Right now is my favorite time of the year. The weather is beautiful, classes are winding down, and baseball season is underway! There has been a lot of talk about how the economy has and will continue to affect the business of sports. While less tickets will be sold in every sport, I do not think that baseball will be hurt as bad as many believe. Teams are taking protective measures just in case, though.
While the Yankees and Red Sox are throwing around dollars like it’s nobody’s business, fourteen teams started this season with a lower payroll than last season, and those fourteen teams include the Bronx Bombers and the Red Sox. Ten of those teams cut their payroll by over $10 million. This should serve as reinforcement that teams are getting serious about cutting spending, which will affect players making 40 man rosters for the first time and All-Star veterans alike.
Remember that many players with extensive All-Star experience and potential Hall of Famers signed Minor League deals this offseason. There is less room to negotiate under the constraints of a sagging economy. However, this is when the best negotiators are able to shine.