Sunday, December 22, 2013

Day 266: Major League Baseball Has a Bit of a Spending Problem.

Major League Baseball needs a salary cap. It's just that simple. Until some restrictions are put on the amount of obscene money that a team can spend, the contracts are going to continue to get more and more ridiculous. Sure, there's that luxury tax but who actually takes that seriously?

Essentially the purpose of the tax is to prevent teams in the bigger markets with high incomes from signing all the talented players and buying a championship. It destroys the competitiveness necessary for the sport to remain attractive to fans. The money obtained from the tax in Major League Baseball is used by the league for other stuff.

Big market teams like the Yankees certainly don't take it seriously. In fact, the New York Yankees have paid the most in penalties since the tax began in 2003. They were just hit with a bill for $28 million to bring their overall total paid to just over $250 million. A lot of good those big payrolls have done them, winning only won the World Series once (2009) since the luxury tax's inception.

The Red Sox have been hit with the tax in the past, but 2013 was the second consecutive season they've come in under the salary threshold. The LA Dodgers weren't that lucky—they were just tagged for $11.5 million.

Not many teams seem to be shying away from those big money, long-term contracts either. With all the free agent activity this winter, teams are quickly approaching the $2 billion mark in offseason spending. Sick, I tell you. Have these teams not learned anything from shitty contracts and frivolous spending? More often than not, these repulsive multi-year, big money deals don't pay off.

What about the Albert Pujols deal? The Los Angeles Angels signed the then 32-year-old to a 10-year, $240 million deal after the 2011 season. And have they been rewarded with kick ass play? No... in fact, just the opposite. Pujols has had the two worst seasons of his career in LA. In an injury-shortened 2013, he managed just 17 home runs. A far cry from his time with the Cardinals where he never hit fewer than 32. And he's not getting any younger...

I can't even discuss you with the contract 'roid-boy Alex Rodriguez penned with the Yankees. Even though it was signed way back in 2008, no team has even come close to that sort of revulsion. You know it's bad when the team that signed him even wants him gone. And let's not forget Josh Hamilton and Barry Zito and Ryan Howard... or the horrible signing of Carl Crawford by the Red Sox.

I'm always thankful that Boston has taken on a new way of thinking when it comes to not signing guys for more than three years or so. It seems to be working pretty well for them so far...

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