Sawchik: Baseball’s embattled middle class

From Travis Sawchik at FanGraphs on January 23, 2017:

Every spring, MLBPA chief Tony Clark travels around Florida and Arizona, visiting with all 30 major-league teams. He travels to learn of concerns and ideas from major-league players, and to communicate matters of importance. Clark also makes himself available to beat writers following major-league clubs.

In the spring of 2015, as collective bargaining talks loomed, I was in Bradenton, Florida, covering the Pirates. When Clark arrived at Pirates camp, I asked him if what players once considered a nonstarter, a salary cap — one that would guarantee a 50-50 revenue split — had become more palatable.

I asked him if any player that spring had expressed concern regarding the owners’ share of revenues, which has continued to increase over the last two decades. The trend has gained some attention in recent years at multiple media outlets.

“You’re the first person to ask,” Clark said.

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Originally published: January 23, 2017. Last Updated: January 23, 2017.