The new collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA was ratified this week. The MLBPA’s executive board unanimously approved the CBA, while MLB’s owners approved the agreement by a 29-1 vote. The “1” really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but the one owner to cast a dissenting vote was Stuart Sternberg of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Sternberg released a statement to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports about his dissenting vote.
“I am thankful for the hard work, leadership, and spirit of compromise that were essential to this agreement coming together. Twice a decade, the bargaining process provides an opportunity to address the extraordinary and widening competitive gap that exists on-field between higher and lower revenue clubs. I feel that opportunity was missed here.”
I’m not exactly sure what Sternberg wanted the new CBA to do, but I assume he isn’t too pleased about the changes to MLB’s luxury tax (er, competitive balance tax) floor and the revenue sharing model.
As mentioned above, him voting against the CBA and not making it a unanimous vote doesn’t really do much of anything (though if Bud Selig were still around, he would demand a re-vote since he was obsessed with unanimous voting). But it is an interesting look into how disappointed the Rays are with the current state of the game, and could be a bad sign for their future in Tampa Bay.
On the bright side for the Rays, they received the top competitive balance pick (currently slated at #31 overall) in June’s MLB Draft this week. Of course, the Indians, Royals, Pirates, Orioles, and Cardinals, all playoff teams from the last two seasons, also got picks, though those picks are all in the second round. The fact that the Rays will only get a second round competitive balance pick under the new CBA also probably has Sternberg a pick rankled, while those five aforementioned teams will receive a first round competitive balance pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.