-- BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Major League Baseball Players Association has filed a grievance against the Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays, accusing the teams of failing to appropriately spend revenue-sharing money.
The union says the grievance was filed Friday. Major League Baseball says the complaint has "no merit." The A's, Marlins and Rays did not immediately comment.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly released a statement saying that the grievance against his team "is patently baseless."
"Our revenue sharing receipts are now just a fraction of what we spend on Major League payroll," Coonelly said in the statement. "We also have made significant investments in scouting, signing amateur players, our player development system and our baseball facilities.
"It is regrettable and that the MLBPA would react to a free agent market that is apparently not to its liking by filing a frivolous grievance against a Club that has continued to invest heavily in all areas of its Baseball Operations notwithstanding steadily diminishing revenue sharing receipts."
If the case is not settled, it would proceed to a hearing before an independent arbitrator.
Baseball's labor agreement says each club must use its revenue-sharing money "in an effort to improve its performance on the field."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.