“There are rich teams and there are poor teams. Then there’s 50 feet of crap, and then there’s us,” Oakland A’s general manager Billy Bean said.
Major League Baseball is one of, if not, the biggest sports league in America, but it is also the most flawed. The New York Mets currently have the highest payroll in baseball at $336 million. The lowest team payroll is the Oakland Athletics at $40 million. Clearly, the MLB does not have a salary cap, which is incredibly unfair. It is ruining the game.
Without a cap, large-market teams with deep pockets outprice smaller markets when acquiring players, ultimately creating an unbalanced, skewed league.
According to an article in The New York Times, “teams have announced that their economic plight is so serious that they face the possibility of going out of business.” A salary cap could help balance out the difference between big-market and small-market teams. Without a cap, large-market teams with deep pockets outprice smaller markets when acquiring players, ultimately creating an unbalanced, skewed league.
Creating a salary cap would produce financial stability for players while promoting movement to smaller markets, generating more fan interest in struggling economic situations.
Switching leagues, the National Basketball Association’s salary cap is set at $123 million for the 2022-2023 season. The Golden State Warriors have a total team salary of $190 million, and are set to rise to $211 million next season.
The Warriors are currently paying $280 million into the luxury tax, which combined with the overall team salary lands them at about $401 million allocated to the team.
The Spurs are $22 million under the set salary cap this year. So for those matchups you have a team with a total cap of $401 million against a team constructed of $101 million.
Incredibly flawed right?
The league intends the luxury tax to discourage teams from spending too much money on player salaries and to promote competitive balance in the league. However, the current system has unintended consequences that have created additional problems, such as discouraging teams from investing in their rosters and creating a disincentive for small-market teams to compete.
The current system is ruining the sports we love. Instead of implementing the pitch clock, actually make changes that need to be done.
Yes, there is an argument that larger markets should not be punished for having more economic wealth and fan interest. It can also be said there should be no punishment for retaining talent through the luxury tax.
Those can be compelling arguments, but if there is no salary cap implemented in baseball or if the luxury tax is not fixed, it could be the death of competitive sports leagues.