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Major League Baseball's new posting system rules were supposed to even the playing field for access to Japanese baseball talent. By placing a limitation on the maximum price for access to negotiate with these stars and their Japanese clubs, the Houston's and Miami's of the world could have equal footing with baseball's deep-pocket organizations.

Equal access, however, does little to buffer the real clout of contract negotiations -- who can afford the biggest contract? The New York Yankees proved that to still be true as they locked down Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka with a seven-year $155 million deal (which will essentially pay him half of what the entire Houston Astros starting nine will make in 2014).

Money spent, however, doesn't always guarantee wins and a salary cap wouldn't promise that clubs like the Astros could even afford to hit the maximum amount each year -- it would only limit the star power of the organizations that can. The MLB proved they're willing to adopt change by expanding replay for this year. Perhaps it's time for baseball to complete the modern progression by joining their basketball and football brethren with a salary cap structure to promote league balance.

Sound Off: Is it time for the MLB to adopt a salary cap like other major American professional sports?

Sports Headlines for January 23, 2014

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Member Comments
# 1 HozAndMoose @ 01/23/14 12:42 PM
There absolutely needs to be a salary cap. And there needs to be a set amount you have to spend. There should be no reason all teams cant afford 100 million minimum.
 
# 2 DubTrey1 @ 01/23/14 01:12 PM
Goodell supporting medical weed? Ha. Looks like head injury claims are about to go up 100% LOL.
 
# 3 asu666 @ 01/23/14 01:31 PM
Yes, I believe it's best for the league for evey team to have a real chance to win. The best thing about the NFL is not knowing who's going to win it all.
 
# 4 DrJones @ 01/23/14 02:17 PM
I don't recall hearing screams for a salary cap when the M's signed Cano to 10/240. Must've been off OS that day.
 
# 5 jmik58 @ 01/23/14 02:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJones
I don't recall hearing screams for a salary cap when the M's signed Cano to 10/240. Must've been off OS that day.
I think that part of the argument for a salary cap has to do with the fact that a team like Seattle can't afford to do what the Yankees can do. Seattle's total salary for the team is around $80 million. The Yankees are closer to $250 million. Seattle can add Cano at an average of $24 million a year over 10 years which takes up approximately 30% of their payroll. For the Yankees that makes up less than 10% of their payroll. So a team like Seattle can add Cano but that leaves little room for other star players. The Yankees, on the other hand, can afford a roster full of Cano-like contracts -- most organizations can't.
 
# 6 DrJones @ 01/23/14 02:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmik58
I think that part of the argument for a salary cap has to do with the fact that a team like Seattle can't afford to do what the Yankees can do. Seattle's total salary for the team is around $80 million. The Yankees are closer to $250 million. Seattle can add Cano at an average of $24 million a year over 10 years which takes up approximately 30% of their payroll. For the Yankees that makes up less than 10% of their payroll. So a team like Seattle can add Cano but that leaves little room for other star players. The Yankees, on the other hand, can afford a roster full of Cano-like contracts -- most organizations can't.
Seattle can't afford it? Last I checked, Nintendo was worth $85 billion US.
 
# 7 KMRblue1027 @ 01/23/14 03:01 PM
Salary caps are quite honestly bull****. All they do is stymie player salaries in order to line the owners pockets with even more cash in the name of "fairness". You think salaries are so high, but proportionally in terms of revenue they continue to decline. Most teams not named the Astros or Rays could run much higher payrolls if they really wanted too, it's just not in their immediate plans.

Thing about it, football has a hard cap which keeps the players salaries well below that of their counterparts in baseball despite bringing in exponentially more income yearly while having much higher long term health impacts. How the hell is that even remotely fair?
 
# 8 DrJones @ 01/23/14 03:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KMRblue1027
Salary caps are quite honestly bull****. All they do is stymie player salaries in order to line the owners pockets with even more cash in the name of "fairness". You think salaries are so high, but proportionally in terms of revenue they continue to decline. Most teams not named the Astros or Rays could run much higher payrolls if they really wanted too, it's just not in their immediate plans.
Well, I'd put the A's in that category as well.

I'd probably be calling for a cap as well if teams like the Yankees were stealing away franchise players from small-market teams and winning Series after Series as a result, but I'm not really seeing it. Most teams lock up their stars at a young age, and in an era where fewer players are taking PEDs, it's unwise to throw a ton of money around at players in their 30s.
 
# 9 pietasterp @ 01/23/14 03:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KMRblue1027
Salary caps are quite honestly bull****. All they do is stymie player salaries in order to line the owners pockets with even more cash in the name of "fairness". You think salaries are so high, but proportionally in terms of revenue they continue to decline. Most teams not named the Astros or Rays could run much higher payrolls if they really wanted too, it's just not in their immediate plans.

Thing about it, football has a hard cap which keeps the players salaries well below that of their counterparts in baseball despite bringing in exponentially more income yearly while having much higher long term health impacts. How the hell is that even remotely fair?
Some would argue that the existence of a hard cap in the NFL is part and parcel of their success as a league. It's not about "fair" or not...it's about the league trying to get as many franchises involved in the post-season (or post-season hunt) as possible, to elevate the value of all franchises. There's no universally agreed-upon magic percentage of league revenue that should or shouldn't go to player salaries; that's a made-up construct that has no relationship to the business of sport. I mean, if Ronnie Brown or Wes Welker or whoever feel they are underpaid, and they can make more money doing whatever is their next-best option to playing football, they are free to do that instead of play football for a living. The fact of the matter is that everyone in the league can make more money playing football than they could doing anything else. I'm not arguing about whether their take is fair or not because everyone's line is different there, I'm just saying the NFL makes their market how they make their market, and the success of the league is testament to how well they do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJones
Well, I'd put the A's in that category as well.

I'd probably be calling for a cap as well if teams like the Yankees were stealing away franchise players from small-market teams and winning Series after Series as a result, but I'm not really seeing it. Most teams lock up their stars at a young age, and in an era where fewer players are taking PEDs, it's unwise to throw a ton of money around at players in their 30s.
The Yankees have done that (steal young talent from other teams) throughout the better part of the last 2 decades, and they did win multiple series over that time frame as a result. And baseball does have a pretty direct correlation between team payroll and post-season participation (with the A's being one of a handful of notable exceptions). You can argue whether that is good or bad, I think I'm sort of neutral on the issue.

I do agree no one forces a team like Seattle to back up the Brink's truck to sign Robby Cano, but it's a bit different than the Yanks signing A-Rod or Clemens or Tanaka or whoever. The Yankees can afford to be wrong about guys they sign to huge contracts, whereas smaller market teams have a lesser margin for error. If salaries are squeezed into a tighter box, those types of astronomical numbers never get reached because teams simply can't afford to fill out the rest of their rosters if they have so much invested in one guy, consequently it doesn't cost that much to sign a single player. But these are all old arguments you've all heard before and likely won't change anyone's mind because there are myriad reasonable counter-arguments to everything I said.

I will say this for the lack of a salary cap: it's the truest expression of free market economics in sport. Publilius Syrus' pithy words of wisdom never rang truer than in the baseball free agency market...(maybe with the exception of Carl Pavano).
 
# 10 jmik58 @ 01/23/14 04:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJones
Seattle can't afford it? Last I checked, Nintendo was worth $85 billion US.
You have a solid point that demonstrates a unique perspective that a non-capped sport like baseball provides (and in my opinion, shouldn't be impacting the personnel balance).

I think there are multiple ways to look at this, but the competitive balance that a salary cap creates is merely a competitive issue within the league. If the owners of any club decide to scale back/up expenses for salary then they are making a business decision (Nintendo, to use your example). Speaking from a purely "sports" perspective, business decisions by the owner are more heavily impacted in a non-capped sport like the MLB versus the NFL or NBA.

If Jerry Jones (NFL) wanted to double his expenses on the Cowboys, it can have zero impact or advantage over another team. The same goes for NBA owners. Their business decisions (financially) can't exceed the maximum impact of all other teams.

Baseball is the only professional sport among the "Big 3" where money CAN get you a better team than someone else. Teams in the NFL/NBA could choose to under-spend the cap, but that would be ludicrous and they don't. However, NFL and NBA organizations can not gain an advantage by choosing to spend more money than other organizations. In the NFL/NBA it is more important that you have the best staff to select the right players and to develop them -- much more so than in the MLB.

Essentially, the fact that the business decisions of an owner even CAN impact the quality of a roster shows that a non-capped sport is more an exercise in business practices than it is a demonstration of skilled sports organization development.
 
# 11 rudeworld @ 01/23/14 04:17 PM
I say NO! like many have already stated, this wasn't a topic when Seattle threw the bank at Cano'. It's only a "problem" when the spenders like the Yanks, both LA teams or even the Redsox spend money on players to actually win. All these owners are multi-billionaires and get into the game knowing that baseball doesn't have a salary cap, which means they'll have to spend some money in order to compete. Some owners may over spend in order to compete and then there are the those teams that don't even show up to the "winter meeting", and it shows in the end of the season standings.
The Pirates who fell victim to not wanting to spend where in last place for a decade, but they had enough to build that nice stadium..... If your a fan of a team, 1.go to the games 2.spend a concessions 3.put money into owners pockets 4.scream at owner to spend big!!!....
 
# 12 KMRblue1027 @ 01/23/14 04:26 PM
The correlation between payroll and winning percentage has been dropping for the past few years anyway. It stabilized around the .5 mark for awhile in the 2000s but in the New Tens it's been dropping even further with a few outliers like the Yankees. Part of it is probably drug testing and paranoia, teams have become slowly more and more afraid of signing 30+ year old players to big contracts that peaked years ago. Fangraphs has been doing some research that suggests players peak at 24-25 and begin a fairly linear decline until about 34 and drop off a cliff. This suggests that it's becoming actually impossible to massively improve your team through cash alone. Honestly if you wanted salaries to make more sense the MLB minimum should go way up as players often peak while making 600k now.
 
# 13 braves_94 @ 01/23/14 04:41 PM
(1) THE HOUSTON ASTROS ARE NOT A SMALL MARKET TEAM!!! (Sorry to troll.) But why isn't that obvious? They live in the biggest market without an immediate competitor (NY, LA, and CHI). (2) How else do you think their new owner pulled off the most profitable season by a franchise? This isn't Miami, Oakland, Tampa, or Cleveland we're talking here. They added The Rocket and Pettite no problem when they wanted to. On top of paying for Bagwell, Biggio, and the LF they pulled off the street for a resonable 1 year salary of $10M+.

I would love a salary cap. It would give the Braves a greater chance at keeping their talent. But is it fair? Does it fall in lines with the morals of the country? It is America's game? Why should players take a hit just because Jeffrey (Explicit) Loriza, whatever, decides to field a team once every decade? Businesses don't cap Apple cause they make to much. Look at the NBA. It's as healthy as ever despite only 5 teams being championship calibur. If you want to judge success by TV rating, by all means don't institute a cap. Red Sox and Yankee games, when they're good, makes for some of the best Sunday night games. But if you care about the organic origins of the sports. The die hard, home grown fan, who attends his hometown team games, a salary cap is deeply needed.
 
# 14 ManiacMatt1782 @ 01/23/14 06:20 PM
I am against the salary cap in baseball. Most owners cannot cry poor. Teams like the Yankees and Dodgers invest back into their team. Their are owners of medicre teams out there richer than the Steinbrenners. The Steinbrenners just choose to reinvest into their business, where other owners look only at the bottomline and to maximize profits. Don't blame the owners who are willing to reinvest back into their clubs, Blame the cheapskates who aren't.
 
# 15 ManiacMatt1782 @ 01/23/14 06:22 PM
And by the way I can't stand the Yankees, but I do respect their ownership for having a passion and willingness to actually invest to win.
 
# 16 Perfect Zero @ 01/23/14 06:44 PM
Money wins Championships? I don't own a 2002 Texas Rangers World Champion pennant. I guess they sold out...

I wouldn't mind a price floor, but if owners want to go out of their way to spend money, it should be their right.
 
# 17 DieHardYankee26 @ 01/23/14 06:52 PM
I think it's crazy. It's like DrJones said, the teams have the money, their owners just don't want to spend it. Yankees fans shouldn't be penalized for having owners who are willing to put their entire worth behind the team if need be. I think a floor makes much more sense. Owners should be able to spend as much money as they want to put a good team on the field, and they should also be held to a certain standard payroll minimum so they can't just rake in the profits.
 
# 18 BatsareBugs @ 01/23/14 08:03 PM
Let them spend as much as they want. It makes those teams look bad for missing the playoffs or not winning the World Series.

Implementing a salary cap will not prevent the Jeff Moorad's of the world from screwing over other teams by holding the fan base accountable for how high said teams' payroll will be.
 
# 19 DrJones @ 01/23/14 08:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pietasterp
The Yankees have done that (steal young talent from other teams) throughout the better part of the last 2 decades, and they did win multiple series over that time frame as a result.
Who are you referring to here? Tino and Knoblauch? I hate the Yankees as much as anyone else, but their 1996-2000 titles weren't "bought" IMO. Most of the Yankees FA acquisitions have been older players whose gigantic contracts have bitten the Yanks in the ***.
 
# 20 Sportsforever @ 01/23/14 09:21 PM
Baseball does not need a salary cap, it needs a salary floor. Now, whether that is a hard number or a certain % of revenue I don't know, but teams should be required to spend money ON THEIR TEAM.

It is criminal IMO that teams like the Pirates, Marlins, Rays, etc make money and pocket it (especially revenue sharing money). Don't be mad at the Yankees for spending their money…be mad at your team for not spending theirs.
 

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