Bargaining Strategy in Major League Baseball

Bargaining Strategy in Major League Baseball
Bargaining Strategy in Major League Baseball

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Bargaining Strategy in Major League Baseball

1)    The significant expansions of labor-management started in the 1960s and were characterized by continuous misunderstandings between the proprietors and the payers. These disputes brought about several hard bargaining treaties, work stoppages, and lockouts. The first and second elementary agreement was one that to a large extent improved the minimum salary of all the players. The agreement was also a foundation for a protocol that players would follow when they need to communicate their complaints.

It can be said that these agreements were a response method that was utilized by U.S owners who had the desire to evade the competitive pressure that was being brought forth by the Mexican League which was offering better salaries. In 1953, the Major League Baseball Players Association was created to act as the negotiating body. This body served as the player’s primary bargaining body.

2)    Free agency can be described as the freedom or right of a player to provide their services to the premier bidder or team of their choice. As a result of the end of the reserve clause and the rise of the free agency, the new labor environment became stormier since free agency shook the economic related to the game to its core. Since there was no salary cap that existed, large market teams were put in a position to sign better players because of their capacity to offer better salaries.

Bargaining Strategy in Major League Baseball

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3)    Luxury tax can be termed as a measure put in place where a team going beyond a particular payroll threshold would have to pay cash to MLB and where those moneys would be redistributed between other teams. The implementation of the luxury cap is one that was termed a kind of flexible salary cap which would greatly puncture the income of players.

4)    The Sherman Anti-Trust Act can be termed as the initial Federal Act that disallowed monopolistic business practices. It can also be said to be the first measure that was approved by the United States Congress to do away with trusts. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act was in the MLB was aimed at preventing the restraining of the movement of labor from one team to another and would also significantly reduce the acts by owners to illegally restrain trade.

5)    The primary “weapon that the Major League Baseball Players Association possesses in contract negotiations is the fact that they represent the players. Deprived of players, most people would not have a job. During 2006 when contract talks were about to commence, the MLBPA knew that they could not be as steady on demands as they were in the past mainly because they did not want to participate in forthcoming labor strikes.

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6)    It would be appropriate that Donald Fehr should be pacifying towards the owners in light of either tough or conciliatory negotiating standpoints by the owners. One of the reasons that Fehr should adopt this strategy is to prevent “strikes by millionaires” which would have a dent in the public image of the union. Through lessons learned from the “prisoner’s dilemma,” one can come up with a strategy that two parties can work together despite their rational differences.

7)    There are several issues that the union should view as “top priority.” The first issue is that of making sure that the salary levels of the players should be fair. In this case, there is need to increase the minimum salary which was set at $327,000. The second issue is that there is need to ensure that when it comes to sharing of revenues, it should benefit not only owners but also players. The third issue worth fighting for is making sure that owners of teams improve their contributions towards the pension funds of players.  


Romport, D., (n.d). Bargaining Strategy in Major League Baseball, 1(1), 1-10

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