Thursday, June 7, 2018

Do Not Be Worried About Stanton's Contract

Here we see Mr. Stanton looking up at his salary.

Professional athletes get a lot of flak over how much money they make. You've no doubt heard something along the lines of "it's ridiculous that so-and-so makes that much money". What those people fail to realize (or choose to ignore) is that professional sports rakes in billions of dollars, and that money is going to end up in somebody's pocket. Would you rather the owners take the majority of that money, while the guys people pay that money to see do all the work?

It's the exact opposite of the situation in college sports, where so many people are up in arms over the fact that while Ohio State University football is worth $1.5 billion the players see none of that. Well, you can say they get some of that through tuition and food per diems, but you get my point. Besides, I don't want to touch that subject with Daniel's finger. Heck, I'm probably going to regret bringing it up in the first place.

The point I wanted to make there is that pro athletes make the money, and people are pissed. But when college athletes don't get that money, people are still pissed. 

Talk about hypocrisy.

And that's not the only place where so many people lose perspective when it comes to the salaries of professional athletes. Back when Giancarlo Stanton signed that 13 year extension with the Marlins I heard so many people talk about the fact that Florida would be on the hook for $32 million in 2025 (assuming he didn't opt out, or... you know... get traded), when Giancarlo is 35 years old and has likely taken a step or two back.

On the surface that sounds like it could hurt. Even on a team like the Yankees, who have one of the highest payrolls in the league (I like not having to say they have the highest), you're talking about more than 15% of your team payroll for one player. But for a team like Miami, whose payroll is a little over $95 million, that player salary is crippling.

So what do the Yankees do if Stanton doesn't opt out, and they are on the hook for $96 million for his ages 35-37 seasons (he has a club option for another $25 million in 2028, with a $10 million buyout)? Well... nothing.

Am I being so nonchalant about this because it's not my money?

Well... sort of, yes. But the biggest reason I don't worry about that is because of inflation. In 2011 the highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez, made $32 million. The highest paid player this season, Clayton Kershaw, will make $35.5 million. That's an increase of about 11%.

So it's possible that the highest paid player in 2025 could be making over $39 million. That's why when people say Bryce Harper, and possibly Manny Machado, could make $40 million a year on their next contract, you shouldn't say they're out of their minds.

So going back to Stanton's $32 million, that means there's a chance he could be making 20% less than the highest paid player in 2025. To put that in perspective, Jason Heyward's salary of just under $28.2 million is about 20% less than Kershaw's. And that's for a guy that's been a below average hitter for the past two plus years. But you don't hear about how his contract is crippling the Chicago Cubs, are you?

Hell, back in February, Jon Heyman wrote that the Cubs have one of the best chances to sign Bryce Harper this offseason. There's all the proof you need that the Cubs will not be hampered by that Jason Heyward contract.

And neither will the Yankees when it comes to Giancarlo's deal.

I can't say with certainty whether or not I want Stanton to opt-out after the 2020 season. Chances are I will be hoping he does, because at that point he will be 30 years old and I can't imagine being okay with the Yankees signing a 30 year old to a seven year contract. But either way I'm not going to predict doom for the team based on what happens there. If the farm system is unable to produce like they are now, then I may be a bit worried. But I'm going to keep the faith.

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