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Sports Then and Now

How Much Money Is Enough In Major League Baseball?

Posted on May 15, 2010 by Jacob Rogers

The Phillies recently signed to Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.

The economy obviously isn’t bothering Major League Baseball teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, and Phillies. Everyone knows that the Yankees and Red Sox will go buy any free agent that can help their team. Some say that the Yankees and Red Sox have ‘bought’ their World Series Championships. And the Phillies have had two straight World Series appearances… So can a team ‘buy’ a championship?

The Phillies just recently gave their star first baseman a 5-year, $125 million deal. Thirty-year-old Ryan Howard has 226 HR, 657 RBI, and a batting average of .279 in his career. Howard has struck out more than 900 times in his career. He isn’t very solid defensively either, yet the Phillies still make him one of the highest paid players in baseball.

Top 5 Highest Paid Players in Baseball
5. Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees 20,625,000
4. Derek Jeter – New York Yankees 22,600,000
3. C.C. Sabathia – New York Yankees 24,285,000
2. Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies 25,000,000
1. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees 33,000,000

So if Howard is ‘worth’ $25 mill a year, and A-Rod is ‘worth’ $33 mill a year, what does this mean for future players? Albert Pujols is arguably the best player in baseball. So how much is he going to be ‘worth’ at the end of the year? Is he ‘worth’ $40-50 million? Wow! The Padres and Pirates whole team payroll is less than $40 million a year!

Player salaries are expanding every year. Ryan Howard gets $25 million every year, and A-Rod gets $33 million every year! To be able to keep the face of your franchise on the team, you’re going to have to give him the big bucks! So what does this mean for franchises that don’t have “the big bucks”? Are all the stars going to go to the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, and Phillies? Sure seems like it…

Are the Orioles and Royals always going to stink? They are if they can’t afford to pay their players.

This leads us back to one of the most controversial questions in Major League Baseball… Does the MLB need a salary cap?

I’m not sure if a salary cap is the best thing, or not… But did you notice that 4 out of 5 of the top paid players in the MLB are Yankees? The one that wasn’t the Yankees was from the Phillies; the team that has made it to two straight World Series. The little teams almost don’t even have a chance in the free agent market.

In my opinion, the MLB needs some kind of cap. The fact that the Yankees payroll is $206,333,389 is ridiculous. The Yankees are the only team with a payroll over $200,000,000, and only 8 teams have a payroll over 100,000,000. If the MLB had some kind of a cap, maybe the little teams would be more competitive.

The players could help out a little bit too…

Note to players: $10 million is a lot of money! Why do you need $25-35 mill?

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