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The Problems Facing Baseball’s Economic Structure

Clark and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred (left) have a "long and positive relationship," Manfred says, which could help labor n

As union chief, Tony Clark has plenty to be worried about, but does there have to be one right answer? Photo from Matt King/Getty Images

I’ve been having trouble thinking of topics to write about this offseason. Sure, I don’t have a ton of free time either, but I’d still like to try and get my thoughts and opinions out there. If we’re being honest, however, there just hasn’t been a lot to cover.

Sure, we’re just coming off a holiday break where there was even less to discuss, but for going on two offseasons now, the main topic of conversation has been why nothing is happening, as opposed to what is actually happening.

On a macro level, this probably isn’t great for the game. I have no problem admitting it, but while some may be ashamed to, fans love the offseason. It’s a time where they get to be armchair GM’s, masterminding theoretical trades and signings. It’s when fans for every team have hope, even for the worst of the worst, and it’s with moves that hope is often cultivated or lost. With every week that passes with no activity, that hope dims, consternation grows, and the state of the game is seen in a negative light, which is often a problem for Major League Baseball. It draws the conversation away from the field and into boardrooms, executive suites, and labor meetings, leaving fans to consider revenues and expenses, contracts, and market forces, which many just don’t want to hear about—unless you’re me that is.

The common refrain from many fans is that they just can’t muster sympathy for either side in a fight between millionaires and billionaires, but I’ve personally never seen it that way. These conversations are all relative, and the number of zeroes has never mattered to me. The fact of the matter is, while I do just fine for myself, there are people who make more than me, while there are workers in other industries who would be upset with me if I complained about my pay scale and working conditions.

With that reasoning in mind, it’s near impossible to dismiss the problems facing players in the current Major League Baseball market. While many Pirates’ fans have continually complained about how the team does business, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that this is not simply a Pittsburgh issue, but one spanning the entire league.

Revenues have reached all-time highs, while the percentage of those revenues funneled to the players appears to at least be in question. Payroll dropped between the past two seasons for the first time since 2010, and this offseason is showing to be no different. In a sea change, even big markets teams like the Cubs are talking about tight budgets and the need to be financially smart, while the Dodgers have been slashing payroll for the second offseason in a row. Cleveland has made some moves with cost containment in mind after spending out of their comfort zone for a few seasons, going as far as bandying their best players in trade talks, while a strong Mariner team has been dismantled this offseason. The main driver, for the biggest spending teams at least, has been harsher Luxury Tax penalties—negotiated in the most recent CBA—that have acted as a de facto salary cap for the teams operating in that stratosphere.

Not only does it appear that teams are determined to spend less, but new strategies, innovations, and market forces have acted against the players’ best interests.

On the field, teams have decided to give younger players a chance more than ever before. More roster spots occupied by younger players on minimum salaries means fewer spots for veterans at higher salaries. Teams have become less interested in veterans altogether, as analytics and better understanding of aging curves have made teams more reticent to pay for what a player has done as opposed to what they’re going to do. Other strategies such as the opener and increased bullpen usage lessen the need for starting pitchers, which traditionally are the higher earners (to be fair, relievers seem to be the only pieces valued on the market now, so those effects may have yet to have been quantified).

As for off the field, loopholes such as service-time manipulation and increased use of shortened disabled list stints work to suppress salaries. For example, keep a player down long enough and six years of service before free agency effectively becomes seven, pushing out that player’s big payday one more year, at which point teams are hesitant to pay big salaries and players are more likely to be past their primes anyway. One way to counteract this on the player’s side is to take early extensions, and while they provide increased security, more often than not they benefit the team and not the player, as they give up higher future earnings to cash-in now, much to the chagrin of their agents.

On the market, teams have found that it benefits them to wait players out, effectively lowering the price they eventually have to pay. This has played a part in the increase of one-year deals, as last offseason 57 out of 108 major league deals (by my count) were for one year, while 42 out of 68 deals currently agreed upon during this offseason are the same length. This only serves to increase free agent classes every year, which leads to substitutes on the market, as well as increased supply, which lowers the price teams have to pay. Also, teams are using trades to fill holes on their rosters, as Buster Olney chronicled recently, decreasing the need for veteran free agents.

Okay, after spending all that time and words explaining the problems facing players, it’s about time to get to the point of the article and its title—is it possible to recognize these issues, while also admitting teams are probably being smart?

I’ve made it no secret I align myself with how the Pirates do business, but it has nothing to do with being a fan or front office apologist; I simply feel it’s the best strategy. Several teams have shown—including the Cubs, Astros, and Royals—that the best path may be tearing it down and building it up from the inside, and copying the successful teams is always a popular strategy in sports. In my opinion, free agency is inefficient and foolhardy, but this is probably partly born from my personality of being risk-averse and cost conscious, and if we’re being realistic, isn’t this simply what teams are doing?

It seems all clubs now have come to the conclusion that it’s not good business to pay a player for what they’ve done, but for what they are going to do. Also, many feel that it makes sense to pay less for close to or equal value (see the Ivan Nova trade, for instance). If you ask me, those tenets of operation seem completely reasonable. As I watched countless hours of Winter Meetings coverage on MLB Network, the constant cry from former players and front office personnel advocating for teams to spend money seemingly simply because they can just rang so silly to me. As consumers, I can’t imagine they would feel it’s a good idea to pay the price of a new car for one that has over 100,000 miles, and if they feel Hunts is just as good as Heinz for a little less money, well I can’t blame them for making the same decisions—or teams—because I make them every day myself.

These practices apply to marginal players, but even those who are probably worth big deals—the likes of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado for example—are only being pursued by a couple of teams willing and able to shell out big dollar, long-term contracts. The dissent amongst detractors of this reality is palpable, but again, what if this hesitation is just solid decision making and not bottom-line tracking? Commitments that are too long and too large can handcuff even teams with more money than others, making it hard to fill in a competent roster around an onerous contract. Possibly proving this point, data exists showing it’s probably a bad idea to commit too large a percentage of payroll to one player. Neal Huntingdon made this very argument before trading Andrew McCutchen and was lambasted, but again, what if instead of being stingy he was just being smart?

I suppose the feeling of wanting to see these revenues spent come from two different places—that of a fan and that of an advocate for labor. Many fans simply don’t care about the financial side of sports—they want their team to have the best players, and they don’t care how it happens or what it takes, and this goal is usually equated with spending more money. The supporters of labor probably come from it differently. No matter the number of zeroes on a check, anyone who has ever advocated for labor in the face of management sees the fact that the players are the product in a multi-billion-dollar business, and they deserve their fair share of the pie. However, in a sport without a salary cap and no agreed upon percentage of revenue—like the NBA and NFL—how is this achieved? This is why the next round of labor discussions is so important.

While the veteran ranks have always been the union’s concern, is it now becoming obvious they just aren’t going to see the money they had become accustomed to? If this is the case—and it seems likely—how do the players see their share of revenues rise? The answer is obvious and difficult all at the same time. Younger players need to see a bigger, fairer share, but how exactly does this happen?

The current system is upside-down. MVP contenders like Kris Bryant, Mookie Betts, and Aaron Judge are playing on minimum salaries and early extensions, while albatross contracts like Albert Pujols, Matt Kemp, and Chris Davis are clogging up payrolls, taking roster spots, or being used as throw-ins for trades to exchange assets or clear space—moves that are commonplace for fans of the NBA, but are just starting to become en vogue in MLB. Somehow, players that make a pittance compared to their veteran counterparts need an increased share, but the solution could come in any multitude of ways.

First and foremost, minor leaguers—who aren’t even represented by the union—need to see more. While players not on 40-man rosters don’t count toward payroll, increasing their wages would be seen as a goodwill gesture that would be a positive starting point in conversations. Next, raising the major league minimum—which a large majority of the league plays for—as well as salaries for roster spots 26 to 40 would go a long way in closing the gap between increased revenues and shrinking payrolls. Finally, whether it’s changing service time rules, restricted free agency, reaching arbitration faster, decreasing years of service before free agency, or any multitude of choices, the main goal should be to get younger players to their big paydays faster. This would help players earn salaries that are more commensurate of their abilities and production. While this would certainly take a major shift in philosophy from the union, they need to make some major changes, lest they get pummeled at the bargaining table yet again.


Many arguments are seen as black and white, right or wrong. In this discussion, it often feels like it’s either “poor players that make more in one game than I do in a lifetime, however will they manage,” or “if teams were really committed to winning, they would spend”. Is it possible the answer is somewhere in the middle, that both could be right? I feel like this possibility isn’t given enough credence, so hopefully this gives you something to consider while we wait another week for the next free agent signing.

Ethan is a Pirates contributor to The Point of Pittsburgh. An Accountant by trade, Ethan is passionate about the business of sports and won't apologize for enjoying it more than the actual games. He's a believer in analytics, hasn't played a game since little league, and can be contacted via Twitter @EthanHullihen

23 Comments on The Problems Facing Baseball’s Economic Structure

  1. The relationship between revenue and payroll is very interesting and a key to “labor peace”, but I see it as a secondary issue to the biggest issue in the game’s economic structure–the disparity in revenue between the Los Angeleses and New Yorks and the Pittsburghs and San Diegos. It’s noteworthy that the Penguins have been able to win multiple Stanley Cups while the Steelers have been arguably the most successful franchise of the post-merger era, yet the Pirates–somewhat by choice, granted, but also somewhat by necessity as well– have to operate as a poor step-child to the big-money franchises. Obviously, given salary caps in the NHL and NFL, and the more-or-less level playing field in terms of revenue in both, there are significant differences in how the leagues operate– and MLB needs to move closer to the NHL and NFL models, especially the NFL model in terms of shared revenue, to ensure its long-term viability.

    • I agree with wkkortas. A model closer to the NFL and NHL should also bring a salary floor to MLB. A salary floor would limit the complete teardown and might also drive some ownership groups to sell.

  2. Never advertised but true:
    – a day in the majors gets you lifetime healthcare (worth $500k?)
    – 43 days in majors gets you a $40k/yr pension for your entire life (That’s like a $1M bonus right?)

    • Kevin Creagh // January 10, 2019 at 10:37 AM //

      Those benefits are included in the Luxury Tax (Competitive Balance Tax) when you see each team get $15M added on top of their 40-man salary obligations.
      I think, but am not sure, that a player can start drawing a pension at age 45. There are gradations based on your service time — some pension tiers are in the 6 figures.

  3. I hate the owner’s greed angle. Spirts , especially the athletes, enjoy a much larger percentage of company revenue than most other businesses. They are not partners, they have no financial risk, contracts are guaranteed regardless of performance. Work in any other business, have a bad year and you are fired, without pay. Companies don’t line up to take a risk on a “cheap” $3 million contract to see if you bounce back. This isn’t corporate greed, but, a bounce back toward reality and smart business. Other sports will follow.

    • Ethan Hullihen // January 10, 2019 at 5:41 PM //

      I will plead ignorance on this, but do other unions negotiate a certain percentage of revenue be paid to its members? I don’t know the answer, but I assume it’s possible. I am not entirely sure how I feel about unions, but I’ve always find it odd that many fans who are presumably pro-union drop that allegiance when it comes to athletes. The perks you described are there because they were negotiated, because the league and teams *are* partners, at least in my opinion.

      Also, here’s the thing, other sports can’t follow. I don’t know about the NHL, but the NBA and NFL have a predetermined percentage of revenue that must go to the players. This isn’t the case in Major League Baseball, allowing both sides to bicker and calculate their percentages differently, with no one actually knowing what is being paid out.

  4. Bob Stover // January 10, 2019 at 10:54 AM //

    Ethan. A Very good analysis of the revenue paralysis that holds baseball in its grip. I don’t think the owners don’t care how revenues are apportioned so long as it doesn’t require them to give up a bigger share of overall revenues for nothing in return. The real problem will be convincing veteran players who have already been “screwed over” by the existing salary structure to now step back in order to bring some balance to revenue allocation between younger and older players.

    • Ethan Hullihen // January 10, 2019 at 5:45 PM //

      I find the angle of the stance of the veteran player problematic; you would think that the union would care about all of it’s members, but that’s one of my main problems with unions. I feel that often what’s best for a few is seen as more important than what is best for all, as well as sound long-term decision making eschewed for short term gain. Ultimately, I understand everyone only cares about themselves, but it is kind of odd. Also, I absolutely feel minor league players deserve some kind of representation. Their rights are being negotiated away when they essentially already part of the system.

  5. Looking at this in parts…

    “I’ve made it no secret I align myself with how the Pirates do business, but it has nothing to do with being a fan or front office apologist; I simply feel it’s the best strategy.”

    You often provide some thought through some lens that is incomplete. Take for instance the 2017 Pirates, who were projected at 81-81. That’s a team that should be willing to pay a premium in both terms of prospects and money to add to the current roster given that their shortstop projected for 0.8 WARP and outside of Cole, Taillon, and Nova, all their pitchers projected at less than 1.5 WARP. This is a team that should’ve been willing to lose out on future wins for Quintana because the marginal value he provides from his projected 2.5 wins is important in both increasing odds of reaching the playoffs and increasing their revenue. Their place on the win curve, see Nate Silver’s work or Vince Gennard’s work in his book Diamond Dollars. While the Pirates win curve is probably more flat than the Cubs for various reasons including market size influence, the marginal value of the win is important. The same holds true for free agency, so while you may feel it’s “inefficient” you failed to mention this in your analysis at the time. Yes there might be substitutes for some players but it’s a potential overreaching generalization as win curves and discounting should be used in analyzing potential transactions both for current year and the future, with the most simple fashion being a NPV framework and assuming linearity (though it’s most likely not a linear model and log transformations and other methods are needed).

    “Several teams have shown—including the Cubs, Astros, and Royals—that the best path may be tearing it down and building it up from the inside, and copying the successful teams is always a popular strategy in sports.”

    1). Moneyball’s message was to zig when everybody is zagging. Certainly copying teams strategies would be zagging when everybody zigs, no? The Astros and Cubs also sunk financial resources into the team and the Astros, through their player development cost, were able to acquire two top of the rotation arms without giving up their top prospects. Is that really something the Pirates can copy? No
    2). The Rays and Athletics don’t believe in these methods and they’ve certainly had sustained periods of success.

    The new inefficiency might actually be spending on good players, something the Brewers have seemed to do under David Stearns (former Astros AGM) as they recognize their placement on their respective win curve. That’s what both the Astros and Cubs did as well.

    • Ethan Hullihen // January 10, 2019 at 5:59 PM //

      I certainly want to reply, but am having trouble grasping on to concrete areas of response, and honestly, some of the ideas are beyond my understanding.

      I failed to include the “marginal value of a win” because honestly it’s not an idea I’m very familiar with. When considering it, I’m not even sure I would still apply it. I think it’s still just me viewing this through a prism of my own proclivities. I can’t blame the team for not wanting to risk losing out later for the chance to win now. You cited Quintana, but I mean, look at how he turned out. I would have been totally okay with the move at the time, but can’t blame them for being weary if they in fact were. To go back to an example of a car, even if I was in need of one, I wouldn’t buy with just the next week, month, or year in mind simply so I could get to work. I’m looking at what’s the best decision over the long haul. I can’t blame a private business with long-term goals in mind for doing the same. That’s why I find the dichotomy interesting.

      Your second point is much more interesting to me, as it’s something I have considered lately. If everyone is working with the same basic data and making the same decisions, is anyone really coming out ahead. Many in the industry said it’s silly for as many teams to be looking to rebuild as there are, for example, because only so many can compete for good picks and large pools. So yes, could there be credence to a new way of thinking to pool ahead of everyone who has basically caught up? Absolutely, I just honestly never considered it when writing this.

      • Later still needs to be discounted at some rate (say 8%) because the value now is certainly more important. Let’s put it this way, $100 is worth $100 today but next year it’s worth $92.59 as the NPV is 100/(1.08)^1. The extra win(s) today would then be more likely to increase revenue for the given year. A team who wins 90 games will make more revenue than that of a team that wins 70 games, and that’s before any revenue gained through post season shares. This is why factoring in marginals is important, and you’re going to max profits when the marginal revenue is equal to the marginal cost.

        And I’m not a fan of the car analogy. Your car depreciates at some level, as an accountant you’re probably using MACRS as the method I’m assuming. But think of the players as an investment opportunity. The firm will want to maximize their profits and that’s where the NPV comes into play. If the Pirates project to maximize their profits with Quintana (and don’t use hindsight here) over Meadows + Glasnow + else, it needs to be done through a form of discounting to get it in today’s dollar, like any other investment opportunity as seen above. This is seems like a big part of the analysis that you’re missing.

        Certainly one way to increase the revenues would be to also increase player development turning out better players as a result that can be both used as trade value and have a lower cost to them with higher value. That’d essentially be the total factor of productivity in a firm’s maximization equation. There’s certainly more to the economics of baseball, decision making, and profit maximization than fancy buzz words.

        • Ethan Hullihen // January 10, 2019 at 9:14 PM //

          Sorry man. I’d love to interact, but you’re operating way above my pay grade. I may have been able to hang better when I was in school and some of that stuff was more fresh, but with not having used any of it in almost 7 years it kind of sounds like a foreign language.

          I save the in-depth, number breakdowns for payroll. This was much more about theories and discussion of what’s going on, not any direct applications.

        • Ethan’s article is about a slow offseason, the shift in free agency spending, the games reliance on younger players, and how this may affect labor negotiations moving forward. I’m not sure what your point is David. Your attempt to apply various economic theories and principles only works in a vacuum, and there is no evidence that supports this is the method or basis from which baseball teams operate. In addition, there are numerous behavioral components at play that cannot be explained or reconciled via an economic principle, equation, or theory.

          Also, NPV is used to analyze the profitability of an investment; it is the difference between expected cash flows (in today’s dollars) and cost (also in today’s dollars). If NPV is positive, the investment is profitable. If you are simply discounting, it is just a PV function.

  6. Phillip C-137 // January 10, 2019 at 11:28 PM //

    Ethan, kudos on a really good recap of the current situation.

    In my view this is just another of those pendulum swings between ownership and the players. Normally the owners have the upper hand and while none of us remember the player’s salary gains because of the Federal League, the players do from time to time gain almost a minority shareholders sized power position.

    The Players side gained a lot of power during the Marvin Miller years and has been slowly losing ground ever since Miller retired, but, I believe, has really lost ground since Tony Clark starting running the MLBPA. (The Players need new effective leadership.)

    One of the problems you’ve so aptly pointed out is that players like Betts, Bryant and Judge aren’t being paid anywhere close to their level of production (comparatively speaking). I believe finding a solution to this issue would not only help them individually but also have a ripple effect for the union. I’d suggest some sort of Restricted Free Agent Point System (RFAP), whereby a guy like Betts (with an MVP, a 2nd Place MVP, batting title plus multiple top 3 finishes in several meaningful categories) would be eligle for RFA at the end of 2019 instead of having to wait another few years. This would get a player people would be excited about to his payday quicker while (substitute Frazier for Betts) giving his team an opportunity to trade him and get some return for him like the Pirates did with Cutch or Cole.

    • Ethan Hullihen // January 10, 2019 at 11:52 PM //

      Yes, the union can’t seem to get out of their own way. Sure, more days off are nice, but to effectively negotiate ways to suppress spending? (draft pools, international pools, Luxury Tax, etc.) It certainly shows no foresight.

      Not sure you’re aware, but the NBA instituted something similar to what you’re suggesting. In an effort to keep stars in small markets, players have the opportunity to make more money with their original teams if they hit certain benchmarks. It hasn’t been super successful, but it’s at least trying to address a practice the league deemed a problem. I’ve read suggestions on “commission” like systems before, and while I see it as the least likely route, it’s a novel idea.

      Thanks for reading and the compliments!

  7. There is some very pertinent information left out of this puzzle:
    1: baseball is a legal monopoly: not everyone can join. That mean the Owners can and have fixed the market:

    2: Owners are not making money off their investment: they are making money off the public investment in Stadiums: Since i know the Twins the best: They came to the public and asked for public financing. They Testified before the MN State Senate that the money was to be used to keep star players and invest in other more highly talented players so they would have winning teams. They never once said it was about increasing their profit margin; it was money for players to win. ( I went to several of those hearings.). They got their stadium and have instead let there top players go so they could make higher profits. They have not invested the money in trying to Win. As far as I’m concerned that is a fraud upon the public.

    3: The current CBA was reached under the understanding that nothing had or would change in the way the MLB was doing Business: The Mutually agreed upon understanding has been and was supposed to be that , the teams pay the slaves ( those who belong to the team) by rules that we agree to and then they get their paydays when they reach free agency. This is going to be and is a point of contention: all contracts have a ” good faith ” clause: the terms agreed upon are based upon the conditions they agreed upon. The conditions agreed upon was nothing changed: Very clearly history shows, the young contract slaves got less. The guys who produced the numbers got contracts when they became free agents. That Condition has been broken: the MLB owners have violated the conditions under which the contract was agreed upon. They have broken “good faith”. Proof: look at all the past contracts for veterans based upon past performance. There wasn’t a single owner who didn’t know that veterans might only produce for the 1st part of the long contracts. In fact if we look at the record in the collusion cases of the 1980 we find “long contracts’ was the very term that the owners got found guilty on. They made an agreement not to extend long contracts in violation of the Collusion clause: “Players shall not act in concert with other Players and Clubs shall not act in concert with other Clubs.” Ueberroth told the general managers of each team to stop handing out long-term contracts. . The Judge found this to be in violation of the collusion clause. I find it also to be in violation of the MLB’s own Rule 21A: “Rule
    Any player or person connected with a Club who shall promise
    or agree to lose, or
    to attempt to lose, or to fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any
    baseball game with which he is or may be in any way concerned, or who shall intentionally lose or
    attempt to lose, or intentionally fail to give his best efforts towards th
    e winning of any such baseball
    game, or who shall solicit or attempt to induce any player or person connected with a Club to lose or
    attempt to lose, or to fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any baseball game with which
    such other player
    or person is or may be in any way concerned,….”

    Tanking is illegal. not only that. Not spending money that is generated is doing less than the MLB teams can . The owners ” fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any baseball game”.

    “Any” in this clause is the same as “every” under legal construction. They must try to win every game.

    Putting a 2nd rate product on the field to make money is killing baseball. The Public pay for the stadiums and expect the best teams THEIR money can buy.


    I agree with you probably 100% with everything you just said in this story. Rookie deals need reconsidered and MiLB players pay should be given a large(ish) raise.

    I like the idea of largely performance based salaries with smaller guarantees. So say Marte next season pulls a trout and has a 10 fWAR season he would get paid much more. set a cap on max salary/player and while raising the league minimum.

    so say the cap is 10M and the and the measurement for performance is fWAR. and the rate is 2M/fWAR Harper gets signed at 10M/year and has 2 WAR season then he gets paid 14M

    Say the minimum is 1M and that player has a 2WAR season he gets paid 5M. yes there is still a large difference there.. but it isn’t as large as Harrison getting and extension and then crapping the bed. having a barely any fWAR last season and Frazier having about 2 fWAR.

    set a hard cap for guaranteed salaries at 9 times the player salary (so you can have 9 players at max guaranteed) and then 16 times the league minimum. so in the crappy example above the cap would be 106m (9*10m and 16*1m). have a hard floor at 25% off of the cap, so in this case ~80m. Not including performance.

    clearly not a fully thought out idea.. its more of a fooly thought out idea. but something to think about for us armchair CBA negotiators 🙂

    • Ethan Hullihen // January 13, 2019 at 8:54 PM //

      Thanks for reading and the kind words.

      I’ve read commission based ideas before, and the NBA even has something *roughly* similar, but I also do think it’s extremely problematic and not at all realistic, even if the idea behind it is reasonable.

      • yeah probably right about problematic.

        I just find it crazy that people are talking 30-40M for Harper, who has had a mostly decent playing career but really isn’t one of the top 10 players in baseball (maybe soon though) And then you got players like Bergman making near league minimum on a rookie deal. Or jed lowrie who had a better season last year making 25% of that.

        When trout hits the market we looking at 80M/year for him at this rate.. and yeah he’s probably the best in baseball, hall of fame for sure if he stays healthy but that much for a single player…

        IMO these top ends need to come down to earth some and we should be focusing on those that are actually under paid like you said the MiLB players and many of the rookie contracts, maybe rather than arbitration for rookie deals have the commission based? I duno something for people with more of the information to talk about I suppose.

  9. Fun read. Thanks!

    I wish we could see some PROFIT figures for teams. A company can have billions in revenue and still operate at a loss (hello fellow GE stockholders!)

    I suppose this is why we see the “payroll as a percentage of revenue” figures, but this may not compensate for the sake of this argument: are new analytics departments taking up a percent of this revenue, adding another “piece to the revenue pie”? Are insurance payments increasing in percent of revenue spent? Are teams increasing spending on international scouting, development and facilities?

    This is not meant as a defense of ownership. If anything, it is a call for some transparency from ownership to clear up all the murkiness.

    • Ethan Hullihen // January 13, 2019 at 8:52 PM //

      Thanks for reading.

      This is the argument I always make; do I think there’s more money? Probably. Do I know? I do not. So, what right do I have to yell and scream about how “cheap” my teams. In lieu of no facts, I don’t. There’s no real point in speculating.

      • They did have the AP leak what about 10 years ago now.. gave quite a bit of insight and the ex-minority owner’s interview about how owner ship wasn’t taking profit rather throwing the majority of it back in the team. BUT that was all those years ago. ( wrote a Fan post about it on Bucs Dugout about a month ago titled Ownership pocketing profits myth, fact or possibility? its crap quality I’m not a writer but might get you started if you are looking to do another )

        Basically my point of it was that the ownership isn’t running out of PNC with money bags, dumping the money back into the franchise… presumably to increase the value of their product in some way… at least around that time anywho.. don’t know about now.

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