I’m looking into it. That dark conspiracy threatening America. You know which one, where sinister forces have teamed up to rock the very fabric of our systems. I’ve got my whole team on it and we’re going to get to the bottom of it all. The big C word: COLLUSION!
DUN DUN DUN!
Of course, I’m speaking about the potential collusion between MLB owners and GM’s and the resulting unsigned free agents. For those not up to speed, some agents and players are saying owners and general managers are working together to keep baseball players from getting fair contracts this offseason. Sports agents are furious and some players are toying with the idea of a strike. Are the owners intentionally withholding money from the poor players in some nefarious scheme to pocket their cash and leave their fans miserable? Mwhahahah!!
In short: No.
While Sports agents have even started to tweet about how unfair teams are being to their poor multi-millionaire clients, let’s examine a few points:
1). At least two of these currently unsigned players have a 9 figure offer on the table (for those who need a visual cue, that’s at least $100,000,000.00), more money than you or I could even imagine.
2). Several free agents have already signed for lucrative contracts this year that pay more money in one year than Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, or Johnny Bench made in a lifetime of playing baseball (even after adjusting for inflation).
3). Analytics have revolutionized how players are valued. Owners are getting wise to the fact that giving giant contracts to aging players sets back a team and constrains its budget for years (I’m looking at you future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols).
4). Building from within the minor league system, then spending money on free agents when appropriate creates championship teams (see Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs). Why should teams spend money on players they don’t want when their team is already too far behind to compete?
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To claim collusion in spite of the facts is tantamount to claiming water is no longer wet. It’s just absolutely absurd. Players have had salaries rising at a ridiculous rate to a point where I wonder if players just spend their time in the offseason burning their money because they just don’t know what to do with it. High profile sports agents like Scott Boras have made careers out of getting his clients contracts record-breaking contracts year after year. Problem is, like eating an entire cake in one sitting, you’re just gonna plateau at some point to where you can’t take it anymore.
That’s the peak of all things! Guys who are just sort of good players aren’t going to make 30 million a year, that’s something that should be reserved for once in a generation players. Somehow the players and their agents just don’t seem to get that. Like greedy, very athletic Oliver Twists, they want MORE!
In fact, if you continuously spend money on mediocre teams what will happen is fans will lose interest, teams will never get better in the short or long term, ticket prices will rise and eventually teams will fold or move to another city. Owners are actually acting in the best interest of their long-term prospects for their team by shedding expensive contracts and building from within and then buying into the free agent market when the time is right. I am a lifelong Houston Astros fan and I know this to be true. I watched 3 100-loss seasons and I mean I actually watched. It was very difficult for a long time and now we’re world champions! And now many other teams in similar positions are following suit and I applaud them. It’s difficult, but in the long run it’s worth it! To throw fits and make a light threat of striking and taking away a sport so many people enjoy leads me to believe the players should be claiming delusion, not collusion.
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