With the New York Yankees recent acquisition of slugger Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, many fans are fearing the superteam movement we have seen in the NBA is coming into MLB. While this fear may seem irrational, it is becoming more evident that the era of the superteam is upon MLB. With this movement comes an exciting time for baseball, as well as a nervous time for many fans.
The MLB Superteam Movement
The Pros of the Superteam Movement
A Renewed Interest in MLB
With this movement comes a potential increase in ratings and interest in the league again. Baseball, in general, has been taking a back seat to the NFL and the NBA in recent years. The introduction of these superteams, like the new look Yankees, can bring a new fanbase into the league.
Great Postseason Action
Assuming that the standings would shake out the way many people believe they will, putting these superteams on top, the postseason could be a wild ride for all baseball fans. We could see a World Series that pits Stanton and Aaron Judge, along with the rest of the Yankees, against the new look San Francisco Giants led by new acquisitions Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. That would make for an exciting World Series indeed.
The Cons of the Superteam Movement
Driven Up Price for Top Players
As the superteams start to develop, teams will slowly be able to use other trades to find the price of players. As teams start to try and trade for the stars, they can also drive up the price on the market. For example, the recent trades of pitcher Gerrit Cole and McCutchen by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Houston Astros and Giants respectively. In the Cole trade, the Pirates got back a crop of younger players in pitchers Joe Musgrove and Micheal Feliz, third baseman Colin Moran, and center fielder Jason Martin. In the McCutchen trade, the Pirates got back pitcher Kyle Crick, center fielder Bryan Reynolds, and $500,000 in international signing money. Teams can look at these deals, and use them to build the foundation for their big-name stars if teams approach them.
With this superteam idea, some teams are much more prepared to shell out the money and terms necessary to build a superteam than others. The Yankees are a team that is always ready to build something great, simply based on the fact that they have enough resources to build a superteam. A team near the bottom of the standings, like the Chicago White Sox, for example, won’t have the number of resources, such as money and contention, to attract any big name free agents.
Potential Decline in Interest
In this movement, there will always be some teams that will be far away from contention or a team that is in rebuild mode. If the fans of these teams, one example being the Miami Marlins, feel that the team is far away from contending for a World Series or postseason worth, the fans will not attend the games, driving down attendance numbers and interest in that team. The interest for the Marlins, for example, is at what seems to be an all-time low with the moves that Derek Jeter has made since acquiring the team, trading away the fan favorites including Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Dee Gordon. But in a market that is expected to always contend, like with the Boston Red Sox, this effect could be much worse.
Is This The Way To Go?
Based on all the evidence that we especially see now with the tensions in our free agent market, with many big free agents still unsigned, this is not a good thing for the league. Many teams will not be able to benefit from this change, and after a while, the postseason will start to be boring. MLB may be on the rise, but the new movement is something that could put the league in serious danger.
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