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Alex Rodriguez says MLB players should accept salary cap as he continues bid to buy Mets

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Three-time MVP Award winner Alex Rodriguez, who is attempting to purchase the New York Mets franchise using some of the $440 million he’s estimated to have made playing baseball, already sounds like a team owner in one regard.¬†Rodriguez told reporters¬†Thursday that he thinks the Major League Baseball Players Association should pursue a compensation system that includes a salary cap as a means of improving MLB‘s “market share.”

Rodriguez, currently an analyst for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, posited that the union and the league need to set a common goal in order to improve the sport’s standing. “The only way it’s going to happen is if they get to the table and say the No. 1 goal, let’s get from $10 to $15 billion and then we’ll split the economics evenly,” he said during a conference call. “But that’s the type of conversation instead of fighting and fighting against each other because there’s too much competition out there right now.”

In Rodriguez’s mind, the union is in a different situation than it was in 1994, when it fought off the owners’ attempts to impose a salary cap. He believes that the players have less leverage nowadays due to the popularity of other sports leagues and entertainment options.

Predictably, union head Tony Clark pointed out that Rodriguez “benefited as much as anybody from the battles this union fought against owners’ repeated attempts to get a salary cap” and that his perspective “does not reflect the best interests of the players.”

While Rodriguez’s proposed tweaks to the compensation system are owner-friendly, he appears correct in his assertion that the union should address the system in the next round of Collective Bargaining Agreement talks.¬†

In recent winters, teams have frozen out non-elite free agents, reducing the league’s middle class. At the same time, teams have also taken to manipulating the service time (and earning potential) of their best young players. Essentially, it’s a system that works for only a select few — a group that once included Rodriguez.



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