Maybe baseball fans have been wrong about steroids and PEDs being bad for baseball. Maybe PEDs are the best thing for small and middle market teams. Since drug testing has been implemented it is very rare for a player in their early to mid 30ís to receive a long term contract from teams because they know the players skills will diminish with age, as they should. Even Cashman reportedly preferred not to resign A-Rod when he opted out of his contract two years ago because he didnít want to pay a player in his late 30ís and early 40ís and extreme salary. During the prime steroid years players it was common to give a 5- 6 year deal to players in their early thirties and expect them to produce until they turned 40. I believe part of this reason was because steroids inflated the market of above average players available to teams. The big market teams couldnít sign all the talent because there was a lot of talent to go around. Teams were also able to completely rebuild with free agents in the off season if they wanted to spend the money, like the 1997 Marlins.
Today it seems like fewer and fewer big time free agents become available in their prime years. Teams trade them off with 1 to 2 years of arbitration remaining because the players will command to much money in arbitration and they want to get something in return. Because small and middle market teams have very little room for error in developing a winning team. They canít afford to stupid free agent signing (See Cincinnati for an example) so the prefer to have plenty of prospects. During the steroid era it was easier for small and mid market teams to get an above average player at a decent salary to try and win, possibly leading them to hold on to there own talent through their arbitration years. Plenty of steroid players helped mid market teams win or compete, (possible players like Brady Anderson, Brian Giles, Benito Santiago, Luis Gonzales, etc). These guys werenít super stars but they were all-star level players with the aid of steroids and there were a lot of them to go around the league. Which allowed for some room for error in building your team. It was easier to go out in free agency and add on to your team or to take on a contract in the middle of the season. Teams didnít have to be perfect timing the development of young talent to win together.
Now with PED testing this above average tier of steroid players seems to have been greatly diminished allowing for the best players to command such high salaries that only the biggest teams can afford them and forcing the rest of the league to settle for average and below average players.
I think baseball fans may have been wrong about PEDs, maybe we need them to see our teams win and more competitive balance. It certainly seems like it would be a lot easier to allow PEDs in baseball than to get a salary cap for the league.