Penny-pinching Reds owner Bob Castellini among those not wanting to raise luxury tax

Bob Castellini, Cincinnati Reds CEO, speaks during an event.
Bob Castellini, Cincinnati Reds CEO, speaks during an event. / Albert Cesare / The Enquirer

On of the major sticking points in the ongoing negotiations between the Player's Association and the Major League Baseball owners is the luxury tax threshold. The Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) limits MLB clubs from excessive spending.

Last week, four owners voted against the "best and final" offer that the owners took to the players. Cincinnati Reds CEO Bob Castellini, according to The Athletic's Evan Drellich (subscription required) was among them. The other three were Detroit Tigers owner Chris Ilitch, Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick, and Los Angeles Angels owner Art Moreno.

Reds owner Bob Castellini continues to pinch pennies.

Well, we've all known it for quite some time, but this confirms it; Bob Castellini cares more about making money than he does about winning baseball games. While the transactions over the past two off-seasons were pretty good indicators, Castellini voting against the measure to increase the CBT leaves no doubt.

Originally added to the collective bargaining agreement in 1997, and reintroduced in 2003, the CBT is about as close to a salary-cap as we're ever going to see in Major League Baseball. The CBT is set at $210M, and only two clubs (Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres) surpassed it last season. Right now, the New York Mets are the only team expected to surpass the luxury tax threshold.

The MLBPA is seeking to get the CBT to increase, thus encouraging more teams to spend money. Since the CBT was instituted in 1997, only nine teams have every surpassed the luxury threshold, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the Cincinnati Reds are not among that group.

It sounds as though negotiations are gaining some steam with recent reports suggesting that the MLBPA is amenable to discussing the possibility of a 14-team playoff. It sounds as if the owners are willing to increase the CBT, the players might consider a larger playoff pool.

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Perhaps adding additional teams to the postseason field will be enough to get Bob Castellini off the fence and join the rest of his billionaire buddies. The longer this goes on, the worse all the owners look, especially Castellini.