Chicago Cubs: Rob Manfred is up to his old tricks, yet again

(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Rob Manfred / Chicago Cubs(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: When a salary floor is really a basement

So the first part was the idea of salary floor.  That is something the MLBPA might find attractive and they’ve discussed as a possibility.  But it’s hardly at the top of the MLBPA hit parade of issues.

The argument for a salary floor is, supposedly, to keep teams from tanking their payroll and going into rebuilds for years on end.  Sounds great, right?

MLB’s proposal was for a floor of $100 million.  I’m assuming Manfred meant Luxury Tax Payroll.  Seems like a nice round number, doesn’t it?

However, even a cursory review of team Luxury Tax Payrolls reveals that low payrolls don’t equal rebuilds.  Just as high payrolls don’t mean a team is competitive either.

For example, the Brewers, Athletics, and Rays, are all in the playoff hunt.  The Brewers and Rays lead their respective divisions and the Athletics are two games out of the Wild Card and six games off the division pace.

Their Luxury Tax Payrolls are:

  • Brewers: $108.3 million
  • Athletics: $104.2 million
  • Rays: $88.4 million

You’ll also note that exactly six teams are below MLB’s proposed $100 million payroll floor. Just six.  In addition, for 2021 the league average Luxury Tax Payroll level is $148.5 million.  So $100 million isn’t exactly a high floor, and that won’t likely play with the MLBPA.