The Issue of No Salary Cap in the MLB

Pio Romo, Staff Reporter

The MLB is the only league of the big five sports associations in North America – NFL, NHL, MLS, NBA – to not have a salary cap. This move is constantly criticized by baseball fans and pundits alike. But why?

A salary cap, according to Wikipedia is “is an agreement or rule that places a limit on the amount of money that a team can spend on players’ salaries.” The main purpose of the salary cap is to prevent rich, big-market teams from gaining an unfair advantage over smaller teams by splurging on elite-caliber players to form an unbeatable dynasty. Eighty percent of the big five Northern American leagues, like the NFL for example, have a salary cap in place for this reason.

From this, one can extrapolate why the MLB faces so much heat over this. It allows its big-market teams, like the New York Yankees or the Los Angeles Dodgers, to build dominant super teams that easily crush their opposition en route to the coveted World Series trophy. One hundred million dollars plus payrolls have been around since 2001, and since then, out of the 19 World Series winners, 15 of them had a payroll exceeding $100 million, since free-agent stars demand big contracts.

Let’s look at the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of baseball’s big-market teams. After acquiring free-agent Trevor Bauer to bolster their rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers will hold the MLB’s largest payroll this season, at $238 million dollars. Compare this to the team with the lowest projected payroll this season, the Cleveland Indians, who are projected to pay their players $36 million dollars this season. The Dodgers are able to spend over six times as much as Cleveland, which not only is crazy, but it also makes it nearly impossible to compete. The Dodgers have been in the playoffs every year since 2013, making the World Series three times, while the Indians have made it an impressive five times since then.

Above is a graphic of total payroll for each MLB team in 2014 (Courtesy of NerdWallet)

If the lack of a salary cap presents such an unfair advantage, then why hasn’t it been implemented? The reason is due to backlash by the MLB Players’ Union and Yankee’s ownership.  They are strictly against a salary cap, as it would restrict players from making as much money as they possibly can. As a matter of fact, a lawsuit has been threatened if the MLB were to consider such actions.

What do you think? Should a salary cap be introduced into the MLB? Make sure to comment down below with your opinions.