In today’s New York Times, Murray Chass expresses his feelings about free agent contracts signed during this offseason.
Matthews, at 32, is too old to be called a child, but he is a poster child for the latest economic excesses of the owners. Gil Meche is on the poster with Matthews, and there’s enough room on it to include a bunch of others as well.
The owners are out of control and, as usual, they have no one to blame but themselves….
Like workers in other industries, professional athletes should be able to earn as much as they can, with no artificial restraints, like payrolls caps, limiting their pay. Rock singers and rappers can do it. So can actors and television anchors. Why not athletes?
But in their desperation to add a lusty hitter or an effective pitcher, the owners lose all perspective and spend exorbitantly and foolishly.
So, my question to Chass is this: How much should Gary Matthews and the other players mentioned in the article—Gil Meche, Ted Lilly, Vicente Padilla, Jason Marquis, and Daisuke Matsuzaka—be paid? If you know that these contracts are too high, then you ought to know what the right contract is. So please, share that information with us.
I understand that these contracts are much higher than we’ve seen in recent history, and I can’t say that any of these contracts are optimal. However, MLB has experienced an increase in revenue growth, so the up-tick in salaries is expected. How much of a rise is a difficult question to answer; therefore, stating that these salaries are foolish, without any support for why, is a bit of a stretch.