With the lockout still on, at this point, we are all aware that the CBT (Collective Balance Tax), will be the biggest issue that continues the lockout.

FINALLY MOVEMENT?

With the “new deadline” being today in order to still get 162 games played, MLB aka the owners have decided to slightly raise their CBT threshold proposal. A raise is a raise regardless of how small it is right? I honestly didn’t think the owners will raise it in any way. The owners decided to go up from $220M to $228M. The details on the “punishments” and years 2-5 under the CBA are yet to be known. The Players Union has asked for the first year to be $238M. A higher threshold means teams should be spending more and shouldn’t use the low CBT as an excuse.

WHY DOES THERE NEED TO BE A CBT?

To be honest, I do not understand why this even exists. This isn’t supposed to be used as a salary cap, which the owners are using as such because of the “punishments” attached. The purpose is to help small-market teams that do not have the money to spend. Why is it the Mets or the Dodgers fault that the Rays or Orioles won’t spend money? 

The CBT should be removed. Let teams spend as they please. The smaller market teams shouldn’t benefit from other teams’ spending because of their choice not to spend. It is clear that the owners now aren’t like the late George Steinbrenner. Don’t let Steven Cohen’s spending before the lockout fool you either. Eventually, the Mets will want to “reset their tax” and fans will complain. 

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

The first $13 million is used to pay the clubs’ funding obligations. Fifty percent of the remaining amount is used to fund player compensation and the other fifty percent is distributed to clubs that did not exceed the threshold. 

As an example:

So basically, the Rays get some money because the Dodgers decided to spend over the threshold trying to get another World Championship. In my opinion, that isn’t fair. The Rays take pride in using their entire Triple-A team during the regular season and keeping their payroll under $100M by their choice.

The Rays can spend money. They showed it in Wander Franco’s contract and the rumor that they made an offer to Freddie Freeman before the lockout. Don’t let that fool you though, there have been rumors that the team is looking to trade Tyler Glasnow and Kevin Kiermaier. They somehow try to “balance” their payroll…spend some and remove some. The ridiculous part is that they aren’t even close to the first threshold to worry about it and the luxury tax does not affect teams like the Rays at all.

REGARDLESS

So while teams like the Rays pretty much “pocket the money” they receive every year from the luxury tax, you really can’t blame teams like the Dodgers, Red Sox, or Yankees for not wanting to be over the thresholds every year. Part of their money is given to teams like the Rays to end up not being used on players. Imagine the amount of money accumulated by the Rays over the years.

Regardless, that isn’t an excuse as to why teams do not spend. Fans are aware that teams have the means to spend and choose not to. The Union has every right to argue that higher thresholds help them and the teams. If every team spent money on players, all 30 clubs will be competitive and have no excuse to “pocket money”.

The CBT shouldn’t focus on who can spend. It should focus on who isn’t spending. What should be done is to have a minimum and prevent teams from having a payroll that is the same as what Max Scherzer will get in one year. 

For now, we are still waiting for baseball to officially start. How long? Who knows. The CBT needs to be figured out in order for everything else to be agreed on more easily. The hopeful frenzy of the free-agent market and trade market relies on the CBT thresholds.