Major League Baseball is a rich man’s game, as the salary cap-less league promotes lucrative contracts for its star players. However, young players with rookie contracts are frequently screwed over, basically serving as indentured servants for their respective clubs.
Take Mike Trout, for example. In 2013, fresh off of winning American League Rookie of the Year and solidifying himself as one of baseball’s top stars, he only made a little over $500,000. Now, Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox is experiencing the same problem.
After engaging in a contract battle during the offseason in which Betts asked the Red Sox to up his salary to more accurately match the caliber of player that he is, the Red Sox relented a little and agreed to renew his rookie deal at a salary of $950,000.
So while old-ass, washed up Albert Pujols gets to rake in $26,000,000 this season, one of the best young stars in baseball won’t even make a million bucks. The reigning runner-up in AL MVP voting, Betts entrenched himself as the next face of the Red Sox franchise this past season, but, due to unfair contract rules, his deal doesn’t reflect that.
Next offseason, when Betts is eligible for arbitration, he will finally be able to earn his hard-earned pay, as he wasn’t eligible for arbitration this offseason because he lacked three full seasons in the majors.
Perhaps this will inspire Betts to produce a season for the ages this year, thus making him even more valuable than he already is. However, it’s unfortunate for his sake that he has to wait as long as he does to reap the benefits of being so great, but that’s one of the many fiscal flaws associated with Major League Baseball. So don’t blame the Red Sox for being stingy. Blame the system that allows for it.