Securing top free agents force big spending

The MLB offseason signings have been pretty dramatic this winter. The Yankees especially (shocker) posted some big free agent signings.

Bartolo Colon: $20 Million, 2 years. 

Brian McCann: $85 Million, 5 years.

Jacoby Ellsbury: $153 Million, 7 years.

Carlos Beltran: $45 Million, 3 years. 

They also quietly resigned Derek Jeter to 1 year, $12 Million contract along with SS Brendan Ryan for a 2 year, $5 million contract.

In other words, the Yankees are scary; but their acquisitions aren’t surprising. The baseball world is used to Steinbrenner/Cashman dropping this type of dough on players. But they’re not the only ones spending big for 2014: the Mariners got Cano and Salty , Red Sox got Napoli back and Pierzynski with big contracts. That’s just to name a few.

Without a salary cap in place and a less-limiting luxury tax on excess expenditures to replace it, baseball clubs have room to spend loads on big names. The NFL, on the other hand, has a salary cap, and with the season winding down, I was curious how the contract salaries differentiated between the sports.

You can see the numbers here

Turns out, there’s a big difference. NFL players’ salaries can dip well below the million mark while, on average, MLB players get paid at least 2 mil. They’re still both equally over paid.

But football players are  fairly equally paid; salaries are pretty uniform (with the exception of the quarterbacks’) and range between ~$800,000-2,000,000. The average salaries for baseball players are higher and vary a bit more (~$1,000,000-7,000,000). Designated hitters–which don’t even exits in the NL–get paid over $6 mill on average, which means a select few teams are willing to spend a lot for one-trick players like David Ortiz and Victor Martinez.

Statistics from Sports Illustrated 

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