On December 18, 2008 C.C. Sabathia signed a seven-year, 161 million dollar contract with the Yankees
On December 18, 2008 A.J. Burnett signed a seven-year, 82.5 million dollar contract with the Yankees.
On December 23, 2008 Mark Teixaira agreed on an eight-year, 180 million dollar contract with the Yankees.
Wow. Now come on, this is starting to get ridiculous. The Bronx Bombers have bought the top 2 pitchers on the market and the top hitter out there. The scary thing is that Manny Ramirez is still out there. Are they done? I have asked myself that and said yes twice now and have been wrong both times. Chances are they are not done. Which is very frightening.
It is starting to get unfair. They usually do about one of these every couple years, but three in the time span of 5 days? Every year the idea of the salary cap in baseball makes more and more sense. With the cap, none of this can happen and the Yanks are just like every other team out there. For example, my Cardinals NEED pitching. You know that we would love either of the pitchers that the Yankees got but everyone knows that there is no way in hell we will get them because of teams like the Yankees. We cannot afford to throw out that much money. The best way to describe this situation in baseball is with the old cliché: “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. It is that simple and it is soo true.
But, hey, who can blame the Yankees? They have the money to spend. If I was them, I wouldn’t be afraid of doing the same thing… why not? The odd thing is, they spend millions and millions on players like Sabathia and Tex and A-Rod and how many Championships have they won since starting this binge? Not very many. They undoubtedly have the best talent but we still see the small-market teams succeed. The Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series this year and they have the thirteenth highest payroll in the MLB at $98,000,000. It isn’t near as sexy as the Yankees’ $209,000,000 is it? What about the AL Champ, the Tampa Bay Rays? They had a $43,000,000 payroll which is, umm, second-to-last in the MLB. The funny thing is this… New York did not make the playoffs this year and only won 89 games. We all know that 89 wins isn’t going to be enough in a 3-team division now.
Although it does infuriate me that the Yanks are taking potential St. Louis Cardinals away from us because they have more money, I will give them some credit. They haven’t been shy about getting what they need to win. New York needed to do this to compete with Boston and Tampa next summer. They needed pitching and they got C.C. and Burnett. They need a defensive playmaker and more power in the lineup around A-Rod and they went and stole Teixaira. No matter if it is right or wrong, they need these key elements to win. All of this essentially takes the Yankees from 3rd place in the AL East, to World Series contenders. It also sets up some intriguing division races in September. Don’t blame them for spending money that they had. You would have done the same.
However, whichever way you look at it, these large contracts are extremely risky. 1) You are signing these players for seven and eight years. There are only a handful of players that have played in-prime baseball for more than 6-7 years. I don’t know if I would have the guts to sign a player to that long of a contract. Sure, the players want security and maybe that is what they were asking for but it is a definite ballsy move. 2) It’s New York and you are throwing out 180 million dollars. With it being the Big Apple, fans are used to Championships and they will not settle for anything less. Now you are throwing out contracts like this, and now New Yorkers are expecting a ring. Anything less and you are going to have people wanting blood. Underachieving is not an option in New York anyway… but now you are signing baseball’s elite and it will only increase that mindset. Not only have you bought Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixaira, you have bought even more pressure.
Let’s be honest with ourselves though, it’s the YANKEES!! You really think that all this cash is going to get you past the Divisional Series? In the meat of the era that we are talking about here with New York, they haven’t made it past the ALDS in the past 4 years. The face of the MLB, in buying all of these All-Star players, hasn’t made it to the World Series since 2003. They have not won a World Series since the “Subway Series” 9 years ago.
Money doesn’t buy happiness…
Money doesn’t buy wins neither.
Please remember to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. You know that I love to hear what you think about the subject.
http://www.collegesports-fans.com/ Mizzou/SLU Correspondent