Baseball’s salary situation allows the rich to get richer and the poor to break a profit with payroll a fourth of the size of the big boys. This system takes over a dozen teams out of playoff contention before the first pitch of the season is even thrown. Whenever one of these teams signs a player, I like to call it the, “News of the Irrelevant.” Included in this addition – the Jays flush money down the toilet on Kevin Gregg and the Baltimore Ravens owner says what I’ve been saying for years – the Yankees should be embarrassed they can’t win more than they do.
“It certainly doesn’t show up in the standings,” [Ravens’ owner Steve]Bisciotti told the Balitmore Sun. “If I’m a Yankees fan, I’m upset we’re not winning 130 games with the roster that they have and the money that they pay out. I think it’s a disgrace they only beat the average team by 10 games in the standings with three times the money. I’d fire that GM. You don’t need a GM. All you have to do is buy the last Cy Young Award winner every year.”
Here is a simple case study – let’s take a look at the Florida Marlins. With young stars up the middle like Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla, just think if they had they cash two years ago to sign Miguel Cabrera to a 10-year deal like the Yankees? That would raise the Marlins’ team salary to only about $50 million per year. Ok, now let’s go ahead and go out and buy Sabathia and Burnett last year for a total of about $35 mil per year to go with Josh Johnson, and another $15 mil per year this year on John Lackey. Not a bad starting rotation, and we still have about $100 million to work with. For that all we can do is put Jason Bay in left field and Matt Holliday in right and, only because I’m frugal, I’ll sign Mike Cameron to play center. So, now we only have $50 million let to address the bullpen – for that we could get Jose Valverde, Mike Gonzalez, Billy Wagner, Fernando Rodney, and take the last $20 mil to Vegas to bet it on black. I guess we could get Adrian Beltre for third…. nah.
Kevin Gregg signs with Jays
Welcome to the post-steroid era, where Major League GMs don’t seem to have a lot of faith in 30-year old players anymore. Where guys like Kevin Gregg with 85 career saves, 8.3 K/9, and an average of 72 appearances for the past three years are forced to go to irrelevant teams that “overpay” at the rate of one-year and $2.75 million while waiting for their career to fall of the table. With Halladay gone and the Orioles vastly improved, don’t be surprised to see Toronto at the bottom of the 3-team subdivision that is the “Non-Yankees-or-Red Sox AL East.”