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Does it Need a Cap?

By: Abby Decker

Edited By: Kylie Augis

The MLB is the only one of North America's men’s professional leagues that does not enforce a hard salary cap.

To start off, what is a salary cap? A salary cap is an agreement that limits how much a team can spend on the player’s salaries. Without salary caps, the teams who can afford more will spend more, and those who can afford less will spend less.

Currently, there is a huge gap between the team with the highest payroll and the team with the lowest payroll in the league; the New York Mets are standing with a total of $353,546,854 and the Pittsburgh Pirates are standing with a total of $58,137,500. Having a variety of salary caps allows teams to acquire different levels of talent.

The better the team is, the greater chance they have to make it to playoffs and beyond. If the same teams spend the most amount of money, we will keep seeing similar outcomes in the league. Enforcing a salary cap allows for more equal competition, and more variety in the playoffs.

The head of the player’s union, Tony Clark, does not believe in salary caps. Not only does he think there would never be an agreement on a cap, but he believes placing a cap would put a restriction on player value and player salary. He proposed tweaking the revenue-sharing system, as he believes that teams would want to spend more money and compete, but the MLB continues to reject that idea. The topic of a salary floor was also brought up, but the MLB countered with a stiffer luxury tax system. This system is treated like a soft cap by teams, but others have ignored the limits.

On the other hand, the commissioner, Rob Manfred, and other executives felt that there was an issue between the revenue side and the ability to spend on players. Even the league itself formed an economic reform committee to look into the major issues. They believe there has been and currently is an issue in the competitive balance.

This topic will be discussed for a while as the latest labor deal will not expire for another four years. Until then, many ideas will be talked about and a potential solution can be created.

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