USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Dodgers are just getting started.
Payroll disparities looked bad before, but if this offseason is any indication, they're only going to get worse.
With a potential $6 billion television deal from Fox Sports feeding their spending spree, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave Zack Greinke $147 million just a few months after acquiring more than $250 million in total salary from the Red Sox in an August blockbuster.
The Dodgers, with a payroll already over $200 million, will likely enter the season with the highest payroll in league history. Even more than the New York Yankees.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Miami Marlins cleared house one year after embarking on a spending spree to accompany their new stadium. Once they received taxpayer money to build their new park that still draws poor attendance, they parted ways with Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle.
It's time for baseball to consider following the other major sports organizations and establishing a salary cap and floor to promote competitiveness. Setting a maximum and minimum spending level for teams, even if it involves soft-cap limits like in the NBA, would generate balance rather than the same select teams engaging in bidding wars over every star player.
A massive payroll does not guarantee a championship, but it sure increases the likelihood of winning. The Yankees have only missed the playoffs once since 1996.
Operating in a small market is not a death sentence, but the feel-good story of the little, cheaply-constructed engine roaring to the World Series does not occur with much regularity.
Consider the depressing Moneyball ending when the closing captions essentially said, "Oh yeah, Billy Beane never actually won a championship, but the Red Sox used the same practices with much more money at their disposal, so they won twice." Yay?
Before the Dodgers buy every player left on the free-agent market, and then purchase the Tampa Bay Rays with their spare change, it's time to assert some financial boundaries.