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With Arte Moreno exploring the possibility of selling the Angels, it opens up pandora’s box — who else should sell their teams?
In an ideal world, all baseball team owners would care. When you have a certain amount of money, why not invest it into your product, thus making it…better?
This has proven effective in the past. A good team typically draws more fans, increases the sport’s popularity in said area and leads to greater revenue. Yet, baseball continues to live in a world of small market vs big market.
Teams like the Dodgers, Yankees and more have astronomical payrolls and compete for free agents year in and year out, while the likes of the A’s and Pirates try to win with less resources. It rarely works, and is the result of a broken system.
With that said, though, baseball has no salary cap. Theoretically, any owner can spend as little or much as they want, assuming they’re willing to pay the penalty of the luxury tax system. Nothing is stopping them, and thus they deserve the blame when a minuscule payroll nets poor results.
MLB owners who should sell: Pirates owner Bob Nutting
Oh sweet lord where do I start?
Nutting bought the Pirates in 2007 in what should’ve been a fairly easy PR win. Kevin McClatchy led the franchise to some historic losing seasons, and failed to make the postseason during his tenure.
Eventually, the Bucs were floated as a possible relocation candidate, and Nutting swept in to save the day, helping keep the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Yay!
15 years later, and Nutting remains one of the worst owners in sports. His 26-man roster has a payroll of just over $35 million, good for second-lowest in the sport. Nutting’s teams have made a habit of residing near that spot, minus a three-year run in which they shockingly made the postseason despite…said low payroll.
Very little will change around Pittsburgh baseball as long as Nutting is in charge of the team. He sees the Pirates as an asset, rather than an investment opportunity, and because of that spends as little as humanly possible. Nutting makes bank, thus raking in TV and luxury tax money.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.