Arthur: MLB parity is on the decline

From SABR member Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus on February 22, 2019:

Despite the $300 million contract Manny Machado just earned, this offseason has been extraordinarily slow by historic standards. The relative absence of free-agent spending has naturally attracted the ire of not only the MLB Players Association but also dozens of individual major leaguers speaking out about being alarmed by teams they see as uninterested in contention. And that, in turn, has brought anger from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

In a wide-ranging question-and-answer session, Manfred defended baseball’s owners from charges of tanking that had previously been leveled by MLBPA chief Tony Clark, saying: “There has been no meaningful change in the distribution of winning percentages in Major League Baseball.”

Much like Manfred’s previous comments in regard to the juiced-ball controversy, these leave him just enough wiggle room to be technically accurate while also severely misleading the listener. The truth is more nuanced, but there are clear changes in the distribution of winning percentage during the last few years that should sound alarm bells for the MLBPA and fans alike.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: February 22, 2019. Last Updated: February 22, 2019.