In case you don’t know, CC Sabathia is one of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. When his contract with his old team expired at the end of last season, everyone knew some desperate team would pay a king’s ransom for his services.
Enter the New York Yankees. Yesterday, Sabathia agreed to a seven-year, $161 million contract with the team that is perhaps the most loved – and most hated – baseball team on the planet.
You read it right. It’s not a typo. ONE-HUNDRED-SIXTY-ONE-MILLION DOLLARS. Over seven years, that comes out to $23 million per season. Since a starting pitcher (assuming he never gets hurt) appears in about 35 games, that means he will get approximately $657,142.86 per start. Looking at this even closer, assuming he averages seven innings per start, he will receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $93,877 per inning.
I have not been a baseball fan since the 1990s when the World Series was canceled, and my life has not suffered one bit. I stopped watching in part because there is no level playing field for all the teams. For example, the contract of Alex Rodriguez (also with the Yankees, mind you) was more than the entire payroll of last year’s Florida Marlins team. I ask you, is that fair?
Major League Baseball will price itself into financial ruin if this salary upswing does not stop very soon. It’s much like the housing market was a couple years ago. Everything was way overpriced and, eventually, the market could not bear these prices and everything collapsed. The same will happen – and soon – with MLB, if sweeping changes are not made.
I don’t blame CC Sabathia for taking the money (in fact, I’d probably be out on the pitcher’s mound with a calculator adding up my earnings each time I got a batter out … LOL). I blame the sport for allowing salaries to get so far out of hand that $23 million is the “going rate” for a player of his caliber.
Baseball is no longer “America’s National Pastime.” It’s America’s most mismanaged sport, which is precisely why the average Joe is losing interest and can no longer afford to go to the ballpark and “root, root, root for the home team.”