By now, you are still trying to process the uber-blockbuster megadeal that former Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole just signed with the New York Yankees of nine years and $324 million. If you are like me and most other baseball fans, you are not alone, and sadly mega-contacts like these will never be enough when it comes to winning.
What may have triggered this new “arms race” was the seven-year $245 million deal signed by 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to remain in our nation’s capital with the champion Washington Nationals. Strasburg’s annual $35 million contract value briefly made him the highest paid pitcher ever.
And in ever, I mean like two days, as Cole’s mammoth mega-deal made Strasburg’s look like a Walmart discount. One thing is abundantly clear; when the Yankees want their guy, they move Heaven and Earth—and burrow a few Brinks trucks to ensure delivery—as in the case of Cole’s $36 million annual value. Players talk of securing and getting the bag, clearly if you’re on Hal Steinbrenner’s radar, he will have them delivered to you overnight. Santa Claus ain’t got nothing on Hal when it comes to delivering the dough, for the right price of course!
With the deal, the Bronx Bombers all but have a proverbial subway ticket back to the Fall Classic with a chance to reclaim their proverbial birthright and the franchise’s 28th pennant.
Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. It sure as hell isn’t when it comes to outbidding the Yankees and their seemingly endless budget. When the equally rich Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels of Anaheim bow out like a scared freshman on his first day of high school in trying to go head-to-head with the most popular senior in school, you know it’s a wrap.
If you’re still trying to keep up, Strasburg’s now-former teammate in Anthony Rendon inked an equally monstrous deal with the aforementioned Angels of seven years and $245 million, and per media reports have their eyes on a pair of Cleveland Indians stars in AL Cy Young ace Corey Kluber and All-Star shortstop, Francisco Lindor.
While the Angels and Dodgers are circling small and mid-market clubs like my beloved Indians like hungry vultures ready to pick at a still fresh and throbbing carcass full of meat, it’s just another day in the world of big market bullies vs. the penny-pinching small-market teams who can’t afford to hang on to young talent. While I have my own special brand of loathing for the cheap and frugal Dolan family here in Cleveland, many Tribe fans now face the prospect of seeing their homegrown heroes in another team’s colors.
Hey, at least it ain’t those damned Yankees, right!
If you’re a fan of a big-market team like the Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Angels or San Francisco Giants, there is no cost when it comes to winning. If you’re on the other side and root for the likes of my Indians, Brewers, Tigers, etc. try to enjoy and appreciate the players you have because eventually, like the bills we paid, the price to keep them only goes up and eventually it’ll be time to pay them for their service.