|Friday, September 6
Updated: September 9, 3:01 PM ET
Brewers, Pirates gain most under revenue-sharing plan
By Jayson Stark
The Yankees, Mariners, Red Sox and Mets will feel the biggest sting of baseball's new labor deal. But it won't be the Devil Rays, Marlins or Expos that will be helped the most.
According to revenue-sharing estimates obtained from baseball sources, the two teams that could get the biggest bump in their baseball welfare checks under the new labor agreement are the Brewers and Pirates.
Those two teams won't be getting the biggest checks, based 2001 revenue figures. But they will go from approximately $2.3 million in aid under the current system to about $8.2 million under the new deal -- a jump of almost $6 million (and 389 percent).
These figures-- estimates are based on 2001 revenues, not projected 2002 or 2003 revenues, so they may not reflect the actual amounts teams pay or receive -- don't include any additional luxury-tax payments on payroll, but show that the Yankees' revenue-sharing hit could swell from about $29 million under the current system to about $45 million under the new deal. (They would also have to pay close to $10 million in additional luxury tax, based on their current payroll.)
The teams receiving the most dollars in revenue-sharing payouts would be the Expos (up more than $2 million to $31.3 million) and Twins (up about $4 million to $22.6 million). But those two clubs were already receiving the most under the old system.
Four other teams which still will be paying out in revenue sharing, will be paying less under this system. Those teams are the Giants, Diamondbacks, Astros and White Sox. It's a clear indication of how middle-market teams are helped significantly by this deal.
In fact, the difference in next year's revenue-sharing bottom line for the Devil Rays and Astros under the new deal is almost identical. (Both have another million and a half dollars or so to play with.) But it was always the intent of MLB's negotiating team to bring the middle-market teams closer to the large-market teams in this deal. And these figures show the degree to which they succeeded.
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.