Major League Baseball Needs a Salary Cap
A salary cap in pro sports is the amount of money every team in a league can spend on all of the players on its roster in one year. Major League Baseball does not have a salary cap. The reason for a salary cap is to keep teams competitive and not have just two or three outstanding teams that dominate everyone. Another reason leagues like the National Football League and the National Basketball Association have a salary cap is it is fair and gives teams an equal chance to get players which can make a large impact on their team by using their skill and experience. Salary caps also keep players from receiving contracts which give them an extremely large undeserved salary. This is why I am for a salary cap in Major League Baseball.
A salary cap gives all the teams an equal chance to sign players. It also keeps teams with a lot of money not able to acquire every all-star they want , or any player who is a free agent. Some Major League Baseball teams like the Anahiem Angels and the Atlanta Braves are owned by very wealthy people and companies. The Anaheim Angels are owned by Disney.(Worisnop, 128) So with no surprise the Angels can produce a team which can be very competitive, and have several all-star players. Just recently they exercised this advantage by signing Mo Vaughn for ninety million dollars over seven years.(Antonen, 2) There were at least four other teams that wanted to sign this all-star, but the Angels easily had the money, and outbid everyone who wanted to sign him. If there was a salary cap in Major League Baseball then the Angels would have thought twice about giving that much money to one player. With the its roster for one year. So giving one player 12.8 million dollars for one year does not really make sense if the salary cap is fifty million dollars a year. That would leave only 37.2 million dollars for the twenty-four other players, which equals each player getting on average a little less than one and a half million dollars a year.
Another good example of the richest team winning did not occur to long ago. Just back in 1997 the Florida Marlins spent over sixty million dollars for their roster.(Weiner, 1) They had all-stars like Kevin Brown, Gary Shefeild, and Bobby Bonnila on their team. The Marlins owner actually lost money that year, but his team still won the World Series. This just proves that without a salary cap any team can win the World Series as long as the owner is willing to put up money to get players and even risk losing money.
The salary cap also keeps teams more competitive and closer to equal talent than without a salary cap. If each team can spend the same amount of money for all the players on their roster, then there is a chance for all the teams to have an equal amount of talent. Since all the Major League teams will have the same purchasing power it does not mean that every team is going to spend the maximum amount of money, because they might not have that much money to spend. There is always going to be teams that are not as good as other teams it is all about making good decisions by general managers, not over paying average players, and getting good players for good prices.
An example of the salary cap not keeping teams competitive is the New York Yankees of 1998. The Yankees basically bought their World Series Championship like the Marlins of 1997, but they proved what big difference it makes when you have the money to have five all-stars on your team. The New York Yankees won over seventy percent of their games which is one hundred and fourteen games and lost only forty-eight games.(Weiner, 1) That is the best record ever in modern baseball. Just to give you an example of how much better the Yankees did than every team in the American League, the Boston Red Sox finished twenty-two games behind the Yankees when the season was over. The reason this is such a big deal is because the Red Sox had the second best record in the American League with ninety-two wins and seventy losses.(Antonen, 2) This just goes to prove how unfair it is to all the other teams. The most unfair thing about this is now the Yankees are making even more money by winning the World Series (when they swept the Padres in four games) off of endorsements and World Series money. The Yankees can maintain the team they have and maybe even make it better since every player wants to play for the them. Everyone wants to play for them because they are big contenders and favorites to win the World Series again next year. One example of how a all-star player is willing to sacrifice money to play for the Yankees is center fielder Bernie Williams. Williams was offered ninety million dollars over seven years by the Boston Red Sox, but he rejected this offer.(Weiner, 1) Instead he resigned with the Yankees for two and a half million dollars less of what the Red Sox offered him.
The salary cap would also be good for Major League Baseball because it would keep the salaries of the baseball players down.(Fiszel, 104) The players would work harder to try and get more money, and in return the fans would see more competitive baseball games. Baseball players salaries are astronomical, and if there is a salary cap in baseball it would keep players salaries down. There would not be as many players making eight figures annually. If baseball players made less money ticket prices to games would cost less, since owners do not have to increase ticket prices to produce money to get those high priced players. An example of a Major League Baseball team raising ticket prices to get a certain player is the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are going to increase their ticket prices this year by fifteen percent.(Antonen, 2) That is a dollar fifty increase on the cheapest seats at Fenway Park. The reason the Boston Red Sox are raising ticket prices is because they are trying to get a power hitter to replace Mo Vaughn who not surprisingly left for more money.
In conclusion a salary cap for Major League Baseball is the right choice. It benefits everyone. The fans get more competitiveness between players and teams, cheaper ticket prices, and the satisfaction of knowing the players are playing for the love of the sport and not just for money. The owners benefit by making more money, being able to keep ticket and concession prices down, and having the ability to improve their stadiums. The players also benefit from the salary cap by playing more for fun and not just for money, being more competitive, and by knowing they earned their money. In all everyone would be more happier and who knows maybe all that extra money the owners will be making will go to charity.
Antonen, Mel. Red Sox Lose Mo, What Now? USA Today 27 November 1998, natl. Ed: C2
Fizel, John. Baseball Economics. Connecticut: Praeger, 1996.
Weiner, Richard. Williams Resigns with the Yankees for Less. USA Today 25 November 1998, natl. Ed: C1
Worisnop, Richard L. The Business of Sports. CQ Researcher Vol. 5, No. 6 (1995): 123-130.