Let me start off by saying that I understand why smaller market teams can’t spend as much as big market teams. However, if other organizations like the Tampa Ray Devil Rays and Miami Marlins have a payroll almost double that of your organization, it’s time to look your ugly, smug face in the mirror and ask yourself if you should really own an MLB team.
You may have heard some rumblings recently, but the Cleveland Baseball Team just traded away Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco last week to the New York Mets for two MLB-level players that are still in arbitration and two additional prospects. Here is the full deal with each player’s financial obligations.
– SS Amed Rosario – estimated to make $2.2m after arbitration hearings.
– SS Andres Gimenez – $575,000 (league min.)
– P Josh Wolf – $575,000 (league min.)
– OF Isaiah Greene – $575,000 (league min.)
Total financial obligation: ~$3,925,000
The Mets receive:
– SS Francisco Lindor – estimated to make $19.5m after arbitration hearings.
– SP Carlos Carrasco – $12m
Total financial obligation: ~$31,500,000
For Cleveland, this was an old-fashioned salary dump as the talent return is nowhere near comparable to what was lost. After offloading the contracts of Lindor and Carrasco, Cleveland’s total payroll comes to a whopping $23 million. When I saw that number for the first time, my jaw hit the floor. How could this happen? At what point as a Cleveland fan do you say ‘enough is enough’? As mentioned above, the Rays and Marlins – who are notorious for being cheap and trading away anyone making more than league minimum – have almost double the payroll that Cleveland does with half the fanbase.
Currently, there are only 2 players on Cleveland’s roster that are under an actual contract, Jose Ramirez ($9.4m AAV) and Roberto Perez ($5.5m AAV). Everyone else is either in arbitration or on their rookie contracts. For perspective, Jose Ramirez makes up over 40% of Cleveland’s payroll! I just don’t understand how anyone can be a fan of this Cleveland organization right now. The owners of the team, Paul Dolan and Matt Dolan, should be ashamed of themselves and deserve to be roasted for being the cheapest bastards on the face of the planet. I think the worst thing about it is, Cleveland still has a lot of talent on the team. It’s not like Lindor and Carrasco were the only productive players as they have Jose Ramirez (for now), Shane Bieber (2020 Cy Young), Franmil Reyes, Triston Mackenzie, Zac Plesac, and Aaron Civale. Those guys aren’t good enough to make Cleveland a competitive team in 2021 but it seems as if the front office threw in the towel prematurely by offloading Mike Clevinger, Brad Hand, Carlos Santana, Francisco Lindor, and Carlos Carrasco who would have made them competitive in 2021.
I understand that there are some financial hardships going on right now due to the coronavirus and also the fact that there’s no plan put into place by MLB and the Player’s Union doesn’t make any business man feel more comfortable but come on! To have a total payroll of $23mil is a joke and shouldn’t be allowed to go unnoticed. According to Spotrac, there are currently 23 players in the game that make more annually than Cleveland’s entire payroll and there are also 106 players that make more than Cleveland’s highest paid player, Jose Ramirez.
The Dolan brothers need to sell the team if that’s how they want to operate for the foreseeable future. It’s not only bad for Cleveland, it’s bad for baseball. The AL Central is going to be even weaker than what it already was and I fully expect the White Sox to overcome the Twins and win the division. I believe MLB’s power to veto trades should be used more often. I’ve had enough of watching teams tank because their owner(s) don’t want to commit to contracts that THEY AGREED TO and wants to save a buck, even if it does negatively effect bigger market teams like the Yankees that take advantage of these situations often. As a Yankee fan myself, I’m somewhat spoiled and I’m well aware of that. This makes me feel empathetic towards Cleveland fans and I just wanted to say that I would welcome you to the Yankee fanbase with open arms and a kiss on the forehead. You deserve better.