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Small-Market MLB Teams To Receive Only Half Of Revenue-Share This Year

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Major League Baseball’s revenue-sharing system between bigger-market and smaller-market teams will return in a modified form in 2021.

The Athletic reports that post-pandemic, smaller-market clubs will receive only half of the normal funds, with the other half coming in 2022. 

“The league office is using a line of credit to front the money, on the expectation that the big-market teams that would normally be on the hook will eventually repay the league office,” the article states.

It isn’t exactly clear what expectation means.

One exec from a large-market team believes MLB’s loan is just for the sake of optics, while another said that it will be repaid.

Exact numbers involved in revenue-sharing aren’t made public, and the total teams’ pay or receive can differ significantly from year to year. 

“Historically, revenue sharing has been a contentious issue between the clubs. With bargaining approaching during a time of strain on club finances, the potential for it to be a lightning-rod issue again looms,” the article states.

Although the Yankees were the sport’s top payor for a long time — contributing the most to the pool — the Dodgers have supplanted them in recent years as their revenues have grown, and the Yankees receive a large credit in the system because of their debt payments for their stadium.

But for 2019, the Athletic reports these teams have the highest revenue-sharing bills:

  • Dodgers, about $90 million.
  • Red Sox, slightly less than Los Angeles, paid $85 million in 2018.
  • Cubs, roughly $70 million.
  • Yankees, with over $60 million.

On the other end, the Marlins received around $70 million in 2019, and the Rays received somewhere in the $50 million to $60 million range each year from 2017 to 2019. 

This year’s revenue sharing is using 2017, 2018 and 2019 revenues as its inputs, the Athletic reports.

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter at @Megnturner_ and Instagram at @Megnturner.

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  1. I know it won’t happen because the player’s union is so strong, but the most successful league (the NFL) sells competitive balance through the use of a salary cap. Small market or large, every team in the NFL has a chance, and this is great for the league. It would be beneficial for MLB to get there, somehow.

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