players association tried to implement some kind of salary floor in CBA talks, but the owners countered with the possibility of lowering the ceiling, and negotiations reached a dead end there.
For the sake of fairness and competitiveness, the A’s should significantly increase their salary commitments, because that would result in a better roster.
That won’t happen this year, and probably not next year, either.
When the A’s see their young core blossoming, they will probably invest some money in players.
Otherwise, expect mediocrity unless something changes.