Chicago Cubs: 3 ways a new CBA can save the game of baseball

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) /
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Rob Manfred / Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: 3 ways a new CBA can save baseball – #1: Luxury tax penalties

Opposite of forcing teams to spend to keep the game more competitive, on the flip side of that, you have to prevent MLB teams to really become super teams. Baseball loses its competitive nature when you have one team in each league that seems to tower over everybody else and is the clear favorite year after year. Excitement starts to die when you can always assume who will most likely be in the World Series every year. Glancing over an article explaining the current luxury tax penalties, it is really egregious when you look into just how small the penalty is for breaking through the luxury tax threshold.

"“When a team goes over the luxury tax for the first time, it must pay a 20% tax on the difference of the amount it went over. If they go over the threshold two years in a row, the team pays a 30% tax on the difference in year two. If that team goes over it again for a third year, that penalty rises to 50%. The only MLB squad slated to pay a penalty this season is the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the second straight year they are over the spending ceiling, and will have to pay just over $5 million in penalties.”"

So, for blowing past the luxury tax, is it not mind-boggling that a team worth north of $4 billion gets a little $5 million slap on the wrist for essentially not caring about a rule set in place to prevent creating an unfair advantage? The point being, the league needs to implicate a more strict penalty on not being allowed to do what you want regarding payroll. It is nice when teams get aggressive and pull off that big blockbuster trade but when it gets to the point of “OK, now it’s a little ridiculous” year after year, it becomes apparent that the penalty for this is peanuts.

Let’s take a team like the Dodgers – who are turning their nose up constantly at luxury tax penalties. I mean, who can blame them? Who wouldn’t want to pay a $5 million penalty when the revenue generated from elevated ticket prices during sold out postseason games, World Series memorabilia and a myriad of other money-makers trump that by a wide margin? Why even have a luxury tax in the first place if there seems to be no clear cut initiative to stop teams from breaking through it?

One way MLB can implement higher penalties is first of all by increasing the penalty at which a team has to pay for breaking the luxury tax from the current 20-30-50%  year by year model to strictly paying 100% of the amount you go over in salary every year. This implies that if you blatantly break this rule and go over the allotted salary amount allowed, you will pay the piper to the point that it’s no longer financially prudent to do so.

Another way to prevent teams from overpaying to assemble a roster that outpaces the pack by a wide margin is to penalize a team in the form of losing their first-round draft pick the following year. Nobody in baseball in their right mind would go over the salary cap ever again. Basically, In doing this, it creates a much more level playing field if you already have a salary floor and expanded postseason implemented.

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In the end, these three things make baseball much more competitive all around and gives the fans more to cheer about as a whole while of course increasing revenue that the owners and players very much desire. Owners are happy to increase profits. Players are happy to get one step closer to their ultimate childhood dream of hoisting a World Series trophy with a more level playing field and fans across the world can find a renewed excitement while rooting for their team’s chance at success.