Can a “Team Player” Make $200 Million?

Much ado will be made in the next few months about certain free agents in baseball who will be shopping around for bigger and better contracts. Each of them will inevitably claim that they’re trying to do what’s best for their family, and then when they’re signed for the maximum possible amount, they’ll say that they look forward to doing everything possible for their (possibly new) team.

But is that really true? Especially when we’re talking about mega-contracts, those that can exceed $200 million (spread out over many years).

Let’s start with the first claim: That family comes first. Of course that’s true, and I have no problem with it.

My problem is the idea that you need $200 million to take care of your family. If so, you need a new accountant. That’s an obscene amount of money. How much do you really need to take care of you and your family for the rest of your life and theirs? Even if you live an extremely opulent life, that number is far less than $200 million.

Then there’s the second claim: That these mega athletes are team players despite the mega contracts. I think those are contradictory concepts. If you really want your team to win, you should accept less money so your team has more money to attract other top-quality athletes. If a championship is your goal, why not help the team with finances by accepting far less than market value?

Now, that’s easy for me to say–I’m not the one having $200 million waved in my face. But it just seems hypocritical to me that mega-athletes claim that they’re a team player when their salary has a major impact on the rest of the team.

What do you think? This is your last chance to get those comments in for tomorrow’s Comments of the Month entry!

Oh, also, congrats Megan L. to for winning the Ireland blog giveaway!

7 thoughts on “Can a “Team Player” Make $200 Million?”

  1. In leagues with a salary cap or on teams with a defined spending limit, it’d be hard to argue that a player with an absorbitantly high salary is trying to help the team. However, one of the few exceptions might include the picture you’ve used–the New York Yankees. I don’t think there’s ever been an upper limit to the the amount the Yankees were willing to spend. $200 million (or double that) has never inhibited the Yankees from securing other quality players.

    By this argument, would St. Louisans argue that Albert Pujols’ recent contract requests prove that he is no longer interested in helping the team?

    • That’s a good point that money is fairly unlimited to a few teams, so an individual player isn’t hurting the team by asking for more money.

      I’m curious what Pujols’ is thinking. IF he really wants to stay on the Cardinals for the rest of his career and IF he wants to continue to win championships, it’s unquestionable to me that he should not seek market value. I bet Pujols’ could make $10/year from the Cardinals and still make hundreds of millions from endorsements. I’m curious to see what unfolds for him during contract and free agent negotiations, and to see if what he says matches up with what he does.

  2. Pujols is not staying with the Cardinals. He’s the one who decided to become a free agent. He’s the one who put off contract negotiations. There’s only one team he has had the opportunity to sign with over the past year, and that’s the St. Louis Cardinals. There’s only one reason he didn’t – he wants to make top dollar. That’s fine, but he won’t get that from St. Louis. He’ll do great on the Rangers next year.


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