Money or Winning

Major League Baseball free agency is under way, and many high profile talent is on the market.  Greinke, Zimmerman, Price, and Cespedes are just a few of the names that will net MILLIONS in multi-year deals.  One of the things that always makes me laugh about free agency is the line that I hear many players say.  And it goes something like this, “I want to win.”  Well, if you want to win, wouldn’t you want to sign with a winning team?

There always ends up being at least one guy that talks about wanting to win, yet he signs with a team that has no chance of winning.  Yes, the player signs a contract that yields an unthinkable amount of cash; but the team that just paid him will be nowhere near the playoff race.  Think Robinson Cano.  A few years back, Cano signed one of the richest deals ever with the Seattle Mariners.  What attracted him to Seattle still has me baffled.  And now there are rumors that he wants out.  Anyone close to the game could have seen that the Mariners were not in a position to compete for a World Championship.

Think about Mike Staunton.  Is there any money left for Miami to sign any other players that can legitimately get them to the playoffs?  In a year or two, he will also be clamoring for a new team.  Why, because the Marlins will be consistently eliminated from the playoffs by September 1st.

I just don’t understand why anyone would want to sign with a team they KNOW won’t be a playoff contender; or sign with a team for so much money that you handicap them from signing any other talent that can get the team to the next level.  Playing meaningless games as early as Spetmeber 1st has to wear on someone.  Having your team’s local media continually publish neagtive stories about the team has to get you down.  Hearing fans boo every loss has to hurt.  Watching players you know you are better than win Chanpionships has to hurt.  So why…why sign with a team that you know has no shot of winning a Championship.

Yes, this may mean taking less money.  But do you really need 20 million a year? Won’t 10 million be enough?  Can you not figure out a way to live off that money for several years beyond retirement?  Can you not develop a plan for retirement? I would love the opportunity to have an honest discussion with one of these guys  as they go through free agency and weigh their options.

I’m sure I’ll be scratching my head on a few signings this winter.

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