Pre-arb players make up 38% of MLB player pool, but take only 7.2% of total salaries


At FanGraphs, Craig Edwards dug into the numbers to see how salaries are distributed across Major League Baseball. He has a number of interesting findings, some of which I’ll highlight here, but go check out the article as it’s worth your time.

The plight of players not yet eligible for arbitration has been covered a lot here lately, what with Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Jake Odorizzi, Brad Boxberger, and Kevin Kiermaier making headlines for protesting their relatively meager pay compared to their arbitration-eligible and free agent peers. So how bad do pre-arb players have it?

According to Edwards’ research, the average salary for a pre-arb player is $885,000. For an arbitration-eligible player, his average salary is $3.9 million, and for a veteran with six or more years of service time, his average salary is $11.3 million. The jump into arbitration-eligibility provides, by far, the biggest pay increase on a percentage basis. A player with less than three years of service time averages $960,000 while a player with three to four years of service time averages $2.72 million, a 183.3 percent increase. The next-highest percentage increase is going from 3-4 years of service to 4-5 ($4.37 million, 60.7%).

Perhaps the most stark finding, illustrating the disparity clearly, is that players with less than three years of service time make up 38 percent of the Major League Baseball player pool, but take home only 7.2 percent of the total salaries. Players with seven or more years of service time — 183 players in this sample, less than 25 percent — take nearly 60 percent of total salaries.

While baseball doesn’t have the inequality of American society at large — the top 1 percent owns about 40 percent of the nation’s wealth — it is still quite imbalanced. This will be a topic that, at the very least, will be broached when the next Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated this coming winter. The aforementioned motley crew of five may very well have a case.

New bill to build Athletics stadium on Las Vegas Strip caps Nevada’s cost at $380 million

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill introduced in the Nevada Legislature would give the Oakland Athletics up to $380 million for a potential 30,000 seat, $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bulk of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state and $120 million in county bonds, which can vary based on interest rate returns. Clark County also would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team had sought to build a stadium in Fremont, San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront, all ideas that never materialized.

The plan in the Nevada Legislature won’t directly raise taxes. It can move forward with a simply majority vote in the Senate and Assembly. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to consider the proposal before they adjourn June 5, though it could be voted on if a special session is called.

The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has said he is disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with Oakland as a “true partner.”

Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54. It would become the smallest TV market in Major League Baseball and the smallest market to be home to three major professional sports franchises.

The team and Las Vegas are hoping to draw from the nearly 40 million tourists who visit the city annually to help fill the stadium. The 30,000-seat capacity would make it the smallest MLB stadium.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The plan faces an uncertain path in the Nevada Legislature. Democratic leaders said financing bills, including for the A’s, may not go through if Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoes the five budget bills, which he has threatened to do as many of his priorities have stalled or faded in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, the Clark County Board of Commissioners would create a homelessness prevention and assistance fund along the stadium’s area in coordination with MLB and the Nevada Resort Association. There, they would manage funds for services, including emergency rental and utility assistance, job training, rehabilitation and counseling services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority would be up for renewal after 30 years.

Nevada’s legislative leadership is reviewing the proposal, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said in a statement.

“No commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members,” Yeager said.