Cheap Seats

MLB: Put a cap on it

With the current collective bargaining agreement set to run out at the end of the year, the owners and players have already started to negotiate.

That's the good part.

The bad part is that, while the NFL and NBA are moving to tighten their already established salary caps, owners apparently aren't even asking for one in baseball.

Obviously, it bothers me that the Cardinals may not be able to afford to keep the best player in the game because salaries have escalated so much in the last few years. But it goes beyond that.

There are far too many teams that are out of the running on opening day. It was one thing when a few of the weak sisters of baseball were on the outside looking in. But some of the traditionally strong mid-market clubs like the Cardinals and Braves are getting to the point where they can't compete financially with the other teams in their divisions.

I would like to see a cap set at about $125 million with a minimum club salary mark of about $75 million. At leasy then the teams would all be in the same chapter, if not on the same page. And, if they spend their money wisely, teams ought to be able to keep their best players because no one will be able to blow them out of the water with an outlandish contract offer.

How much more exciting would baseball be for fans across the country if the Pirates and Athletics could compete on a consistent basis? What if once baseball hungry Kansas City was given a chance to rekindle its feud with the Yankees?

I'm guessing that there would have to be some sort of phase in period for the cap, maybe as long as five years to allow teams already locked into mega deals to work some of those contracts out of their system.

But it doesn't look like that is going to happen. I guess it is going to take one of the smaller market teams declaring bankruptcy to wake up the rest of the owners to the financial facts.

I just hope the team that goes under isn't the Cardinals.