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How baseball owners came to value profits over World Series titles

MLB rules state that players must give their best to achieve victory. If only the same could be said for those who run the game

Gio Gonzalez isn’t a star, but he’s been a reliable starting pitcher for nearly a decade. The kind MLB teams sign during free agency, because it’s worth diving in early for dependability. At least, it was that way once: Gonzalez recently signed a minor-league deal with the New York Yankees, because it was the only contract offer the 33-year-old received all offseason.

How is it that Gonzalez was still available in mid-March, days before the 2019 season began? For the same reason Mike Moustakas signed one-year deals in consecutive offseasons despite being a dependable, league-average bat, for the same reason mega free agents like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado had to wait by a phone that wasn’t ringing: because not enough MLB teams are trying to win.

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