mweir145 wrote:I've read articles like this at BP and other baseball sites for years. Hasn't really changed my opinion that a floor and a cap would help competitive balance in baseball. Also, actually enforcing the draft slotting system would help, too. As it stands right now, the richest teams are getting not only the best free agents, but also the best prospects in the draft. And yes, this is mostly because many owners are too cheap to spend on these guys, but that's exactly the problem. The major teams like the Yankees and Red Sox aren't causing the competitive balance problem, they are just doing what they should be doing. It is everyone else that isn't pulling their weight.
And I think their argument on why a cap isn't working in hockey doesn't make any sense, either. The reason teams like the Coyotes, Blue Jackets, and Predators are failing is because they never should have been put in Phoenix, Columbus and Nashville in the first place. In fact, the only reason the NHL has a hard cap now is because Gary Bettman wanted to save these franchises. There are a handful of NHL teams (between 5-10) that just aren't in very good hockey markets, and will never be truly successful for that reason. The hard cap isn't causing the problem for these teams. It actually allowed a few of them (Nashville, San Jose, Tampa Bay) to compete and make money in recent years.
I think the people who suggest caps hold to the belief that owners who don't spend money are doing so because they actually can't afford it. It's just not true. So coming up with ways to reduce costs won't solve the problem. The cheap owners don't want to pay. If you setup a system where they'll make even more by spending even less, they'll just spend less.
I don't see how a floor deals with the draft problem. The system is set up right now with incentives to NOT sign your draft picks. If you don't sign a guy, you get a pick next year, so what's the big deal? Plus, if your team still stinks and your revenue declines, no big deal. Just take a bigger revenue sharing check! Every year some of the most profitable teams are the cellar dwellers. Why does anyone have sympathy for them and want to give them even more rewards for sucking?
$8 million is not a lot to sign one of the 5 best available players and have a chance to have him locked up for 8 years. The compensation pick should be eliminated and the deadline too. If a guy wants to risk it all and not play pro baseball for a year, that's his right. Their needs to be incentives to getting a deal done on both sides, but right now, there's every incentive for the team to say "screw you" and not sign the guy. It's not because they can't afford it that they let a guy go by. It's that they know they'll make money either way, so why bother?
If the owners ever had to actually worry about being folded or going out of business because their team stinks, they would have much more incentive to get these picks signed.