Fangraphs had a scary thought here. Essentially, the argument is that the Yankees are being rewarded for A-Rod’s bad behavior, because they get to take his salary off the books. The author makes a few suggestions about how we can prevent, say, every team with a crappy player and a high contract from just strapping him down and pumping him full of ‘roids. (Perhaps Kevin would like to mail Dan Uggla some… nutritional supplements?) The author had three possibilities:
1. Require the team to continue to pay the contracted price for a suspended player, though in lieu of paying the salary to the player, the payments would then be evenly disbursed to their competitors within the same division. These payments would also continue to count against the luxury tax.
2. A team that has a player on its active 25 man roster that is suspended for using PEDs forfeits both their first round draft choice in the next amateur draft and the draft pool allocation that goes along with that pick. If a team’s first round selection falls between #20 and #30, then they also lose their second round pick, and the pool allocation for both of those selections.
3. A team that has a player suspended for PED use in the last year of his contract is forbidden from using the qualifying offer for that player and any other free agents it has in the upcoming free agent class, thus raising the cost of re-signing their own free agents, even the ones who didn’t get suspended.
A question I have with #2 is what happens to the vanished pick. Is there just 31 picks in the first round that year? I have to admit #1 is the most elegant. #3 seems excessive. I don’t have a better answer right now, but I’m curious to see if anybody reading this does.