MLB Teams Should Stop Overpaying Players

Money doesn’t talk for every team


Photo Attribution/Flickr Commons/Keith Allison

Manny Machado playing in the Toronto Blue Jays Game on July 13, 2013

J.P. Devetori, Contributing Writer

The 2019 Major League Baseball free agency is loaded with  many big-name players and headliners, for example, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are elite ball players, and for the first time ever, they are free agents.

At 26-years-old, Harper and Machado seek long term contracts with a contending team. Both players want to make record contracts, along the lines of  15 years and $350 million, enough to break Giancarlo Stanton’s contract of 13 years and $325 million back in 2014. When I look at the price range these players are demanding, I ask, “Are they worth the money?”

My answer is “yes” for Harper but “no” for Machado. Both are multi-time All-Stars but differ in how they treat the game. Harper comes across as self-absorbed, but he has strong discipline when it comes to his playing ability.

He can hit, run, has a good arm and he was the 2015 National League MVP. Machado is more controversial. He is known to have dirty tactics, such as purposely sliding into opposing in-fielders. A poor attitude and no respect for opponents is a sign that Machado  cares more about the money.

Teams with high payrolls like the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs were among the favorites looking/expected to sign either one of the players, or both. Surprisingly, none of the high payroll teams signed either player.

The San Diego Padres signed Machado with a 10-year, $300 million contract on February 21 and the Philadelphia Phillies signed Harper with a record 13-year, $330 million contract on March 2.

Only time will tell if  these deals will turn out to be successful, but at the same time, are teams tired of overpaying ballplayers every single year?

Both New York baseball teams have a history of free agent busts. In 2009, the Mets signed Jason Bay to a four-year, $66 million contract, and he only lasted three years due to injuries and lack of productivity.

In 2013, the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153 million contract. Ellsbury has yet to  live up to the team’s expectations and lost his starting job to teammate Aaron Hicks.

This is why the MLB should utilize a salary cap like the NBA, NFL and NHL. The salary cap would help lower the free agent player’s price tag yearly due to the limited amount of teams that have that kind of money.

If that happens, then we won’t have to see any more 10-year, $300 million or 13-year, $330 million contracts. That is what the MLB should do —  not only would the teams save millions, but it would mitigate the greediness of future free agent ballplayers.