Red Sox Owner John Henry Calls for a Salary Cap; MLB Needs One

Makes you wonder, if the Red Sox were in the A.L. Central, would they be saying the same thing? Surely the Yankees obscene offseason shopping spree prompted these comments from John Henry, but he’s not the first owner to mention the possibility of a salary cap this winter — Mark Attanasio of the Brewers suggest one as well. I know we’re living in a free economic system, but the NBA has the luxury tax and cap, the NFL has a cap, and so does the NHL. The competitive balance in the latter two sports is fantastic (in the NBA it’s harder to achieve because it’s so easy for the top players to dominate the game). Not to say that small-market teams can’t compete in MLB, but there would be a much better playing field if the Indians or Brewers were able to retain C.C. Sabathia instead of seeing him go to New York. Even the Angels — one of the strongest teams in the league financially — couldn’t keep up with the Yankees’ contract offer to Mark Teixeira.

Don’t get me wrong, small-market/low payroll teams are able to shine under the current system, but they do it through a series of shrewder moves like great trades and excellent drafting. Heck, a man’s entire reputation was based on this. But if you ask all front offices, including the Twins, Marlins, and A’s — three teams that have performed admirably given their circumstances — I’m sure even they would all prefer a cap that would help build competitive balance. Now the other side of the argument, beyond the simple free economy idea, is that the Yankees and other teams pay a luxury tax and contribute a generous portion to revenue sharing. Isn’t that already a cap? Well, when they’re out spending damn near a half billion dollars in a recession, my answer would be no. All the free agents in the world won’t buy them a championship, but it gives them an improved shot at one. And count me as someone in favor of competitive balance — that’s what I’d really love to see.

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  • http://www.pointguardu.com/cats NICK

    Best idea ever!!!!!!

  • Gene

    The real power of MLB, the union, will never go for it. Heck, they wouldn’t even go for a real drug testing program until Congress shamed them into it.

    That being said, in the ideal world, I agree with you. I love competitive balance, where shrewd management moves coupled with increased player production equals pennant.

  • Luis V

    Without a salary cap, small market teams are like just another farm system. They get all the young studs early in their careers, players get polished 2-3 years, player get their names out there just in time for the big boys to sign them, and the cycle continues…..just like the Energizer Bunny.

  • dee

    Instead of crying for a salary cap, maybe GM’s and owners should do their job and properly evaluate talent. Besides everybody can’t play for the Yankees or Red Sox or Dodgers. There will be some level of talent distribution and owners should pay the going rate. Also, unless you have a minimum salary that is high enough and require teams to be “competitive”, then owners will just shovel the extra cash in their pockets as some of the small markets team are currently doing. Actually maybe we could relegate the Pirates, Kansas City, etc to AAA+. If you’re not competent, you’re off the gravy train of being in the major leagues. Then we’d see how fast they’d become competitive.

  • stephen

    Boston Red Sox looking for a salary cap? LMFAO LMFAO , why didn’t John Henry suggest that idea two years ago when he acquired the Japanese pitcher? I hope the Sox aren’t trembling in their boots now…LMFAO LMFAO Hey there is always, Manny Ramirez who is still out in the market…maybe you can acquire him…LMFAO What a joke the Red Sox are!!

  • Oscar

    Hey I got two words for Mr. Henry: “BITE ME” !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeff J

    The Yankees have had the highest payroll for a long time now, and they still haven’t won a title since 2000, so to think the only way to win a championship is with money is complete hogwash. It’s all about team chemistry and who is playing the best ball at the end of the year.

    And for John Henry to be calling for a Salary cap now is a complete joke and is totally hypocritical. For years, the Red Sox took great players away from small market teams with the lure of big bucks. David Ortiz from the Twins, Manny from Cleveland, Beckett from Florida, Smoltz from the Braves. I could go on. I think Boston, even with their big money, is really a team that does play with great chemistry, which is why they have won 2 pennants this decade, and are in the playoffs almost every year. The Yankees used to win when they did have team Chemistry.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    With the exception of Manny, the Red Sox fairly acquired those other players, having to give up Hanley Ramirez in the trade for Beckett, for example. But there is no doubt they have spent tremendously in the past, signing guys like Dice-K for big money and Damon and Lugo. That being said, at least they have recognized things are getting out of hand.

  • Gene

    The Red Sox have spent plenty in the last five years, but the gap between the Yankees and everyone else is stupendous. In the past five years, the Red Sox haven’t even been second several times.

    That being said, John Henry should have kept his mouth shut on this issue.

    I predicted that the Yankees, with the younger Steinbrenners in control, would go on an unprecedented spending binge and indeed they did. No matter what you think of Red Sox management, you must agree that the Yankees’ actions are very bad for MLB.