The fabled dance of the CBA negotiation found its way to MLS in earnest this offseason. The players are entrenching themselves along battle lines drawn up by previous players’ unions in other American sports – free agency, higher wages, more freedom. Meanwhile, the league continues to flaunt its lack of revenue as a bargaining chip. “How can we afford to raise the minimum wage when we aren’t making money?” the league intones with out-turned pockets. The waltz continues.
So salaries matter. Based on the most updated salary figures we have (released in Sept. 2014), I’ve put together a list of the most overvalued and undervalued players from each MLS team based on total guaranteed compensation in 2014. As you’ll see, these figures are in constant flux, but the league’s measured salary dumps make across-the-board analysis a bit easier. I’m omitting NYCFC and Orlando City for obvious reasons.
Note that I’ll only be including players currently on these rosters, not necessarily jettisoned players who were on the books for most of 2014. And we can update this as more updated figures become available (MLS doesn’t release them on a per-deal basis). So let’s have at it, shall we?
Harry Shipp ($95,000): The base floor of Shipp’s contract is $70K, which is a fantastic bit of business for a player of his quality. This is bound to fly up as Shipp renegotiates his contract with a near-ROY campaign crowning his CV, but for now the Fire can be happy with one of the buys of the year. Shipp’s quality only figures to increase, but his price tag for now makes him one of the best pickups of 2014.
Patrick Nyarko ($284,500): There may have been a time when the speedy Ghanian was worth this wad of cash, but it’s long passed. Nyarko only played 17 matches in 2014 due to injury, and a torn ACL and sprained MCL he suffered in October will keep him sidelined until at least April. When he comes back, will he be the same player, or even further diminished? This albatross of a contract certainly won’t reflect it.