COMMENTARY | Shock waves were felt by the entire baseball community this past week when ESPN reported Robinson Canó and his representatives will be seeking a 10-year contract worth approximately $305 million during the upcoming off-season.
Take a moment to think about that number: $305 million. Do you know what that equals out to in other professions? According to U.S.News, the average teacher earns $56,000 per year. If Canó’s potential contract was donated to hire teachers at the average going rate, over 5,300 teachers would find employment. Other potential job increases would include:
- 7,780 Substance Abuse Councilors
- 4,566 Registered Nurses
- 7,374 Social Workers
- 2,101 Dentists
Heck, it would even cover the Houston Astros team salary for the next 14 years if it were to stay at the current $21,133,500.
Not to knock Canó (I’m a fan and even have him on fantasy teams), but no player should ever receive that type of money.
There’s a quote by philosopher George Santayana which states “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Let Alex Rodriguez hold the distinction of having the largest contract ever. In 2007, the New York Yankees signed a then 32-year-old Rodriguez to a 10yr/$275 million deal. Teams need to remember the downfall of a contract that long and financially heavy. A-Rod gave the Yankees three or so good years before age, and other issues began to take its toll on the third baseman. When Canó inevitably signs a new contract, he will have been two years younger than A-Rod at the time of his record-breaking contract. Considering most players begin to slow down in their mid-30’s, is five or six good-great years’ worth a decade of salary that high? Unlikely.
A-Rod isn’t the only example of a high-profile player becoming a dud in the middle of a money heavy deal.
- Barry Zito has accumulated a 63-80 record since signing a 7yr/$126 million contract with the San Francisco Giants in 2006.
- Since his 5yr/$125 million contract extension in 2010, Ryan Howard has averaged 22 HRs, 80 RBIs, and only 111 games per season.
- As a Boston Red Sox fan, Carl Crawford’s 7yr/$142 million deal hurts the most. The expectations for him were never close to being met. Between Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Crawford has in total only 20 HRs, 106 RBIs and 54 stolen bases three years into his deal.
Robinson Canó without doubt believes he deserves to be the highest paid baseball player of all-time. No one should question his abilities as an athlete, but the fact of the matter is he doesn’t provide enough support or leverage to ask for that money. No player does!
Baseball is a team sport. There is literally no I in baseball. If a team were to pay Canó what he wanted, soon the next guy is going to want to become the all-time money earner, and then another and so forth. Teams will simply not be able to afford it and we will watch the collapse of Major League Baseball.
Basketball got it right with the Amnesty Clause.
Robinson Canó Contract Wishes — ESPN
Financial Statistics — U.S.News
Baseball Statistics & Contracts –Baseball References