Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Contracts in Sports

In light of the albatross that the Yankees are facing over the next five years, still having to pay Alex Rodriguez $114 million dollars for what he's done in his past, opposed to what he'll give them in his future, it got me to thinking how pro sports teams should pay their star athletes.  Obviously it has to be fair for both sides but most importantly it has to reward those for what they accomplish and not what they already accomplished. So here goes.

Let's take baseball for instance.  Every team utilizes a 25 man active roster.  EVERY player on it gets $3 million dollars in base salary.  For many of us, $3 million dollars makes you richer than you ever imagined, so it's a great starting point.  From there, you get paid based on incentives.  Hit 50 home runs and you make an additional $5 million.  Reach 125 RBIs and make another $5 million.  Hit over .325 and you cash in, an additional $5 million.  The incentive pay comes down as your production comes down.  Set it up so that the cream of the crop gets paid "Arod" type of money and that players like say, Arod this season, get "middle of the road" money.

Sign players for as long as you like, but only for the base pay.  This way they still have financial security (nobody should ever go broke on say, $3 million dollars a year) but if they produce for you, you have to pay them accordingly.

Will this happen.  NEVER.  Even though it's best for the fans, teams and owners, the players would never approve it.  Is it extreme?  Compared to the nonsense that goes on now, yes.  But how about relievers.  Come in and throw one pitch and your day is done.  That guy may make $6 million dollars a year.  Based on what?  The game & salaries are out of control and it's no good.

The best advice for the Yankees, is to trade Rodriguez.  You ask, who wants him?  Good question.  Probably nobody at 5 years & $114 million dollars remaining on his deal.  But what about 5 years and & $57 million.  I say many teams would.  And that means the Yankees will have to eat half the contract.  Which isn't that big a deal.  Right now they are on the hook for 5 years & $114 million.  Erase half of that, go and get a competent 3rd baseman that can give you 18 HRs and 57 RBIs (Arod's 2012 stats) which shouldn't be hard and sign that guy for between $5-8 million a year and you are ahead of the game.

Don't trade him and watch this aging slugger, who has never been embraced here in NY, fade terribly into retirement.