In Major League baseball, there is no salary cap, nor is there a minimum salary a team must spend on their payroll. The contract the owners give out is all guaranteed money. Now why do you think the big market teams are quite upset about having to pay the small market teams ?
Well, the big market teams spend to compete because they are expected to do so with the financial resources they have at their fingertips. However what is happening is the small market teams are going out to dinner on the big market teams tab, and buying the cheapest item on the menu, and writing off the most expensive item on the menu to get reimbursed with. The Yankees owner Hank Sterinbrenner is clearly livid over this practice:
Steinbrenner revealed the team contributed about $130 million between revenue sharing and luxury tax, the most of any team in the league and the most, according to Steinbrenner that the team has ever had to contribute. A few days ago, Sox CEO Larry Lucchino indicated the team contributed $86 million. This is obviously a sore subject for the Yankees and Red Sox.
Now, one of the biggest complaints of the Rays bumbling previous owner Vince Namoli is that he walked around with a fat wallet. It seems the Sternberg ownership walks around with the same type of wallets. But, The intent of the collective bargaining process was allowing for home grown players contracts from getting prohibitive before reaching free agency. The players were to take reasonable pay bumps in accordance of improved performance on the diamond. Instead, what we witnessed this off season from Rays was taking a moderate valued contract in Matt Garza and selling it for future dollars.
I can see why teams do not want to pay to help the other teams in general. We have seen this in the marketplace even where we want to pay for our own healthcare and not be subject to paying for your neighbors. It’s obvious the owners had already gone to the commissioner and slapped the Marlins on the wrist for not spending their revenue sharing dollars on payroll. The result was Dan Uggla spent one year extra in Florida before they deemed him too expensive.
It was a speed bump on the radar and eventually the big market teams will come in greater numbers and show they are serious. Selig can only stall them so long.