Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Excerpt: "The Perfectly Logical Ellsbury Signing"

"So in the absence of buying a unicorn, the money has to go somewhere. It goes to Jacoby Ellsbury, because Ellsbury is the best player on whom to spend it. I do think it's instructive that the Yankees -- who have seen the last few Collective Bargaining Agreements include rules specifically targeted at their business practices -- are the ones making these investments. No team has a greater incentive to get under the luxury-tax threshold, due to the vindictive repeater penalties in the latest CBA, and they're spending the money on top-of-market players anyway. They have cash, and their choices in an industry that has capped draft spending and international-amateur spending (and is trying to cap posting fees for Japanese veterans) are limited to paying Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, or sitting on their money. They choose to pay. Not everyone agrees with me, but I think there's honor in that. The Steinbrenners want the next win more than they want the next dollar, which is the very definition of a good sports owner. (They also would like to not lose tens of millions of dollars over a period of years to rules designed by people who want the next dollar more than the next win, a position I also defend.)"