If we assume that the players and owners public rationale for their positions is accurate:
Players: Want a greater share of revenue and that revenue to be available to players earlier in their careers so players can have security and freedom to play the best baseball.
Owners: Want to maintain or improve competitiveness between teams through allowing poorer teams to maintain control of their players for as long as possible.
(I know and you know that it all actually comes down to greed; but both sides claim to want to make the games better for the fans.)
- Change free agency to after 5 years or the first season after a player turns thirty.
- Keep revenue sharing at the current levels; but designate revenue sharing for player retention and/or acquisition salaries only.
Create a "use it or loose it" time line with the revenue sharing being available to the other lower income teams in a second round of allocation if teams choose not to use it.
How it would work: For each year, the revenue sharing pool would be created based on the current luxury tax system. Smaller market teams would have access to the total pool. But they could only use those funds for contracts that extend beyond the first five years of service for a player. Basically, keep revenue sharing; but make teams use it on free agents or extending current players.
How the Foundation would work: If the Brewers have $60M in revenue sharing and use it to sign Corbin Burnes at $30M a year for his sixth and seventh year of service, those funds would be placed in the Brewers Foundation until Burnes reaches year 6 and 7. The interest they generate would be used to fund charitable activities in the community.
Increasing spending on free agency and salary extensions: The funds have to be spent so it increasing the demand. Salaries go up. This will be especially helpful to the mid to low level free agents which sometimes get washed out of the current market or have to sign minor league deals.
Greater ability for teams to retain players: The funds can be used for extensions or free agents. Lower revenue teams that want to retain players will have that opportunity. They will have flexibility over how they use it in order to keep fan favorites with their current team.
Stop Tanking but no salary floor: There will be a need to use these funds or lose them; but no hard floor. Let public outrage at not using these funds act as the floor.
Gets rid of draft penalties and qualifying offer: Instead of penalizing any one team for signing players create a system that funds the lower income teams to join in the fun.
Expand Revenue sharing to support competitive balance: Inflation will do this if revenue sharing is kept at the same levels. The increase in demand created by this system will increase spending by the bigger market teams and so they will reach higher tax amounts.
This may not be a perfect system, but it would be better. Players would end up with a bigger share of revenue and owners would achieve better competitive balance.
What do you think?