A Modest Proposal To Fix Baseball Welfare
There is no difference between 60 wins and 75 so there is no point in spending an additional $70 million on payroll to increase your win total. If you are not close to being a playoff team, it makes more sense to lose as much as you can, put the money in the bank and get high draft picks.
The large market teams are getting fleeced, the players are getting hosed and the fans are (or are not) watching some awful baseball.
I have a very simple solution to this problem: Only pay revenue sharing to teams who actually spend the money. So how would this work? Pick a reasonable bottom of the barrel total payroll number. Say $80 million. For every dollar spent above that number, the recipient team would be eligible for a dollar of revenue sharing. So if a team is eligible for $40 million of revenue sharing and has a $120 million or higher payroll, they would get $40 million in revenue sharing. If they spent $100 million, they would get $20 million. The leftover monies would be sent back to the paying teams.
This system would have the benefit of not penalizing high revenue team owners (who paid more for their franchises) for the sole benefit of lining the pockets of cheap, small market teams. It would encourage more spending (because the extra dollars are free) and hopefully minimize complete tanking. Except for the small market teams that are exploiting the system, it would be a win-win all around.