As the Pittsburgh Pirates prepare for another season of bottom-five payrolls, team owner Bob Nutting has spoken out about the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Major League Baseball and the players’ union. Nutting claims that the new CBA does not benefit the Pirates, and that the team is at a disadvantage compared to other clubs.
The new CBA, which was agreed to in December, includes a number of changes that were intended to increase competitive balance in the league. One of the most significant changes was the introduction of a luxury tax system, which requires teams to pay a penalty if their payroll exceeds a certain threshold. The Pirates, with their low payroll, were expected to benefit from this new system, as they would not have to pay the penalty.
However, Nutting believes that the new CBA does not do enough to level the playing field between teams with high payrolls and those with low payrolls. He argues that the luxury tax system does not go far enough in helping the Pirates compete with teams that have larger payrolls. He also believes that the new revenue sharing system, which distributes money from teams with higher revenues to teams with lower revenues, does not provide enough of a financial boost for the Pirates.
Nutting’s comments come as the Pirates prepare for another season with one of the lowest payrolls in the league. The Pirates have not had a payroll above $100 million since 2015, and the team is projected to have a payroll of around $70 million in 2021. This is well below the league average of $120 million.
Nutting’s comments highlight the challenge that the Pirates face in competing with teams that have significantly higher payrolls. While the new CBA has made some changes to increase competitive balance, it appears that the Pirates will still be at a disadvantage compared to teams with larger payrolls. As the Pirates prepare for another season of low payrolls, Nutting’s comments serve as a reminder of the difficulty the team faces in trying to compete in a league where money talks.