Is now the time for MLB to have a salary cap?

After Miles Mikolas' comments, this is the perfect time for MLB to look at a salary cap and a salary floor for teams.
Team Korea v Los Angeles Dodgers
Team Korea v Los Angeles Dodgers / Masterpress/GettyImages

Miles Mikolas spoke about having to play the Dodgers and going up against a team with a bigger checkbook. 

His comment tells us players must be feeling the same way the fans are about the payroll disparities in major league baseball. According to Spotrac, one team, the New York Yankees has a total payroll of over $290 million. The Oakland A's are trying to compete with a $47.2 million payroll.  

The statement coming from a Cardinals player, however, may sound over the top if you read that in two cities that have teams in the same division. Cincinnati has a total payroll of $86 million and Pittsburgh only has $72 million. I am guessing the fans in those cities must feel the same when they look at the Cardinals’ $164 million payroll. 

The Dodgers could look at the list and humbly say that they are ninth and the Cardinals rank just behind at tenth and tell Mikolas to just be quiet. They would be right. With Shohei Ohtani deferring almost all of his salary, it changed the numbers. However, if you add his $70 million to their total, the Yankees are still number one. That is how crazy the entire system is. 

According to Forbes, the Cardinals are the tenth most valuable team. I know fans want to always spend more of the owner’s money. However, to have the tenth-highest payroll feels about right. What doesn’t feel right is that under this system, a team like the Cardinals will never see someone like Ohtani or Juan Soto wearing the birds on the bat logo. 

In 1997, MLB introduced inter-league play. More recently, they created a balanced schedule. One reason for doing this is to allow all baseball fans a chance to see players like Mike Trout. Why isn’t there a system in place to give every team at least a chance to sign a Mike Trout?

The answer is very simple. You only need to look at this statement from the head of the players’ union, Tony Clark. “We’re never going to agree to a cap. Let me start there,” Clark said at the MLBPA’s recently opened satellite office in Arizona. “We don’t have a cap, we’re not going to agree to a cap.”  

The players’ union doesn’t want to limit a player’s salary. This is a very narrow way to look at this problem. If they had a floor and a cap, the teams at the bottom of the list would have to spend more. This would create a larger pile of money for the players, not less. The cap would be a team cap, not a cap on an individual player. 

Maybe what needs to happen is for more players like Mikolas to get upset enough to be the players’ representative for the union and force the changes that are needed. I, for one, would love to see Juan Soto in a Cardinals uniform.