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Now that right-hander Taijuan Walker just inked a two-year, $20 million deal with the New York Mets, let’s check out how much money each division spent on free agents this offseason. If you’re a fan of any team in the NL central, you might want to duck for cover.
According to The Athletics’ Jason Stark, the NL East has now eclipsed the $400 million mark, while the NL Central spent south of $70 million. For context, the Los Angeles Dodgers spent almost twice as much money on Trevor Bauer as the entire NL Central division spent on the entire field. Are you kidding me?
Baseball wise, this is an embarrassment, and I’m personally not a fan of salary caps either. What this spending gap shows us is that commissioner Rob Manfred needs to implement a “salary floor.”
Why not a cap?
Regardless of what fans of small market teams tell you, major market organizations like the Yankees and Dodgers having the best players is objectively good for the sport. While the league would love “fairness” and “revenue” to go hand in hand—they don’t. An ideal World Series, ratings wise, is for the Dodgers and Yankees to play every year.
That’s why creating a salary cap that makes that super World Series less likely makes no sense for baseball.
What’s annoying is that a business model exists to spend nothing, suck for awhile, and then draft well. This shouldn’t be a way of life for baseball owners and executives. Manfred needs to deal with the tanking ASAP, or he risks owners punting on spending altogether. We have to keep in mind that Manfred is essentially a lawyer for baseball owners, so there’s no telling whether he will punt on the best possible business model for owners or opt to help this game.