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MLB notes: Owners’ latest offer, ending the lockout, reducing the minors

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MLB: DEC 02 Major League Baseball Lockout Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This morning’s baseball links can be, well, laborious to read ...

Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs wrote about how Saturday’s offer from the owners did little to move toward an agreement. His graphs explaining the dueling competitive balance tax offers is especially instructive.

Joe Sheehan in a free peek at his newsletter called on MLB to lift the lockout: “The two sides have a basic agreement on what baseball should look like in 2022: pretty much like it did in 2021. They’re just carving up marginal dollars right now; the differences between the two sides max out at about 4% of the league’s projected revenue in 2022, and lower percentages than that as the deal wears on and league revenues rise. There are no structural changes on the table: Free agency and arbitration will remain the same, and the minimum salary will still be low enough to make tankbuilding profitable.”

Plus some older links, related to Monday’s news of MLB owners wanting to eventually cut the number of minor league players per team:

From January 2020, Marc Normandin at Baseball Prospectus on fired and then-suspended former Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow: “Between the growth of the Astros’ management tree, the rise of tanking across the league, the fallout from the sign-stealing debacle, and Luhnow’s plan that helped spearhead the movement for more than one-quarter of Minor League Baseball’s teams to disaffiliate, we’re going to be dealing with the aftereffects of his time in the league for years.”

From Andy McCullogh at The Athletic this January: “Several owners think the reduction to 120 affiliates was only the start. ‘There is very popular thinking that sooner or later it’s going to be 90 [teams] — if not less,’ said Andy Shea, owner of two former members of the defunct South Atlantic League. Added Katofsky, ‘It wouldn’t shock me, in five years, if it’s 60.’”