This is a problem, isn't it?
The Cardinals, White Sox, Marlins, and Diamondbacks have all won titles this century. The Rockies appeared in their first Series this past season with a payroll closer to the Marlins than Yankees.
Money does do one thing though. It gives you respectability. It shows your fans you appreciate what they pay to see your team. It shows the league you mean business, and it shows the players themselves that they play for something other than a greedy owner.
The Florida Marlins dealt away arguably their 2 best players, sans Hanley Ramirez. They got 2 studs in return (Maybin & Miller), but so what? Their payroll could be under $10 million this season. Nobody wants to go to Marlins games. They have disrespected Fredi Gonzalez, a young manager looking to make his mark. They are disrespecting the game.
There needs to be a salary floor. MLB must set up a minimum payroll to ensure that teams meet the minimal standards to field a competitive team. If they don't, numerous problems arise.
- The NL East will arguably have just 4 teams: 3 good, 1 bad, and 1 irrelevant. That's not fair to the rest of the league.
- The Marlins receive around $30 million in revenue sharing. And even IF they lose millions a year because of lack of revenue, costs, and payroll; its not $30 million. In this world it is common knowledge that you must spend money to MAKE money. Its called capitalism. Their poor revenues as per attendance are their own fault. The difference received in revenue sharing MUST be allocated to the team.
- The potential to LOSE a team in the Florida market, a team that has won 2 titles in its short history.
I propose that Selig institutes a League-Average Rule. If the league's average salary is determined to be $2 million, then you must have AT LEAST 10 players that make the average, which would mean the minimum payroll is $20 million. You can spend $5 mill on one guy. You can spend $20 mill on one guy. No matter. You must field a team that has Major Leaguers manning at least a few positions.If you break it down, you can field at least a couple of position players and pitchers that have major league experience, and then fill the rest of the team with minor-leaguers. At least it gives you the chance to compete, not cheat the fans, and not cheat the other owners paying your operating costs. Otherwise the team becomes a joke. MLB does NOT like seeing empty ballparks. Imagine the attendance at a Marlins-Nationals game? It would probably be around 1,000 or so. This is a black eye for the league. Its been proven that money does not buy titles. So no ceiling is required. But money does buy respectability in this league. Don't cheat the fans. We pay enough as is. Its time for a salary floor.