Major League Baseball Needs Minimum Team Salary Floor

By Harry Dole


Jeffrey Loria Miami Marlins Owner
A minimum team salary floor for Major League Baseball would prevent two-faced owners such as Jeffrey Loria from decimating teams for personal financial expediency. Steve Mitchell – USA Today Sports Images

If MLB Commissioner Bud Selig were genuinely interested in the best interests of baseball, he would try and convince baseball owners to institute a minimum team salary floor, which would guarantee all teams can remain competitive to a certain extent. A minimum salary floor would make it more difficult for owners like Jeffrey Loria of the Miami Marlins to unload talent for strictly personal financial expediency.

Another benefit of the minimum team salary floor is that it would, for the most part, remove the need for a commissioner to review trades like the joke of a deal the Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays pulled off recently. Most, if not all, one-sided trades are caused by one team needing to dump salary and reduce team expenses.

Of course, getting owners to agree to a minimum salary floor is another story. No doubt, they all enjoy the freedom of being able to significantly lower their expenses when the need arises, as Loria did. However, baseball–and all sports, for that matter–is not like other businesses. They rely on competitive teams on the field to generate fan interest.

Another avenue that can be explored is to institute a new rule which does not permit trades which are extremely one sided in salary numbers. For example, you should not be permitted to trade away players making $100 million in salary for players making $10 million.

Of course, then comes the issue of calculating into this equation minor league salaries, which are significantly less. It would not be difficult to implement special formulas for minor league salaries and even draft picks. Nothing is perfect, but it would be a lot better than it is now.

When owners can decrease the competitive nature of their teams with just one trade, the game’s credibility comes into serious question. The potential to abuse this power is not in the best interest of baseball. It is, however, in the best interest of the owners–and this is why owners are reluctant to go this route.

There seems to be a double standard in the league with regards to players and owners. When players throw games for their own personal financial gain, they are banned from the league and can even be brought up on criminal charges. When owners throw seasons for their own financial gain, they are completely immune from any accountability.

In the rather likely event that Selig does not move to fix this extremely flawed situation, it would be left to his follower to actually do something which is in the best interest of baseball. It would not be a bad way for the new commissioner to start off his legacy.

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