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Would An MLB Salary Scale Be Good?

We recently had a deep discussion over whether the NBA Rookie Salary Scale is bad. Commentators seemed to believe that it is actually a good thing that the scale is in place and that the NFL should mirror it as soon as possible. But what about the MLB? Would it make sense to mandate slotting values, and if so, how deep into the draft? The whole shabang is 50 rounds in length! There are also a myriad of factors that go into the price tag of a player other than the specific overall pick number that gets associated with his name. An example would be the difference in valuation between a high school player and a fifth year college senior.

The Milwaukee Brewers cannot afford to spend as much as the Yankees and Tigers when it comes to signing bonuses. No argument there. The players do not seem to care, though, and since baseball has the strongest union (at least in my opinion), I doubt that the owners are able to implement any bonus ceilings when discussions begin concerning the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement. Even if the owners were able to lay a strong hand down and force the union into accepting a type of salary scale, do you think it would be a positive measure?

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Would An MLB Salary Scale Be Good?”

This would definitely lead to a decrease in players returning to college. I think that it is a good idea, except the MLB might then consider making players enter the draft to make sure that the players who enter the draft and get drafted do end up signing and playing pro-ball. This will take away the leverage that players and agents have as well.

I agree with Marc on some points but I think a little differently. I believe that if the league were to assign a salary scale for the drafted players, then they would make an better educated decision before deciding to go pro. It would be a benefit to the players and would help them gain value, and ultimately make the MLB better. If slots are assigned by ranking or overall draft number and each slot is given a range or set value that a team can offer than player, the individual players would have some idea of where in the draft they would fall; hence they would be able to get an estimate of how much money they would be making. If a high school seniors knows he is going in the 32nd round, and that round earns an estimate of say 50,000 ( I have no clue of actual contracts for that round that is just a made up number for this example) and he wants to earn a million, then he can decide to go to college for several years until he moves up to the second round where he can reach his ideal contract.
In baseball the big contracts dont go to the rookies that are straight out of High School or college, that only happens in the NFL and the NBA. The MLB develops young players and and they will sometimes not see an MLB field apperence until 5 or so years after they were drafted. I think that slotting for the MLB would definitely benefit the players and the agents and allow them to make wiser decisions regarding their clients and the contracts they want.

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