Although top officials have been looking to identify what the problem is in Major League Baseball, thinking that the pace of play is the problem is a big mistake. Teams are tanking so that they can benefit. For instance, the Marlins have sold their best players in the past and changed the positions of players from their best positions.
Such a move caused the Marlins to lose consistently since 2017, with 2019 being their worst year. According to Jeter, most baseball fans will remember this team for the poor performance they have consistently shown. Sports experts think that the Marlins are doing this intentionally.
The main aim is to lose now to get more talent later, saving money to train them for a better future. Just like the Marlins, many other MLB teams are joining this trend of tanking with a motive.
What the Data Says About Tanking in MLB
Most players are productive when young, and the 20s are the prime age. However, those who are over 30 are less productive while still earning higher salaries. When their teams are tanking, they have an excuse to get rid of these players. This has been a trend in MLB since 1995. The data shows that no team wants players who are 40 years and above.
The young talents are vibrant. They exercise hard and are always visiting a fitness website to find out more about what they can do to better their skills. Teams want them on board, and the only way is to create a scenario where they consistently lose to other teams.
Labor Agreements Are Partly to Blame For MLB Tanking
According to experts, veterans in MLB seem to be favored by various labor laws. Labor laws clearly show what the players will earn in their first six years after signing with a major club. Although the teams have the right to negotiate in the first three years, the other three must have an incremental increase of 40% in the fourth year, 60% in the fifth and 80% in the sixth year. By then, most of them are earning a lot more than they would if they were not signed by MLB teams.
On the other hand, the teams feel that they are losing because the player is less productive than young talents who would be earning less. But the tough part is that labor laws say that these players cannot be laid off until the six years are over.
Less Productive Players Lose
According to many teams, less productive players are those who have completed their six-year contract. Although many of them continue to earn a lot of money, those who are less productive start to lose immediately. Their teams begin the tanking strategy in order to sign these players away and create space for younger talents. Veterans are hired on short contracts, if they are lucky.
From these insights, tanking is what has been ailing the MLB. The game remains great overall. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done as of now. However, officials have promised to look into this issue and develop a win-win solution for everyone.