Benjamin Franklin was once quoted saying "A Penny Saved is a penny earned". If you were to tell this to the Steinbrenner family they would simply grin, shake their heads, and point you toward their six world series trophy's all won under the Steinbrenner reign.
In 2009, the Yankees rampaged through the American league, winning the American League east by 8 games, whilst winning 103 games. They eventually beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the world series, and were crowned champions of the world.
Behind the Success of the Yankees is a very, very true financial tale. The Yankees Payroll for 2009 exceed $208 million. The Yankees had nine players earn more than $10 million this year and 18 players make over $1 million.
Compare that to bottom-feeding teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the numbers make a lot of sense. The Pittsburgh Pirates' payroll barely exceeded $25 million. Alex Rodriguez, famed Yankees 3rd basemen, makes $33 million a year which is $8 million more than the Pirates use to pay their entire team.
Compare the success of the Pirates to that of the Yankees and it goes to show how far money can go in baseball; the Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992, while the Yankees have only had one losing season in that same time period. And they've only missed the playoffs once in the past 14 years.
This season the Yankees invested nearly $800 million into newly signed players C.C Sabathia, and Mark Teixeira. After these signings the Yankees were almost unanimous favorites to win the World Series.
A team like the Pirates or Reds or Indians would not have been able to make these kinds of deals with star players because they simply do not have the money to sign or keep this kind of talent. Teams like the Yankees come in and offer lucrative contracts and low-budget teams are not able to hold on to prized players.
The Yankees have all the money in the world, and can sign any talent they want, making it almost unfair competition for the other teams.
If the MLB would institute a salary cap similar to that of the NFL more teams would be able to afford talent and rich teams like the Yankees would be brought back down to Earth a little. If there was a spending cap in the MLB teams would have more access to star players because there would no longer be big budget teams taking away star players with their lucrative contracts.
Until the league institutes some sort of policy similar to that of the NFL, teams like the Pirates, Athletics, Reds, Indians and Nationals will never have any hope of success.
Take this for example: The two starting pitchers in the first game of the world series, Cliff Lee, and C.C Sabathia, are both former Cleveland Indian Pitchers. They were stripped from the Indians because the team simply did not have enough money to pay them. If there was a salary cap in baseball, the Indians might have had enough money to hold on to at least one of their star pitchers and possibly be a competitive team.
Although Benjamin Franklin makes a good point, until there is a salary cap in baseball, the Yankees will continue to spend, spend, and spend some more, until their is no competition left in the MLB.