Angels, Diamondbacks, Reds and Tigers owners opposed MLB luxury tax increase – The Athletic

NEW YORK — Four Major League Baseball owners — Bob Castellini of the Reds, Chris Ilitch of the Tigers, Ken Kendrick of the Diamondbacks and Arte Moreno of the Angels — objected to raising the competitive balance tax to the levels the league ultimately proposed most recently, three people briefed on an owner-wide call held this week told The Athletic. MLB moved forward with the proposal anyway, moving its offer on the first threshold to $220 million — up $10 million from where it was in 2021, and $6 million from its previous offer, but still far below the players’ ask of $238 million.

The luxury tax’s rate of growth has not kept pace with the overall revenues growth in the sport, making it one of the main concerns for the players.

The resistance of the four owners reveals at least some of the hard-liners who are likely influencing perhaps the single-most contentious issue in negotiations that have already cost the sport games. One person briefed on the call noted that White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, a hawk in the 1994-95 dispute, was not among those to stand in the way. Not all small-market owners — owners who theoretically would be most disadvantaged by an increase in the luxury tax, which curtails high-end spending — were opposed to the raise, either. Rather, at least some of the four owners took stances based on their personal feelings toward costs and baseball’s economic system, sources said.

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