The rich get richer
December, 1, 2007
Now you start thinking about what it's going to be like when C.C. Sabathia is a free agent at the end of next season, or when Brad Penny and Jake Peavy hit the market the following year. Bud Selig tried to level the playing fields with revenue sharing, and it did work -- for a while. But there were only four or five teams this offseason that could make a play for Johan Santana or Alex Rodriguez or Miguel Cabrera, or Torii Hunter, for that matter. The situation will be the same when Sabathia is on the market next November, and it won't matter how much C.C. cares for Mark Shapiro and the Indians organization. The steep price will be one the Indians can't afford in their market -- any more than the rate Hunter set for center fielders and Santana will set for pitchers -- and won't fit the budgets of most teams. It doesn't matter how much luxury tax the Yankees pay or how much Steinbrenner money goes to Kansas City, Minnesota or Tampa Bay. Hank Steinbrenner is going to use his AmEx to win. He gets a year's grace from some of the taxation because of the new stadium that opens in 2009, but if you're out there in a small market, how scary is this winter, with the realization that the Yankees and Mets are both about to open new revenue-cow ballparks?