Time to Modify Rules for Free Agent Salaries, Part 2


In the first part of this blog, I stated the inequity in pay among major league baseball players. At that time, I focused my comments only on pitchers. In the 2nd part, let me give my suggestions on how the salaries can be looked at to give a fairer approach to players. I’m not implying that salaries of pro baseball players should be treated the same as the typical blue collar or white-collar worker. But, those players who excel at their position should be paid accordingly. Whether that is with an increase in salary or with additional bonuses doesn’t matter to me.

There are ten factors that should be considered for all position players in major league baseball. Those factors are: Tenure with team, tenure with MLB, batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, runs batted in, strikeout to walk ratio, stolen bases, games played, games started. These factors should each be given a score and the total score should determine the player’s ranking with their contemporaries at their position.

For pitchers, there are eight factors that should be considered. The factors for pitchers: Tenure with team, tenure with MLB, earned run average, strikeouts, walks allowed, number of innings, number of saves, won-loss record.

For American League players, the designated hitters and utility players, the factors can be tempered to allow for their circumstances. The same thing may apply to relief pitchers, since there appearance in games can fluctuate often.

Once the factors are applied, players can be ranked by position and the best player at a given position should be paid accordingly. These factors should be looked at yearly; which then begs the question regarding long-term contracts.  How about having contracts that aren’t tied to a specific money amount. Based on the player’s performance, the contract can mention a “bar” that the salary can’t go above or below.

I think by doing this, you’ll see player performance be more consistent over time. I think currently there are many players that are over paid when you compare their performance with other teammates or players. And it would ensure that a player that has had a few sub-par years is not paid more than players that are consistent and excel every year.

I know this is far from a perfect system but it would be better than the one currently in use. There could be different or additional factors used for the players. And I have no idea what the salary “bar” should be when determining how much to pay a player. This is for the experts and owners to figure out.

But at some point, something has to be done or the salaries are going to cause ticket prices to go higher and baseball will price itself out of popularity. And last I checked, attendance is still a big deal in professional baseball.  What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading.