As discontent continues to boil in Major League Baseball’s labor situation, The Athletic reported on a shocking revelation – that the league hands out an actual championship belt every year to the team that did best to keep salaries lowest in arbitration.
The league acknowledged the existence the belt, calling it “an informal recognition of those club’s salary arbitration departments that did the best.”
The league has been consistently accused of collusion by agents, players and the MLB Players Association, but that claim that has been denied by commissioner Rob Manfred.
While the vast majority of arbitration salaries are agreed upon before club and player do battle in a conference room, 32 players have gone to arbitration over the past two winters, with 18 players winning their cases.
MLB SALARIES: Team-by-team
TRENDING: Baseball’s middle class disappears
Earlier this offseason, Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer said he faced “character assassination” from MLB’s labor relations department during his hearing.
Baseball’s labor concerns have grown louder over the past two winters as free agents have struggled to get the kind of contracts they might have in years past.
The current collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until 2021 and there have been calls for a strike at that point.