I awoke this morning to learn that the Yankees have supposedly offered Manny Machado $220 million over 7 or 8 years. That equates to around $30 million per year plus or minus which is in the range of the top per season salaries in baseball.
I have written previously that in my opinion the numbers easily justify paying Machado $35 million per year or more over 10 years. The back end of that contract will possibly be somewhat ugly for the team but Machado will be underpaid in the first half so it all balances out.
So, first I want to say that every American is free to do what they please with regards to their employment. If you believe that every dollar you earn will increase your happiness as much as the first dollar, then by all means you should chase every last dollar.
But, work is more than just money. For most people, it’s our passion. It’s our social life. It’s what we are to the world. For baseball players it’s even more the case. They are on the road a significant portion of the year. They work nights. Most of their lives are work or work-related. And for many people they are our heroes. And many of them bask in that glory.
Manny Machado will spend the last productive years of his life with the team that he signs with. Let’s be clear; he’s unlikely to become a brain surgeon after he retires. He’ll live very comfortably no matter what, but these are his glory days. And he will either live them productively or he will live with his regrets until the day he dies.
Is there a team that will give him that extra $80 million that he craves or that he thinks is fair? I don’t know.
But, if you gave Robinson Cano truth serum and asked him if he really enjoyed losing in Seattle for five years I’m not sure what he’d say. And Robbie at least played for a winning team before that. Manny really has not (other than his brief stint with the Dodgers).
My point is that money is great. We all love money. But sometimes it’s not all about the money. And many people choose to not take jobs that they know that they will hate even if they will pay more. And the thousands of dollars a year those Americans turn down mean a lot more to them than another few million will to Manny Machado.
Sometimes, just sometimes, enough is enough. If Manny Machado really wants to be a Yankee he should take their money and compete for world championships for the next seven or eight years. And show his rings to his grandkids as opposed to telling them he “Coulda been a contender.”