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The joy of selling your MLB team

One writer tires of hearing owners complain.

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Hey Bob, and Stuart, and John, and Bob again. I know you’re going through a rough time right now, what with owning an MLB team and not doing anything in the offseason. I know you’re looking over at Steve and Hal and Peter and you’re very grumpy at how much they’re spending, how they’re upsetting the natural balance of how this thing is supposed to work.

It’s hard out there for you guys. You scrimp and you save and you get somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million in subsidy money from the rest of MLB ownership. One of you just signed the richest free agent deal in the history of your club, $40 million dollars, and nobody cared! Everyone spent the winter talking about Carlos Correa and Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani who isn’t even a free agent until next season, showing so little respect for the magnitude of your investment.

Fortunately for you all, there is a solution: sell your teams.

You don’t want to sit on some financial reform committee, you don’t want to be asked all the time why you’re not spending any of that $200ish million in revenue sharing dollars, and you definitely don’t want to sit and listen to how much Steve wants to win this year. Sell your team! It’s a great feeling.

You guys remember Jeffrey? He got tired of this whole game, having to go to lunch with folks who just keep signing Yu Darvish to extensions. He got out six years ago, and made a billion dollars in profit off the Marlins. The Marlins. The Marlins don’t have the history that the Reds do or the ballpark branding the Pirates do. The Rays were most recently valued by Forbes at $1.1 billion, and any sale would come with a premium attached to it. Stuart, you paid $145 million for this franchise, you don’t need to pretend to want to compete anymore.

In some ways, the Wilpon boys ended up being the smartest of all of you. Mets fans did not like them, they were pretty miserable owning the franchise and getting booed all the time. In total the Wilpons ended up paying just north of $200 million for the organization and sold to Steve Cohen for $2.45 billion dollars. No more headaches, no more booing, no more hand-wringing about whether or not you’re paying the “efficient” price for talent. Two billion in your pocket, go buy a beach.

There’s very little in MLB that’s actual capitalism, including the fact that it’s basically impossible for any of you to lose money off your initial investment. It’s exhausting to have to listen to you guys complain about how hard done by you all are, and I’m sure it’s equally exhausting to apparently believe it in your bones. It’s ok to give up this billion-dollar plus asset you’re sitting on — that actually might be the most capitalistic thing present in MLB.

There will always be another billionaire wanting to get into the sports business. Maybe it’s Alex Rodriguez, maybe it’s someone else. You’ve got more than a billion dollars apiece that appears to be making you all deeply unhappy. Sell your franchises, take the cash, and quit this endeavor that’s got you so sad. Baseball will survive, the club’s brand will survive, and you’ll end up a lot happier about it.