Money Money Money
My absence the last month was due to just a crazy schedule. But I’m back! And I’m sick to my stomach about what is going on in baseball right now with these mega contracts. Let’s take a look at them and compare them to hockey “mega deals.’
In case you missed it, just a few days ago, the Seattle Mariners signed former Yankee Robinson Cano to a 10 yr. 240 million dollar contract… That’s $65,753 a day for the next 10 years. Cano is 31 and is in his prime. Whether he’s worth 10 years is beside the point though.
When looking at these mega money, long term deals, they never work out. For instance, the Miami Marlins just two seasons ago spent $190 million in Free Agent deals, finished in last place, and then absorbed a lot of the salaries and dumbed the majority of that team. And Alex Rodriguez made $29 million in 2013 while only playing in 44 games in which he under performed.
Now let’s look at how hockey compares… The largest cap hit in the NHL is Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators. His contract is worth $110 million over 14 years, but will make the majority of his money in the next 5 seasons. He’s 28.
Sidney Crosby of the Pens signed a 12 year deal worth $104.4 million. He’s 26.
Alex Ovechkin has the highest total salary but it’s also the only deal he’s signed since his original RFA deal expired. He signed a 13 year deal in 2008 worth $124 million and he’ll make the same amount of money this year that he will in 2021. He’s also 28.
I’m obviously bias, but aren’t hockey players worth more money than baseball players? Both sports indeed have their share of sacrifices and hardship, but I find it hard to believe that Cano is going to make $240 million dollars for swinging a bat and fielding a few balls per game. This is no knock on baseball; it’s America’s sport and is a beautiful game. But no player is worth $240 million. Cano did lead the Yankee’s in every major batting category in 2013, but he didn’t even finish in the top 4 AL MVP voting. You know who did? Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles. He made $3.3 million.
So here’s my take on things. In the NHL, teams secured their best players last season for the new sanctions were put in place that would make deals over 7 years illegal. The money isn’t outrageous. $14 million a year is as high as it gets for hockey players and that’s very hard to get now. The NHL is behind in “mega deals” I suppose.
MLB clubs, however, seem to have fallen in love with mega deals. Some of them make some sense, like the Cano deal. The Mariners haven’t had much to root for since Ken Griffey Jr. departed. The one bright spot they had, Ichiro, left for the Yankee’s whom agreed to pay him presently what he deserved 5 years ago. The Mariners needed a way to get fans excited and the front office needed to make a splash and let the league know, “hey, we’re still here and we’re ready to be competitive.” My honest opinion is that the GM of the Mariners knows he won’t see 10 years with Cano. And that’s okay.
Whether you like it or not, it’s the current state of professional sports. And the crazier aspect of it all, is that compared to how valuable most franchises are, athletes are way “underpaid.” But that’s a more complex topic for another blog. Feel free to ask me about it at @b_isaiah.
$240 million is a lot to throw at a 31 year old. But if you have it to throw, why not? It’s a business and sometimes you have to throw the big bucks.
As for me, I’m glad the NHL has a new collective bargaining agreement and we don’t have to worry about the money. MLB however, with no salary cap, will always be in a league of it’s own with mega deals. And that’s awesome. It gives us something to talk about.
In the meantime, go over to Twitter and follow @b_isaiah for all things hockey and a special shoutout to my man @AndrewRickli, a baseball master mind who knows much more than I.
The Hockey Guy