MLB: Marlins, Pirates in compliance with Collective Bargaining Agreement

January 27th, 2018

Responding to concerns on the part of the Major League Baseball Players Association about the spending patterns of the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates, Major League Baseball released a statement Friday expressing confidence in both clubs' compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement's revenue sharing provisions.

Both the Pirates and Marlins have made blockbuster trades involving star talent this offseason, with Miami moving , , Dee Gordon and , and the Pirates trading and . According to a Yahoo! Sports report, the union has been discussing whether to file grievances against the clubs for circumventing rules in the CBA that call for teams on the receiving end of revenue-sharing dollars to put that money back into baseball operations.


"We do not have concerns about the Pirates' and Marlins' compliance with the Basic Agreement provisions regarding the use of revenue sharing proceeds," the MLB statement read. "The Pirates have steadily increased their payroll over the years while at the same time decreasing their revenue sharing. The Marlins' ownership purchased a team that incurred substantial financial losses the prior two seasons, and even with revenue sharing and significant expense reduction, the team is projected to lose money in 2018. The union has not informed us that it intends to file a grievance against either team."


The Pirates also released a statement from president Frank Coonelly on the matter Friday.


"The Pirates are not being investigated by MLB and the Commissioner has no concerns whatsoever with the manner in which the Pirates are investing its revenue sharing receipts into building a winner," it read. "The Pirates have and will continue to invest its revenue sharing receipts in an effort to put a winning team on the field.


"As required by the Basic Agreement, we share with MLB and the Union each year the detail as to how our revenue sharing receipts are used to put a winning team on the field. What that detail shows is that while our revenue sharing receipts have decreased for seven consecutive seasons, our Major League payroll more than doubled over that same period. Indeed, our revenue sharing receipts are now just a fraction of what we spend on Major League payroll, let alone all of the other dollars that we spend on scouting, player development and other baseball investments, several areas in which we are among the league leaders in spending. Thus, the Commissioner is well equipped to address whatever 'concerns' the Union now purportedly has over the Pirates' efforts to win."

Speaking at Dodgers FanFest on Saturday, closer said he was concerned that clubs have a threshold above which they are charged a competitive balance tax, but no floor or penalty for spending below a threshold.

"That is something we might have to address, so you don't have a lot of Miami Marlins doing this," he said. "Maybe it's an adjustment for us, the players union. Maybe we have to go on strike, to be honest with you. That's how I feel about it.