Baseball Agreement. 9
Taken as a whole, our results implies that MLB players are not victims of monopsony exploitation as it is typically interpreted. By incorporating training expenses into the analysis, we see that teams with low graduation rates have such high overhead that they need to extract a higher surplus from their players in order to pay for their inefficient minor league system. Seen this way, players on such teams become victims not of the reserve clause, but of the professional agreement which impedes their ability to chose a team with an efficient training system. Furthermore, previous discussions dealing with the minor leagues have tended to center on the professional agreement which spells out major league baseball's financial commitment to the minor leagues. What we also showed in this chapter is that changes in the basic agreement in MLB would have spillover effects on the minor leagues. Reducing the number of years a team can indenture a major league player (as was discussed during the most recent baseball impasse) will indirectly affect the owner's return on general training, hence on the minors. Whether the present configuration of the minors is, in any sense, socially optimal can only be speculated upon. What is certain, however, is that changes in the economics of major league baseball will have consequences on the minor leagues.