Late last night Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA was investigating whether or not the Marlins and Pirates, who have both shed payroll this offseason, are reinvesting their money into baseball operations rather than pocketing it. This afternoon Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the union has taken a complaint about it to Major League Baseball.
Jackson reports the official statement from the union:
“We have raised our concerns regarding both Miami and Pittsburgh with the Commisioner, as is the protocol under the collective bargaining agreement and its revenue sharing provisions,” players union spokesman Greg Bouris told the Miami Herald. “We are waiting to have further dialogue and that will dictate our next steps.”
Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, “each Club shall use its revenue sharing receipts . . . in an effort to improve its performance on the field.” Major League Baseball can impose penalties onto clubs that do not appropriately reallocate their revenue sharing profits for competitive purposes. The Marlins have been in this situation before. Back in 2010 the union lodged a similar complaint and Major League Baseball acted. That resulted in the Marlins increasing payroll, at least for a time.
Both the Marlins and Pirates are receiving revenue sharing money and each are going to receive at least $50 million and perhaps as much as $65 million in payment from MLB’s sale of the BAMTech to Walt Disney. If the league — and, it should be noted, the other owners who are paying those clubs revenue sharing dollars — believe the Pirates and Marlins are pocketing that money instead of using it to improve their clubs, they will likely order them to open their wallets.