Sep 28, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians pitcher Scott Kazmir (26) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
There is a very dangerous trend going on in sports. This trend is changing sports for the worst, and it has the potential to kill off small market sports teams. This trend is the trend of huge contracts. We’re seeing it all the time now, not just in baseball but in all sports. Specifically in Free Agency with athletes. Things may be fine in sports like football, because they all get the same amount of money to work with. But baseball will begin to suffer because there are practically no limits to spending.
Just look at the market for Free Agent Pitchers. The Oakland Athletics had to fork up $22 million to Scott Kazmir. That’s the most amount of money Oakland has ever given to a starting pitcher. And it wasn’t because Kazmir is ace quality pitcher. It’s because that’s all they could afford. They had to spend record money for a decent pitcher coming off of a comeback season. Kazmir is good, but he’s not exactly who you have in mind when you think of paying a pitcher record numbers.
That’s because anyone better would cost a fortune. Every year a players agent will get his client a record contract, paving the way for more of the same. Pretty soon the Oakland A’s won’t be able to afford anybody. This trend needs to change. Not every team has $150 million dollars to give out to an ace quality pitcher. Some teams can’t afford to pay a pitcher $20 million dollars a year. And if a team does choose to do that, they can’t afford anything else. Then you have a team with an outstanding ace but the rest of the team suffers.
Things are still fine for now, but what happens 10 years from now when it costs $20 million a year for a decent pitcher? With this trend, it’s not too crazy to think this could happen.
The A’s have Billy Beane so we know we can compete against big market teams. Money can’t buy a championship, but with the farm system depleted the Athletics will have to rely on players taking smaller contracts and growing their own talent. It may not be of big concern now, but let’s hope it stays that way. It isn’t too crazy to think that one day a pitcher like Kazmir will cost $20 million a year. This trend is one to fear, but so is Billy Beane. So be concerned, but not afraid.