MLB and the Players Association have a lot of topics on the agenda that need to be agreed upon and approved in order to sign a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
There is the minimum salary, the competitive balance tax (CBT) threshold and penalties, the bonus pool for young stars, revenue sharing, service time manipulation, tanking, and more.
Essentially, all they have agreed to by now is the universal designated hitter rule.
Regarding the tanking issue, players want the league to come up with an anti-tanking package that guarantees everybody is trying to win instead of going for a draft pick slot.
To that end, the Players Association proposed a draft lottery for the last eight teams, an offer they improved to seven this week.
MLB remains dead set on only four teams in the lottery.
There Are Lots Of Important Things At Stake
A renowned reporter, however, doesn’t consider the fight for how many draft picks are going to the lottery a very important point.
“Does any owner or player really — REALLY — care if there are 4 teams in the draft lottery or 7 or 8? This is all nice incremental tap dancing. Wake me up when the luxury tax is discussed. Nothing really happens until then,” Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted.
Does any owner or player really — REALLY — care if there are 4 teams in the draft lottery or 7 or 8? This is all nice incremental tap dancing. Wake me up when the luxury tax is discussed. Nothing really happens until then.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 22, 2022
Certainly, everybody is entitled to their opinion: some fans, players, and media members consider the lottery important, others don’t.
But one thing is true: players do care about how many picks are going to the lottery, and owners, too.
Otherwise, they would have agreed to it by now.
It’s not the same to ensure a top-four pick in the draft after tanking hard than settling for a top-eight selection.
Sometimes, the drop-off in talent from the fourth to the eighth pick is considerable, and it may be enough to make teams change their approach.
It’s just baffling that both parties seem fixated on agreeing on less important things first, and then focusing on the core economics issues.