The MLBPA has filed a grievance against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, and Miami Marlins, claiming that the teams have not properly used their revenue sharing money.
”We have raised our concerns regarding both Miami and Pittsburgh with the Commissioner, as is the protocol under the collective bargaining agreement and its Revenue Sharing provisions,” the union said in a statement, as reported by USA Today. “We are waiting to have further dialogue and that will dictate our next steps.”
Funds that teams receive through revenue sharing must be funneled back into baseball operations. Three of the four teams, excluding the A’s, are considered “small market” and have actively sold assets this offseason despite receiving a larger portion of revenue-sharing dollars than most of the league. Oakland was ousted from the small market group in 2016 but is expected to enter the 2018 season with a payroll around $50 million and does not appear to have an obvious rebuilding plan in place.
MLB.com’s Pirates correspondent Adam Berry tweeted Frank Coonelly’s response to the allegations.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly calls the MLBPA's grievance "patently baseless" and a "meritless claim." His full statement... pic.twitter.com/IXkGj5vPuW— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) February 27, 2018
Apparently, that wasn’t the case. The Pirates will now have to prove that their revenue sharing funds have been allocated properly and that they are actively trying to build a winning baseball team.