From Sam Miller at ESPN.com on February 7, 2019:
Imagine you’re the Tampa Bay Rays, and there’s a young superstar free agent like Bryce Harper — let’s call him “Bryce Harper” — available. You gather in a conference room and decide that, as a low-revenue team, you could comfortably afford to pay him $125 million for some number of years. Meanwhile, somebody in the front office has been assigned to study the Yankees’ operation, and the best estimate is that they can comfortably afford to pay him up to $250 million for those same years.
The best outcome, extremely unlikely as it is, would be that Bryce Harper accepts your $125 million offer. Big news conference, MVP candidate in the heart of the order, what an exciting new era for Tampa Bay baseball! But the second-best outcome would be the Yankees signing him for $500 million. At that price, for those years, it could come back to bite them, and eat up some of their financial advantage over you. You’re in something close to a zero-sum contest with the Yankees. Bad for them is almost as good for you as good for you is.
The worst outcome is the Yankees signing him for $250 million.
Read the full article here: http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25891797/welcome-small-market-team-worst-nightmare
Originally published: February 7, 2019. Last Updated: February 7, 2019.