Former Mets GM Steve Phillips provides insight on MLB front office finances
Former New York Mets general manager Steve Phillips joined Michael Kim on Marquee Sports Network’s “The Stadium” to discuss the state of baseball in 2020. Phillips broke down what the biggest components are when it comes to the negotiations between the owners and the players.
“The players have made it clear. If the owners want to hear the players, the players have said, ‘we want prorated salaries and nothing less.’ That seems really clear,” Phillips said. “From the owners side, they understand that…the more games they play, they’re going to keep losing money. The length of the season matters, because they must get the playoffs in and avoid the second wave. Those are the critical factors.”
With his background being in the front office for a total of 13 years, Phillips gave some important insight on what goes on from a financial standpoint inside a clubhouse.
“I made budgets. There are not two sets of books. Teams are not making money hand over fist,” Phillips said. “What Tom Ricketts said, what Bill DeWitt said, owners of the Cubs and the Cardinals respectively, are true. It’s accurate. We made budgets to break even. If we had a winning season, we made money. If we had a losing season, we traded guys to the deadline to try and cut our losses. That’s how an operation goes during the course of the season.
“Owners are cash poor right now with the loss of this season. They’re real. The players need to hear it. They need to find a way to get a deal done. Players need to get prorated salaries. There needs to be some limits on the number of games and some protection for the playoffs. There’s a deal to be made there for all parties to get what they need to get it done. They need to get back to the table.”