How We Got Here
This past week saw an incredibly exciting one on the sports calendar. Not only did the landscape of the NBA change further on draft night, but it was one of the most thrilling times of the year for baseball fans, the MLB Trade Deadline. Some major names were tossed onto new teams, from Nelson Cruz and Joey Gallo to just about all of the Chicago Cubs. However, one move, in particular, drew the ire of baseball fans around the league.
During the day on Thursday, reports began to surface of Nationals ace Max Scherzer being dealt to the San Diego Padres, helping to bolster an already impressive roster and pitching staff. However, as the day’s proceedings commenced, some different rumors began to take hold. This was that Scherzer could well find himself on the Padres’ division rival, the defending champion Los Angeles Avengers, I mean Dodgers.
However, that is not all, dear readers. At 7:56 PM on the day in question, ESPN’s Jeff Passan sent out this tweet that not only confirmed that Scherzer but also Trea Turner were on to LA. The return that went back included two prospects as well as C Keibert Ruiz and P Josiah Gray, both of whom have seen MLB time.
The return, or lack thereof, for Washington is not the issue at bay with many here. Neither, still, is the fact that LA got the pair in the first place. It’s simply this:
Baseball Needs A Salary Cap, STAT
Now, I am going to go start this portion by saying that this is not going to happen, as the players’ union will never agree to this in a million years. However, it has to be addressed.
Consider the following for a second. Fifteen Super Bowls have been won by the following cities:
- Green Bay: 4
- Oakland: 3
- Baltimore/Indianapolis: 2
- Kansas City: 2
- Baltimore Ravens: 2
- Tampa Bay: 2
It’s not just the NFL, look at the NBA. San Antonio, Houston, and now Milwaukee all have multiple championships, with Cleveland and Portland both having banners raised as well. Ask yourselves, then, would these have been possible without some sort of proper balancing?
This is something baseball is lacking. As our own Coach Riley (@OLCoachRiley) pointed out recently, the Dodgers’ payroll now sits astronomically higher than the rest of baseball, $290.6M compared to $201.4M for the New York Yankees in second.
The other argument, that could be implemented with a cap, is a salary floor. I have seen this floated around as being at $100 million, and I agree. In the NBA, teams are required to spend at least 90% of the salary cap, and while baseball likely would not need to go that extreme, both are very much useful. For example, while the Dodgers sit atop one end of the spectrum, the Cleveland Indians sit at the bottom of the barrel, around $50 million.
Simply put, I believe the aforementioned proposals will help in keeping teams in the middle and bottom of the payroll pack, as well as smaller markets, more sustainably competitive. In turn, this should keep fans of said teams more invested in their team’s prospects and chances for the future. I know it’s a pipe dream, but dreams do come true every now and again, so why not dream?
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