This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"That money, that baseline guaranteed cash that is more about the media and advertising landscape than anything baseball has done itself, is the single biggest driver of competitive imbalance today. Too many teams take that money and lock in a guaranteed profit. For almost all of baseball history, a team’s bottom line was connected to its performance on the field. Slowly, and now more rapidly, that is not the case. Just having a franchise is enough to be in the black. No, $60 million alone doesn’t do that, but that $60 million, which is created unequally and shared equally, is enough that you can do the bare minimum locally and carry no financial risk."