Buster Olney brought up an interesting point when discussing the long term impacts of the Ryan Howard arbitration award:
Looks like the Brewers won't reach a contract agreement with Prince Fielder and will instead renew his deal, writes Tom Haudricourt. Again, here is an example of a growing disparity problem for mid-market and small-market teams. Because of Ryan Howard's arbitration victory, the Brewers might have to pay Fielder around $10 million next year, and then presumably $15 million or more in 2010, when he's still two seasons away from free agency. Sooner than later, the Brewers will come face-to-face with this problem: Either they invest huge dollars in Fielder, at annual salaries of $18 million-$20 million for 2011 and forward, or they'll have to consider trading him.
Can't see this being a good thing for mid-market teams, much less the smaller market teams. There is no "Larry Bird" rule which enables teams to maintain a competitive advantage over the other teams with regards to keeping their own players. Will this further divide the teams to the Richie Rich All Stars (Boston, NYY, Mets, Angels, Springfield Isotopes, etc.) and the Little Sisters of the Poor (Pirates, Royals, Rays, Marlins, Washington Generals, etc.)?