Why negotiations under “free” agency are not, in fact, free.
… . owners are forced not only to hire free agents, but to bid up their salaries to some arbitrary level, or else they will be fined hundreds of millions of dollars for “collusion;”
Should owners attempt to contract with each other to limit or avoid a free agent bidding war, such contract will be invalidated and the owners, again, will be fined for collusion;
No matter how much the owners are forced to pay, local governments (backed by eventual federal bailouts) will subsidize the salaries by building (and incurring bond debt to pay for) improved stadiums capable of raising more money; and
Major League Baseball is treated legally as … .