|ESPN.com: SweetSpot||[Print without images]|
|If rich teams bought all the top prospects like Mark Appel, would it impact the standings?|
The ability to use a massive revenue stream internationally hasn't been a huge advantage for the Yankees or any large-market team over the long term, so why would we expect it to be so domestically? Miguel Cabrera signed with the Marlins. Felix Hernandez signed with the Mariners, as did Shin-Soo Choo. The Reds nabbed Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman. The Twins have Miguel Sano. The Pirates have Luis Heredia.
Frankly, giving high-revenue teams more opportunities to make big mistakes seems like a good way to enhance competitive balance. Take a look at the top of some recent drafts and you'll find that being among the very best amateur players is no guarantee of success. Yes, maybe a Stephen Strasburg -- who has yet to qualify for an ERA crown, by the way -- or a Bryce Harper ends up with a large-market team more often. So will Dustin Ackley and Donovan Tate and Bubba Starling and Cristian Colon. Just being able to buy the highest-rated amateurs will be no guarantee of success. Making the right choices among those amateurs remains a skill. Player development remains a skill. Eliminating the draft will certainly allow for greater variety in player acquisition strategies, with teams shifting money from year to year from major-league budgets to amateur budgets as needs change. Teams could make big splashes in one year and then go cheap in the next.
The Boston Red Sox have a $336 million revenue estimate, second in baseball to only the Yankees. Again, by any kind of financial calculation you want to make, the Red Sox are a well off organization. They pick seventh, one spot ahead of the Kansas City Royals, who have estimated revenues almost exactly half of what Boston has access to.
We can keep going. The 11th pick belongs to the Mets, who have $232 million in estimated revenues. At #16, we have the Phillies, with $279 million in estimated revenues. The Dodgers ($245 million and owners with apparently no concern for the luxury tax) are picking 18th. The Tampa Bay Rays, the franchise with the lowest revenue estimate at $167 million, pick 21st. The A’s, who have the second lowest revenue estimate at $173 million, pick 24th.