How to settle the MLB lockout and write a new Basic Agreement

Dec 2, 2021; Chicago, IL, USA; A woman walks by locked Wrigley Field on the first day of Major League Baseball lockout. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 2, 2021; Chicago, IL, USA; A woman walks by locked Wrigley Field on the first day of Major League Baseball lockout. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Which is more costly: Paying everybody on the 40-man the Major League minimum or putting Andrelton Simmons at shortstop? Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Which is more costly: Paying everybody on the 40-man the Major League minimum or putting Andrelton Simmons at shortstop? Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

Other financial issues

The existing $210 million Luxury Tax threshold will be raised; the only question is by how much. The Association has proposed a $240 million ceiling, the owners want $214 million with a $100 million salary floor.

Compromise is clearly in order and also simple: Just split the difference. Set the new cap at $225 million. And forget the salary floor.

Minimum salary always increases, and will again in this new agreement. Even if one extends it to all players on the 40-man, we’re not talking about that much money.

The present minimum is about $570,000. Raise it to $650,000, apply it to an additional 14 players not on the active 26, and we’re talking about $10 million to $15 million per team.

What’s 10 million to $15 million? Last season, the Twins paid Andrelton Simmons $10.5 million to play shortstop for their sorry, last-place team. It’s what the Cubs and Mets jointly played Javier Baez, what the Reds paid Eugenio Suarez to hit .198, and about what the Brewers paid Jackie Bradley Jr. to play half-time in center field.

Statistically, it was about 10 percent of the average MLB team payroll. Owners need to own up, extend the minimum to the entire 40-man, and take the good feeling that goes along with doing so. Especially if it provides a key to ending the lockout and the impasse.