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Baseball's Free Agents: Will Economy Keep Them From Big Bucks?
CNBC.com | November 03, 2008 | 03:01 PM EST

Over the past couple weeks, I've been on many radio shows and the hosts naturally ask me about the economy and sports. One area that I didn't think I was strong as I could be in was the baseball free agent question. Will baseball's free agents like Manny Ramirez, Mark Teixiera and C.C. Sabathia get less money because of the economic downturn?

For that question, I turned to Vince Gennaro. He's the author of the book "Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball" and has been a consultant to a variety of teams. Here's Gennaro's take on how the economy with affect this year's free agent market.

"You have two counter balancing forces--the economy versus the dramatic revenue growth from new stadiums in New York, along with a number of high priced players coming off the Yankee payroll, priming them to be aggressive. Regarding the severe downturn in the economy, and I know many people think sports and particularly baseball are recession proof, but I don't agree. We are already seeing the impact in how teams are setting pricing for next season's tickets. Many clubs are being extremely conservative, meaning they are taking very small increases, or even holding last year's pricing. So, if the economy were the only new development, I would expect the free agent market to soften somewhat."

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