Skip to content

MLB now acknowledges that owners are discussing changes to the pension plan

Mar 21, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT

Rob Manfred

The other day, when Adam Rubin reported that MLB owners were considering eliminating the pension plan offered to non-uniformed employees like scouts, administrative staff and the like, MLB Vice President Rob Manfred said that there had been “no discussions” about eliminating the pension plans.

Rubin has updated his report:

MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred acknowledged that candid discussions on the topic have gone on for “several years,” but he disputed that pensions will go away entirely.

“No one is suggesting that pension plans are going to be eliminated,” he said. “What the conversation has been about is allowing individual clubs more flexibility as to what exactly their pension plan is going to look like. Nobody is suggesting there is going to be no plan … for anybody. The issue is in the current arrangement we essentially mandate a particular type of defined benefit pension plan. The question is whether the individual team should have more flexibility to design a program that is effective to them.”

Well, that is a discussion, actually. And, actually, teams were already able to opt out of the plan and institute their own as long as it conformed in certain respects to the existing plan.  It’s also worth noting that every company in the history of commerce who cut benefits to employees did so under the guise of “flexibility.” It’s the number on H.R. buzzword for “you guys are now going to be paying more for health insurance” or “you guys are now going to be paying for your own retirement” and the like.

There is a suggestion in the article that MLB may consider keeping things status quo for existing employees and simply not offer pensions to new hires. That would be a way, way better solution than the one Rubin first reported the other day. At least that gives potential hires notice as to what they’re getting into and does not change things for people in midstream.

But a larger lesson here: when Rob Manfred says that something is not so, wait a couple of days and that position may … evolve.

Latest Posts
  1. Ian Kennedy on track to return from the disabled list Saturday

    Apr 20, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres Getty Images

    Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy landed on the disabled list after exiting his season debut on April 9 with a mild left hamstring strain, but he’s on track to return Saturday against the Dodgers.

  2. Jonathan Lucroy headed to disabled list with broken toe

    Apr 20, 2015, 10:35 PM EDT

    jonathan lucroy getty Getty Images

    Things are quickly going from bad to worse for the Brewers.

  3. Reds manager Bryan Price goes on profanity-laden tirade against media

    Apr 20, 2015, 10:06 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

    This from Reds manager Bryan Price is not a good look at all.

  4. Cubs-Pirates delayed for 23 minutes after fan hit by foul ball behind home plate

    Apr 20, 2015, 9:49 PM EDT

    PNC Park

    Tonight’s Cubs-Pirates game was delayed for 23 minutes after a woman was hit in the back of the head by a foul ball in the top of the second inning.

  5. Ben Zobrist to rest for a couple of days after getting cortisone shot in knee

    Apr 20, 2015, 8:55 PM EDT

    Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Getty Images

    Ben Zobrist left Sunday’s game due to left knee soreness and he’s now slated to miss at least another couple of days after receiving a cortisone shot.

  6. Justin Verlander undergoes MRI which confirms triceps strain

    Apr 20, 2015, 7:29 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander AP

    Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander had to cut a simulated game short last Wednesday and he’s currently in shutdown mode due to continued soreness in his throwing arm.

  7. Mets announce injury timetables for Travis d’Arnaud and Jerry Blevins

    Apr 20, 2015, 6:21 PM EDT

    mets logo

    The Mets won their eighth straight game Sunday against the Marlins to improve to 10-3 on the year, but it came as a cost, as catcher Travis d’Arnaud and left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins were forced to leave the game due to injuries. Today we learned a little bit more about how long they’ll be sidelined.

  8. Dodgertown lives

    Apr 20, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT

    Dodgertown

    It’s been a facility in flux since the Dodgers left in 2008, but it has a new life under new management.

  9. Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett hurt himself showering

    Apr 20, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Shower

    It was bad enough that he needed stitches.

  10. Jorge De La Rosa set to rejoin the Rockies’ rotation tonight

    Apr 20, 2015, 2:22 PM EDT

    jorge de la rosa getty Getty Images

    Last season he threw 184 innings with a 4.11 ERA and 139/67 K/BB ratio.

  11. Braves pitcher Andrew McKirahan releases as statement regarding his PED suspension

    Apr 20, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    Andrew McKirahan Getty Images

    And he actually owns up to taking stuff. None of that “I have no idea how that got in my system” rebop from him.

  12. I discussed the “minor league city downgrades” list on NPR over the weekend

    Apr 20, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    El Paso

    People from El Paso are still mad about that. Oh well.

  13. Hanley Ramirez leaves Red Sox game “due to illness”

    Apr 20, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Red Sox Getty Images

    Allen Craig replaced him in left field against the Orioles.

  14. After two Tommy John surgeries Brandon Beachy is hoping to join the Dodgers in June

    Apr 20, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    Brandon Beachy AP AP

    Beachy is 28 years old with a 3.23 ERA and 275 strikeouts in 268 career innings.

  15. You don’t have to trust Alex Rodriguez. Nothing requires you to do that at all.

    Apr 20, 2015, 11:02 AM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez AP

    The greatest trick baseball columnists ever pulled was convincing the world that the way they frame a topic is the only way to approach the topic.

  16. Garrett Richards returned from knee surgery throwing gas

    Apr 20, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    garrett richards getty Getty Images

    His health is a huge key to the Angels’ success this season.

  17. Joe Buck has a truly awful suggestion about how to improve MLB broadcasts

    Apr 20, 2015, 9:52 AM EDT

    Joe Buck

    If you hate in-game interviews of managers, just wait for in-game interviews of players.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. K. Bryant (4761)
  2. D. Span (4376)
  3. D. Salazar (4208)
  4. Y. Puig (4109)
  5. D. Mesoraco (3968)
  1. A. Rodriguez (3743)
  2. J. Verlander (3715)
  3. C. Gomez (3714)
  4. J. Reyes (3607)
  5. J. Hamilton (3562)