The Major League Baseball Players Association has now filed a second grievance proceeding against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports. The union is in both cases challenging the team’s use of revenue-sharing funds.
As the MLBPA looks for ways to spur teams to spend, it has targeted the ever-stingy Bucs. An earlier grievance proceeding included the Pittsburgh organization as well as the A’s, Rays, and Marlins.
It seems the initial action covered spending over the 2017-18 offseason, with the new one relating to the winter of 2018-19. Biertempfel spoke with union chief Tony Clark, who didn’t weigh in on this particular matter but did state that his organization remains concerned with “revenue-sharing recipients who remain in that perpetual rebuilding mode.”
The Pirates, of course, claim not to be rebuilding. Newly hired GM Ben Cherington has spoken instead of a “build.” Parsing the terminology won’t change the substance. After a winter in which the team traded Starling Marte and didn’t add back much salary, the Bucs are presently slated to open the season with approximately $57MM in player salaries on their books. That marks the club’s lowest Opening Day payroll since 2011 and fourth-straight year-over-year decline.