Step aside, New York Yankees. Move over, Boston Red Sox. There's a new spoiled rich kid team in town: the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After signing Zack Greinke to a six year, $147 million contract yesterday, the Dodgers have boosted their payroll up to roughly $225 million, well beyond anyone else in baseball. Considering $208 million was spent this winter on two players (Greinke and pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu), along with a lineup that includes Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp, it's safe to say the Dodgers aren't messing around with their money.
Or maybe they are and they just don't care.
After all, with a near seven billion ($7,000,000,000) dollar TV deal that's supposed to last for the next 25 years, the Dodgers will make a profit despite their expenditures. In essence, a $225 million payroll will still produce a profit when the club receives over $250 million in TV revenue plus the revenue generated by attendance.
Side note: that's why refusing to go to Pirates games doesn't really affect how much money they make in the long run.
While it's already been said a thousand times on Twitter, Facebook, and general conversation, I'm going to say it one more time: oh but the real problem with baseball is excessive draft spending by the Pirates.
Without a cap on TV revenue for teams in huge markets and free agent spending, the chasm between big and small market teams will grow wider every season. You thought it was ridiculous Russell Martin received $17 million over two seasons? Look at Angel Pagan's contract with the Giants: four years, $40 million. All for an outfielder with average defense, zero power, and a .280 average. Or how about Mike Napoli, a catcher whose numbers showed he wasn't much better than Martin, signed for three years, $39 million?
The free agent market is suffering from hyperinflation; not by Ben Bernanke but by big market teams spending an obscene amount on players. If Zack Greinke is truly worth $24.5 million per year (he's not. No professional athlete is worth that much), then an above average pitcher is worth $8 million (see: Brandon McCarthy). It also means a terrible pitcher like Kevin Correia qualifies for a two year, $10 million contract.
Unfortunately, the small market owners do make money off of the luxury tax big market teams pay for surpassing $178 million in payroll spending. So the Bob Nuttings still make money out in all this and while it's not enough to go out and buy an All-Star free agent, it's still millions of dollars. In the end, all owners, big markets and small, are businessmen. And small market owners will not vote against a CBA if it means they will receive money at the end of the year. The proof? They all voted for the last CBA a year ago.
As far as creating a fair and balanced league? No way. The spending will increase for LA, New York, Boston, Detroit, and Dallas while the other teams will continue to forage through the junkyard, looking for someone to help the team get a record good enough to go to the playoffs.