The Dodgers are sold for $2 billion. The Reds give Joey Votto what basically can be termed a 12-year contract for more than $225 million. Matt Cain gets the highest contract for a right-hander in baseball history. Jay Bruce and Andrew McCutchen received five-year contracts in the $10 million per season range.
Add up all of these things, and it doesn't bode well for the self-preceived small market teams. I say self-preceived because a team like the Cardinals is in a smaller market than the Indians, and they never are called a small market franchise.
But back to the point, the window for keeping players used to be 6, maybe 7, seasons, I think it is shrinking. The pressure builds in Year 2 if you have a descent player to start the ball rolling toward $10 million per season, if not more (see Tim Lincecum).
The Indians showed the way in the 90s with signing your core players while they are young, and it worked in fielding a competitve team and filling up the stadium.
I just don't see how that system can work for the Indians now. Their payroll seems like it would have to max out around $80 million, that leaves room for maybe one really good player to be on the payroll at one time.
The new TV deals for the Angels, Rangers and Padres aren't going to help either, and the Giants are close to paying off their ballpark debt.
Crazy baseball money is back to making it difficult on the Indians to compete.
I guess on the bright side for the Indians right now; they don't have a player of high pedigree who would demand that type of money.
* Other points of interest, we have expanded our coverage of spring football for the Zips and Flashes, George Thomas and Stephanie Storm are writing a news of the day feature and notebook off each practice for the Beacon and Ohio.com along with a blog update. Make sure to check out the new blogs for the Zips and the Flashes.
* Nate Ulrich is the best source in the Browns market for the NFL Draft. Between his Twitter account (@NateUlrichABJ) and his blog (ohio.com/browns), there really is no better place to go for updates. One of his more popular posts is this one: It details whom the Browns have worked out and had in for an official visit. He also posted his second mock draft here.