Monday, February 02, 2009

Age of Uncertainty

The economy is in the shitter, and everyone is feeling the pinch of the giant sphincter (unless you're a CEO of a bankrupted corporation with a "Golden Parachute"). The pockets of most teams are not as deep as they once were - with the obvious $423 million exception of the Yankees. Simple economics of supply and demand are drastically affecting baseball as a large pool of free agents are unleashed on a market that cannot afford them. The current estimate places the cumulative amount demanded as exceeding $100 million, whereas the total amount that can be offered is only $60 million. The power of these players to demand more has rapidly eroded. Baseball now faces the unusual situation of a glut of skilled talent still seeking employment.

As of January 31, roughly 70 players are competing for about 50 spots. Former greats such as Greg Maddux and Mike Mussina have already opted for the retirement plan. Others may be forced into early retirement. Some who may go this route will more than likely be older players, such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Tom Glavine, who, as of the time of writing have not yet been signed (although Randy Johnson was able to eke out an $8 million deal with San Francisco). A handful of younger players, like Josh Fogg, Trot Nixon, and Corey Patterson have opted to take Minor League contracts.

Others refuse to capitulate and are still holding on to hope for out-sized contracts. According to an unnamed GM in a recent Sports Illustrated article, having this attitude is a "mistake." This same article cites a journeyman reliever who actually "turned down a $2 million offer, saying he would retire before taking that kind of money." (Italics mine.) That kind of money? Who the hell do these people think they are? There are families all across America who would be willing to do just about anything for that kind of money! Hell, I might strongly consider selling vital parts of my anatomy for that kind of money! The bastard!

With spring training rapidly approaching, Type A and B players alike are feeling the cold grip of reality slowly close around their testicles. Manny Ramirez is easily one of the most recognizable names in the not-yet-signed list. Manny turned down a $45 million dollar offer from the Dodgers earlier in this process, and now he may have to take a cut of $15 million if he cannot find a new team. The Giants are looking at Ramirez, but the seriousness of this scrutiny is in doubt.

While some may be able to arbitrate successfully, chances of more lucrative assignments are drawing ever slimmer. It may very well be that for some of these prima donnas, the only check they could be receiving is a long-overdue reality check.

JayZ - Hard Knock Life

7 comments:

GM-Carson said...

Instead of kisses, we get kicked,
it's a hardknock life!

Burton said...

Yeah, such knocks; multi-million dollar contracts guaranteed employment for at least a year? Man, I am glad I don't have it as crappy as they do! I'd hold out for more money.

GM-Carson said...

Instead of treated, we get tricked, it's a hardknock life!

IRONPIGPEN said...

I am waiting to see how wonderful the Yankees will be viewed by the public in their kazillion dollar new place with a policy that says first you buy your ticket, then you buy the right to sit in your seat.

Opulence is bad if you work on Wall Street. Good if you work in the Bronx...

IRONPIGPEN said...

Cheapest IronPigs ticket = $ 6

Burton said...

Go Iron Pigs!

GM-Carson said...

Go Fe Hams!