Open the Floodgates

By Josh:

(Just so everyone is aware from the start I may rant a little in this post. Oh and I am not a Yankee fan.)

For months baseball has been held hostage by the on and off again possibility of Masahiro Tanaka coming to Major League Baseball. Yesterday that saga comes to a conclusion, but opens the doors for so much more.

TanakaThe New York Yankees have official signed Tanaka to a 7 year / $155 million contract.  One of the largest contracts in all of baseball for a starting pitcher.

First off let me say that I think this contract amount is a mistake for any team to take. Could Tanka be one of the great pitchers of the game, yes he could. Has he proven that he will be, not even close. This much money for an unproven player is a huge risk in my opinion.

Now enough of a risky signing by the Yankees and what this means in the world of baseball.

Free Agency Floodgate

For the last couple of weeks the free agent market for starting pitchers has completely stopped. Every team, agent and starting pitcher has been twiddling their thumbs waiting for the mystery that is Tanaka to sign a contract.

Now the time has come for every team that thought they had a chance to sign Tanaka, and in need of an upgrade in their rotation, to make another round of phone calls to every free agent pitcher.  With only a few weeks until spring training starts, the next couple of weeks of the hot stove just might heat up a little bit and give us some excitement before starting the 2014 baseball year.

Yankee Haters Floodgate

The evil empire has strikes again.

Of course the Yankees are just throwing money at every player.

The Yankees spending habits are bad for baseball.

These are just a few of the thoughts I’ve seen and read over the past two days.  Now I will be honest with you, I do not like the Yankees. I never have and never will, but really it is more because the Yankees are willing to go out and spend some money with the one and only goal of winning championships.

A lot of teams in baseball just try and sign some players so their fans have players to watch and cheer for. Winning a championship is a nice idea but it doesn’t break the front office’s heart if they lose as long as fans are coming to the games and the team is making money.

The Yankees have learned that winning championships fills the stadium, sells tons of merchandise and makes lots of money.  So since winning makes money they have made an effort to keep winning, whatever it takes.

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be sad if my favorite team the Mariners went out and spent 180 million to build a team each year.  The Mariners have been in the cellar of baseball for long enough that I would give anything to see my team win. That is what the Yankees do for their fans every year.  I don’t even remember the last time the Yankees weren’t a favorite to win the AL East and at least talked about making the World Series.

Yes I hate the Yankees, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind seeing my favorite team build a winning team like the Yankees have.

Salary Cap Floodgate

The Yankees and Dodgers are spending money like crazy. They are leaving the rest of baseball behind when it comes to total team salaries and I know that this is going to cause the salary cap talk to start flowing again.

I don’t want a salary cap. I like the fact that teams can build their rosters in completely different ways.

Some teams are amazing at putting together strong teams without spending Yankee / Dodger levels of money (Oakland and Tampa Bay). However, most organizations are not that good and need to spend some money to build their team.

Now don’t come to me and tell me it isn’t fair how two major market teams can spend so much to build their teams.   Being in a major market is only a piece of the puzzle. A team like the Yankees has been dedicated to winning. If you look in the same city you will see an example of a team that has not been dedicated to winning but has the same opportunity to follow the Yankees, the Mets.

The Cubs have a huge following across the nation and yet I don’t see them having the same dedication to winning that a team like the Yankees have.

I have no problem with one team spending more than other teams. Spending money doesn’t win championships. Neither the Yankees or Dodgers won the World Series last year, so don’t tell me that spending more money isn’t fair for baseball.  If spending money was the only factor to winning then the Yankees and Dodgers would face each other in the World Series every year.