Thursday, January 22, 2009

Respect Jeter's Gangster Supports a Salary Cap

What did you say!? You heard me, I support a salary cap for baseball. Hold on, before you go into ultra shock, and send scathing emails my way, allow me to follow through with my thought. I support a baseball salary cap for the first year player draft. I was recently reading up on the faceoff blog about the issue of a salary cap in baseball, which has come to a head because the Yankees swept the free agent market this off season. This always brings heat from small market teams who wish there was a way to afford people like Teixeira, without having to pay hundreds of millions. Personally, I think the idea of a salary cap at the major league level is absurd. There's many ways to build a team, and free agency is just one of them. The only legitimate response I heard about this was from Josh Thomson who gave this example:

"Take Rick Porcello, the hard-chucking righty from northern Jersey. He had top-five or top-10 talent heading into the 2007 draft yet fears about the money he would demand (yes, folks, Scott Boras was involved) scared the poorer teams away. They simply couldn’t afford to draft an 18-year-old that had never played a college game, much less a pro game. So Detroit got him 27th overall because it could pay him what was then the largest contract ever given to a draft pick. Oh, that’s all. So now Porcello is considered one of, if not the, best pitching prospects in baseball. Everyone knew he had that ability, but many couldn’t afford to pay for it."

It's true that many teams pass on players in the draft, because they'll be too pricey, and that's where I see a problem. So, let's put a salary cap on the draft. It can work one of two ways, either teams can only spend x amount during the first year player draft, or players drafted in the first year player draft can make a maximum of x amount of dollars. I like the former idea better, because it brings all the teams to the same level, and frankly that level should be fairly low. I don't know why Andrew Brackman is making $4 million and has a roster spot, when he hasn't thrown a single pitch at a meaningful level of baseball. Personally, I think that roster spots shouldn't be allowed as part of the first year player draft contracts. That should be abolished. This would level the playing field even more. It also would probably help a lot of small market teams in that their drafted players would likely take multi-year contracts instead of going through arbitration every season when they reach pro-ball. Reasonable, yet well paying contracts like the ones Tampa Bay gives. So there's the Respect Jeter's Gangster salary cap idea. A good idea or a great idea? Only time will tell.


Anonymous said...

What about having some requirement like the NFL and NBA have that prevents players coming from high school? If there were no college fall back there would be no over slotting. Players sit out to negotiate, but that would have less impact in MLB since they need to develop in the minors anyway.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Yeah, I think the larger issue is that even players who graduate from college can say "I won't sign for under X amount of money", and then force teams to pass on them. Its why several big market teams have ended up with good prospects despite picking much lower in the draft. If there were a salary cap on the draft, it would make the draft much more competitive for the smaller market teams.

Fred Trigger said...

I dont think the union would ever agree to this. They hold all the leverage nowadays. Also, small market teams can complain about not being able to sign free agents, but they have no excuse for not drafting top talent. Thats what revenue sharing is for! A prime example is when Pittsburgh drafter Brian Bullington instead of BJ Upton, even though Upton only got 1 million more of a signing bonus.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, something positive. Ummm.......awesome post, man.

Anonymous said...

Probably a good idea, espcially since a "prospect" or high draft pick means so much less in baseball than it does in the other sports.
What do you think about some controls on the offshore scouting and signing?
15-16 year old kids in Latin America getting stupid money. Rich teams can afford a lot better network in Asia than small market teams...

Think Fred has a point about the union, though.

Mike Rook said...

how about if teams that suck use their revenue sharing money on players instead of private jets and Island retreats. The Yankees basicly pay the Marlins salery in Revenue sharing every year. Where does that money go??? They still suck

Fernando Alejandro said...

As an aside, if you ever look at the Pirates front office, they have 7 doctors on staff. What do you need 7 doctors for? Are they running a team or a clinic?

Anyway, I think all of you bring up good points/questions. I'm probably going to write a revised version of this idea. If owners are talking about salary caps for the big league clubs, I think a moderate middle ground would be a salary cap for the draft. The players union would be more likely to agree to this especially if some concessions are added, which I'll touch on later.

Joe, I think that's what makes me most upset about the draft. The vast majority of these prospects never make it to the big league level! They shouldn't be getting millions when they've yet to play Low A ball. As for international signings, I think they need to leave that alone for now. Small market teams don't do international signings like the big boys do, and rely more on the draft anyway. Besides, if they're saving money on the draft, they should be expected to be a little more competitive on the international or free agent level. I suppose you could eventually move to an international player draft, but I think that's thinking too far ahead.

Anonymous said...

(g) Any Player Recalled to a Club under emergency conditions shall be
entitled to the same benefits provided a Player under Article 13.12. However, following
the 28th day after the Recall, the Player shall be allowed to bring his spouse or Living
Companion to join him, at the Club's expense, and the Club shall pay for their return
when the Player is returned after termination of the emergency. The Player shall not be
entitled to reimbursement of expenses if he obtains his own accommodation and moves
his household goods without the consent of the Club.

13.2 The "Playing Season Waiver Period" shall begin on the twelfth (12th) day prior to
the start of the Regular Season and end on the day following the last day of a Club's
Playing Season. Subject to the provisions of this Article, the rights to the services of a
Player may be Loaned to a club of another league, upon fulfillment of the following
conditions, except when elsewhere expressly prohibited:
(a) Regular Waivers were requested and cleared during the Playing Season
Waiver Period; and
(b) the Player has not played in ten (10) or more NHL Games cumulative
since Regular Waivers on him were last cleared, and more than thirty (30) days
cumulative on an NHL roster have not passed since Regular Waivers on him were last

Anonymous said...

I'd support a salary cap as long as there was a salary floor as well.

Fernando Alejandro said...

That could get a little tricky unless that salary floor is fairly low. Not minimum wage low, but low in general. I only say that because it could hurt the lower tier prospects since they may get passed on if the salary floor is too high.