Proposition for a Salary Cap

Baseball is an unfair sport... for now. There have been many steps recently that have made baseball a bit more fair, but there is one ultimate step to make it an almost completely fair game, and that is a salary cap.

Even up the divisions- check (2013)

Make the Schedule fair for all teams in a division- check (2013)

Make the playoffs less exclusive- check (2012)

Only one thing missing and that's a salary cap. Every other major sport has one, why not baseball? The first $100mm team started in 2000. Since then baseball has had the most un-diverse playoffs in all major sports. It will continue to be this way unless some big changes are made.


Here is my proposition ( I am using the 2011 payrolls as a starting point since I don't have 2012):

There needs to be a salary cap of $140mm that will begin in 2018.

There needs to be a salary floor of 50% of the cap. In 2018 this will be $70mm.

This means that all 30 MLB clubs must spend at least $70mm on player salaries and no more than $140mm.

The cap along with the 50% floor will be re-evaluated after every season and adjusted and/ or raised if needed for the following season.


The reason I like this as a starting point is because there are only 3 teams with payrolls higher than $140mm. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies. So a majority of teams will not be drastically affected.

The longest current contract on those 3 teams is Adrian Gonzalez whom is locked in until 2018. This is why the salary cap will start in 2018. So currently no contracts with the teams that need to lower their payroll will be affected. All teams will have 6 years to sign, re-sign, trade, pass on players, etc... to adjust their payroll accordingly.

I created the floor so that the game can maintain it's integrity and competitiveness. Most major sports also have a salary floor. This is mainly because of the Players Association being worried that their players won't get paid very much if there is a cap. Keep in mind a $140mm cap is still a lot of money.

The salary floor really helps because it will ease the Player Association's fears about salaries. Individual player salaries will not change very much because for those 3 teams which will have to cut their payroll, there are 10 teams under $70mm who need to increase their payroll. So basically the salary floor will help even out the players and big high paid stars will be able to sign to any of the 30 clubs without worrying about being underpaid because "they" keep their payroll so low. Of course a player can choose to go to a high salaried team for less money if they think they are a contender. This is their own choice.

Those 10 teams under $70mm will have 6 years until 2018 to get their payroll increased by whatever ways they can. Maybe the MLB can allow certain franchises to keep all of their revenue for a few years or something. Or maybe the owner needs to sell the team to someone who is willing to invest more money. This is business after all and it's not fair that certain teams remain terrible every year because their owner doesn't invest into them. Or they have to keep trading away players who get expensive because they can't afford them. Having to spend at least $70mm (50% of the cap) allows teams to sign better players, trade for higher salaried players, and re-sign their own young players to bigger longer contracts.

There will still be "rich teams" and "poor teams" but that "50 feet of crap" will be long gone. A $140mm to $70mm payroll is still a big difference, but it is a lot better than how we have it now.

What do you think AN?

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Athletics Nation

You must be a member of Athletics Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Athletics Nation. You should read them.

Join Athletics Nation

You must be a member of Athletics Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Athletics Nation. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.