November 30, 2010
According to Scott Wuertz, a writer for the "View from the Cheap Seats" blog on the Belleville News Democrat website, the New York Yankees and their business practices are making life extremely difficult for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Wuertz states his case by first citing the 10-year, $300-million contract the Yankees awarded to Alex Rodriguez(notes) as a major stumbling block in the Cardinals' attempts to lock up Albert Pujols(notes) with a long-term deal.
(In truth, the major stumbling block has been Pujols turning into the game's best player and creating an unparalleled free-agent market for his services.)
While they publicly said they weren't interested in the slugging outfielder, reports after the fact indicated that New York offered a short term contract for $20 million to $25 million a year. The plan was to get Holliday for the short run and then let him become a free agent again this year when the talent pool was much more shallow than in 2009. Because of that move, the Cardinals had to guarantee Holliday seven years at $17 million to get a deal done.
Thanks Yankees. Are you trying to buy a championship or are you shooting for the big picture of eliminating the competition by bankrupting all the other clubs?
The answer to the first part of Scott's question is yes. The answer to the second part is they don't care what the consequences are to everyone else.
And honestly, why would they? There are no rules in place to stop the Yankees from driving up salaries and making life ridiculously difficult for the Cardinals and everyone else below them.
I don't like it any more than anyone else. It's not fun for me as a baseball fan to see one team sticking their nose in everyone else's business looking for ways to benefit themselves. But until someone tells them they can't do it, I don't blame them for exercising their power.
Until a system is in place that resembles a hard salary cap. Until Scott Boras goes far, far away. Until the players decide making the most money possible isn't their primary career goal. We're going to continue reading articles from frustrated writers accusing the Yankees of the same things year after year.
And year after year it's going to sound like sour grapes, because I don't give any of those scenarios a snowball's chance in Miami of ever coming true.