Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baseball salaries are out of control

By Jeff

Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals have broken off negotiations on a contract extension. Reports out there say that Pujols was looking for a 10-year deal worth $300 million, which would make him the highest paid baseball player in history.

For those of you who suck at math (Like, really suck), that's $30 million per season. If he were to average 40 home runs and 125 RBIs during the length of the contract, he would make $750,000 per home run or $240,000 per RBI. That's right, he could buy a really nice house for every RBI he gets.
If he gets what he wants, Pujols would
make more than $50,000 per at-bat.

This is why baseball is ridiculous. Really, all the professional sports are ridiculous when you think about the money players make. Baseball is just the most ridiculous of the bunch because there is no limit as to how much players can be paid.

St. Louis is a great baseball town. The Cardinals mean a lot to the city. But St. Louis is not New York, Boston or Los Angeles. They can't afford to put together a solid team around Pujols if they have to pay him $30 million. The Cardinals' payroll for 2010 was a shade below $94 million, meaning Pujols' salary would take up almost a third of the team's salary for 2011 and beyond.

As good of a player as Pujols is, and I think he is the best in baseball right now, deals like this cripple teams not named the Yankees or Red Sox. Because baseball contracts are guaranteed, teams the size of the Cardinals and smaller clubs can't afford to hand out these deals. They are screwed if the player suffers a major injury or just doesn't live up to their potential because they have all their money invested in one player.

I'm not mad at Pujols for working the current system. He is the best player in baseball and you should be paid your worth. I'm mad that baseball salaries are spinning out of control. Deals like this trickle down to the mediocre players of the league, forcing small teams to overpay even bad players.
Meche's contract with the
Royals represented all that is
wrong with baseball salaries.

My favorite example is Gil Meche. Because pitchers command so much money today, he made more than $11 million in 2008 and 2009. Meche would have made more than $12 million this season if he didn't retire. Nevermind that Meche has only pitched more than 200 innings twice, had an ERA below 4 three times and had a career ERA of 4.49. How does someone with those numbers deserve $12 million?

Here is a great chart showing the highest paid player each year since 1985. I understand that times change and there is also inflation, but it's crazy to see that the highest paid player in 1985 (Mike Schmidt) was making $2.1 million a year. Flash forward to 2010, and Alex Rodriguez's $27.5 million per year salary and you can't tell me salaries are not out of control.

Can we please get a friggin salary cap in MLB? If another Gil Meche gets $12 million I am going to go nuts.

Van Halen - Hot For Teacher


  1. I agree baseball is in dire needs of a salary cap. Teams such as the bucko's, tribe, and royals don't stand a chance in this new era of big market teams. I do however believe that baseball players deserve to be paid the most out of any of the major sports. They play a 162 game schedule, go through another month and half of spring training, give or take another 25 games, and for most games ball players are showing up around noon for a 7 oclock start and probably not getting home till midnight. Granted this has to be the best "job" around, but they do have a very very long season and deserve to be paid the most out of any professional athlete in my opinion. BUt $30 million, no...

  2. I understand your argument for paying baseball players the most money. It makes sense that they play the most amount of games, and teams are capable of making a long more money at the gate than the other sports.

    To counter that, the baseball season is so long because the players don't put their bodies through the punishment that NFL, NBA and NHL players do. The baseball season has so many games because it's a non-contact sport that allows for 162 games.

    They might be at the stadium for 12 hours, but what are they doing in that time-span? Even during the game, most players stand or sit around for 80 percent of the time.