Baseball agents love it when a team like the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox makes it to the playoffs year after year and is always fighting for a chance to win the World Series. Not because a majority of agents are true fans of either team, but because they can then go to management in a future negotiation and explain that the blueprint is clear: If you want to win, you have to pay top dollar for the best players. It is a technique that aims to turn teams like the Pirates, Marlins, and Rays into believers. While that tactic does not always work according to plan, it helps when the teams that are expected to win are actually winning.
But what happens when the lower payroll teams start beating out the big spenders? Will the big spenders stop throwing their money at the players who have their hands out constantly asking for more? And will the non-spenders continue to balk at the idea of spending, since they have enjoyed success without dishing out close to the amount of money that the “big market” teams have spent?
Only 3 (Giants, Phillies, and Yankees) of the top 10 teams when it comes to payroll have made this year’s playoffs. 4 teams from the bottom half of payrolls made the playoffs (Rangers, Rays, Reds, and Braves). Does this mean that parity is possible in a league that is not bound by any type of salary cap? Darren Rovell says it is not only possible, but that the MLB has the most parity of any sport, with 19 different World Series champions in the past 30 years.