Nothing too in-depth today, as I'm still recovering from my epic home PC battle. I did, however, want to take a closer look at the current CBA, with an eye to determining what we might see in the new one.
The following segments are lifted directly from the current collective bargaining agreement, and while we often hear about the salary structure (especially the low end of the spectrum), I think it's worthwhile to get the number straight from the source:
Section 10.2 Minimum Salary: The minimum annual base salary (excluding bonuses and other incentive compensation) for each year of a regular (i.e., not including Developmental or Non-Guaranteed Call-Up Players) Player’s contract (pro-rated for the period of the Player’s employment with MLS during such year) shall be as follows:
The minimum salary has gone up extremely slowly over the past five years, which can probably be attributed to an unclear financial outlook back in '04. The league is clearly on solid footing now, though the current economic mitigates that fact just a little. My hope is that the players make significant gains in this area, but more importantly, have a larger increase in the minimum guaranteed from year to year.
Next is the developmental salaries, the ones that get the most pub when a player on a developmental contract ends up contributing; we all point to the $12k/yr salary and go "huh?".
Section 10.3 Developmental Players and Senior Developmental Players:
(i) Developmental Players: The minimum monthly base salary (excluding bonuses
and other incentive compensation) of Developmental Players (pro-rated for the period of the Player’s employment with MLS for any part of a month) shall be as follows:
The above-stated minimum salaries for 2008 and 2009 are conditioned on
implementation of a reserve team system by the end of the 2007 MLS Season. If such a system is not in place by that time, then minimum monthly salaries for Developmental Players will be $1,150 in 2008 and $1,275 in 2009.
(ii) Senior Developmental Players: The minimum monthly salary (excluding bonuses
and other incentive compensation) of Senior Developmental Players (pro-rated for the period of the Player’s employment with MLS for any part of a month) shall be as follows:
I do think it's interesting to not that the players on developmental contracts this year are making an extra $100 a month because the league did away with the reserve division. I would expect development contract to continue to be a part of the new CBA, though I'm not sure what kind of increases we might see. Because the number of roster spots is constantly changing, the player may ask for some guarantees on this front.
Here's the crux of the whole thing: total compensation.
For each year covered by this Agreement, MLS agrees that the Player
Compensation shall be no less than the following:
(a) 2005: Player Compensation paid for 2004 plus $200,500.
(b) 2006: Player Compensation paid for 2004 plus $216,500.
(c) 2007: Player Compensation paid for 2004 plus $333,500.
(d) 2008: Player Compensation paid for 2004 plus $511,500.
(e) 2009: Player Compensation paid for 2004 plus $599,500.
Unfortunately, I don't have the baseline for this section, the total 2004 compensation. Still, it appears that the players did a solid job of ensuring they'd see significant gains at the back end of the contract. I would assume that the baseline for the new contract will be 2009's total number, which again, I do not have. I think the year to year increase could (and should) get into the million dollar range sooner rather than later, and this may be the one place (and the most important place) the players make the most gains.
Again, nothing too in-depth, just a peek at the current CBA as the negotiations for the new one ramp up. I doubt we'll hear much on this front for at least a month or two, and while I have no idea when the new agreement will be finalized, perhaps we'll hear something at the All-Star Game.