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How a salary cap would change the game of baseball


caljr

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I was listening to something on ESPN the other day. I think it was the sports reporters or something like that. Anyway - they were saying that they feel like MLB will finally have a salary cap by 2011. I am assuming this is when the next collective bargaining is. They said that the Players Union has lost a lot of power in the last 5 years with all of the steroid stuff and that they would have to give in to a salary cap.

I was thinking about how this would affect the game. The first thing that I was thinking is that scouting and player development would become one of the most important aspects of the game. The days of the Yankees or the Red Sox being able to cover up mistakes with high priced free agents would be over. Also, I would think that you would have to be very careful with signing aging over-priced free agents who are an injury risk. How else do you think the game would change? Are there any negative aspects?

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I think if it happens (which I don't believe it will) there will be a lot more small-market teams on the verge of going under next downturn. Maybe they can have a cap as good as the NBA, where half the league is in the red. Or perhaps the cap will be as good as it is in the NFL, where smaller markets have agreed to go a season without a cap to get out from under it.

But yeah it would mean the Yanks and Sox of the world would spend about $100 million a year in scouting, and would have little reason not to sign a couple 100 16 year olds each year. Which will likely lead to small market teams complaining "no fair" and get an international draft in place, at which time large market teams will find a new place to spend their money to gain an advantage.

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I think if it happens (which I don't believe it will) there will be a lot more small-market teams on the verge of going under next downturn. Maybe they can have a cap as good as the NBA, where half the league is in the red. Or perhaps the cap will be as good as it is in the NFL, where smaller markets have agreed to go a season without a cap to get out from under it.

But yeah it would mean the Yanks and Sox of the world would spend about $100 million a year in scouting, and would have little reason not to sign a couple 100 16 year olds each year. Which will likely lead to small market teams complaining "no fair" and get an international draft in place, at which time large market teams will find a new place to spend their money to gain an advantage.

This is exactly right.

IMO a salary cap hurts us more than it helps.

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:deadhorse:

A salary cap without significant changes in the way MLB shares revenues will be a massive step backwards. You're simply making the large-revenue clubs more profitable.

Just say no to a cap without significant revenue sharing enhancements...oh, wait, significant revenue sharing enhancements make a cap unnecessary! Darn it!

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I think if it happens (which I don't believe it will) there will be a lot more small-market teams on the verge of going under next downturn. Maybe they can have a cap as good as the NBA, where half the league is in the red. Or perhaps the cap will be as good as it is in the NFL, where smaller markets have agreed to go a season without a cap to get out from under it.

But yeah it would mean the Yanks and Sox of the world would spend about $100 million a year in scouting, and would have little reason not to sign a couple 100 16 year olds each year. Which will likely lead to small market teams complaining "no fair" and get an international draft in place, at which time large market teams will find a new place to spend their money to gain an advantage.

Why couldn't they cap the money used to develope players as well?

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Why couldn't they cap the money used to develope players as well?

I am sure if they put a cap on salaries in place the next logical step would be a never-ending battle of rich teams finding new places to spend, and the league trying to limit them. So yes they could, but smart owners are going to continue to find ways to use their money to gain a competitive advantage.

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Having no salary cap would make the Yankees as dominant as they were in the 20's and 30's when they could just pump tons of money compared to the rest of the teams into scouting and signing amateur players.

They would sign every even remotely promising international FA, would overspend in the draft to get the best American talent into their system, and would still be maxing out to the cap every year on their MLB squad if they had any holes their home grown talent couldn't fill.

A simple, MLB-contracts-only cap wouldn't change anything as far as the competitive balance goes, and would probably make it worse. Instead of 2-3 teams each year gearing up and competing with the Yankees, the Yankees would simply outspend everyone else by orders of magnitude in signing amateur talent.

If we get a hard salary cap, they'd need to put a hard cap on how much each team can spend on signing draft picks and on signing young international talent as well. Without that, a cap would just make the problems with competitive balance even worse.

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I think if it happens (which I don't believe it will) there will be a lot more small-market teams on the verge of going under next downturn. Maybe they can have a cap as good as the NBA, where half the league is in the red. Or perhaps the cap will be as good as it is in the NFL, where smaller markets have agreed to go a season without a cap to get out from under it.

But yeah it would mean the Yanks and Sox of the world would spend about $100 million a year in scouting, and would have little reason not to sign a couple 100 16 year olds each year. Which will likely lead to small market teams complaining "no fair" and get an international draft in place, at which time large market teams will find a new place to spend their money to gain an advantage.

Sorry, didn't read through before I responded. You said essentially every point I made in my post. I agree with you completely here.

A salary cap alone hurts the game, it doesn't save it.

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It won't happen, but I think the more perfect solution (in addition to revenue sharing) is a hybrid of the existing model and the international soccer model.

- No draft

- Each team would be allowed to hold only 40-50 contracts (including minor leaguers)

- Teams could sell players for cash (in addition to trades)

- Minor league affiliations would work like loans. Most minor leaguers would sign with the minor league team, and not be "owned" by any major league team.

Under this system the Yanks could go out and sign every promising kid every year, but would only be able to do so if they were willing to dump an equal number of contracts. The end result would be somewhat similar as today... any system in the world is going to have the rich have first crack at the best... but would avoid hording.

Teams like the Yanks would face a tough decision between having legit ready-to-go backups under contract, or promising youngsters that are years away. In the end they would have some of both, opening opportunities for other teams.

It isn't perfect and honestly I haven't given the details much thought, but I would hope if MLB does want to work on things like this they would think well outside the box because the tried and true, for the most part, has been less than stellar.

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