I’m not a financial guru by any means. There are dozens of other baseball sites out there with writers that know exponentially more about that side of the game, however, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that Major League Baseball has some serious issues.
The latest proof of this is Yu Darvish and the contract he just got from the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers paid $51.7 million just to negotiate with the guy, and now they have given him a six year, $60 million deal. All of this for a guy who is widely unproven. He throws hard, and projects well, but you never know how a guy is going to handle that transition. It’s a completely different game over in Japan, and that much money seems ridiculous to risk.
Daisuke Matsuzaka was the same way. The Red Sox paid $52 million just to talk to him, and then signed him to a similar six year, $52 million deal. What have the Red Sox gotten from him for that money? A 49-30 record with a 4.25 ERA in 105 starts over five seasons, not a lot of bang for their buck.
Darvish was a better pitcher in Japan than Matsuzaka was, which should make Rangers fan feel a little more at ease here, but I would still not feel all that great about giving an unproven pitcher that much money. I’m also curious as to how much more money Darvish would have gotten had Matsuzaka pitched better since coming to the league? His struggled had to factor into how much the Rangers were willing to spend on him, didn’t it?
Major League Baseball is just fine with things like this. Albert Pujols got a ten year deal worth $240 million earlier this offseason. However, Bud Selig and company seem to have a problem with small market teams (who have no chance to sign big name players) spending big money in the draft (the only place where they can be competitive with the big guns). The Pirates get yelled at for spending $5 million on a high-ceiling high school player while everyone is fine with the Rangers spending over $100 million to get an international player with (possibly) less upside. That’s an atrocity.
I wish I could be more technical about this stuff, but unfortunately I’m just a 21-year old kid that hasn’t taken anything more than a high school economics class. One thing I do know is that Major League Baseball is not a level playing field, and I will probably never see it be so in my lifetime.
The sport of baseball has in incredible following and millions of dedicated fans, but just imagine what it could be like if the financial side of it wasn’t so screwed up?
Here’s hoping Yu Darvish and Albert Pujols disappoint and scare future teams away from spending so much money on these types of players.