The Baltimore Orioles could at some point find themselves back in a rut like they were in from 1998-2011. That is if something doesn’t change at some point. MLB needs a salary cap – and fast.
I recognize that it’s not going to happen folks. I’m not naive, I know how things work. However over the course of this week we’ve heard of players like Bryce Harper asking for 10 years, $400 million in their next contract. From the Orioles’ standpoint, that calls into question what the likes of Manny Machado will want in his next deal. Will the O’s be able to give it to him?
For what it’s worth, Washington has already said that Harper won’t get that type of money. And I applaud them for that. However the flip side of the coin is that someone will give it to him – possibly someone in the AL East. And regardless of where Machado is or who’s guarding the hot corner in Baltimore, that could affect the Orioles.
So what MLB needs is a salary cap. If they had a cap like what they have in the NFL, players wouldn’t have the liberty to ask for salaries that outlandish. Because a team wouldn’t be able to sign that guy at that price and remain under the cap. So players would be forced to take perhaps $15 million per year as opposed to $40 million. (How tough of pill to swallow would that be?!
As it stands now without a cap, it all but ensures that only 3-4 teams can realistically have a shot at signing a player like Machado. (Note that I said realistically – there are exceptions to everything.) Does MLB not realize that effectively means that only 3-4 teams might have a legitimate shot at winning it all? Are they okay with that?
Ironically, Washington’s probably one of the teams that could afford to pay a player that much. However as I said above, they said they wouldn’t be doing it. And that’s smart. First off, players try to use a poker face during these negotiations – why not do the same? However players need to realize that there’s only so much money that teams an give you.
I suspect that at the end of the day neither Machado nor Harper will get contracts of that magnitude. The Birds certainly don’t want to be stuck in a contract deal for ten years either. But again, if you have a salary cap, none of this is truly an issue.