MLB is an extremely flourishing oligopoly of baseball teams. For over 125 years now, MLB has been able to protect itself and its teams from competitive clutches of other teams. Of course MLB does get its fair share of competition from the National League. The hold of MLB has been so great over baseball labor that no player, however good or great he may be, is able to negotiate the salary with rival teams or leagues till he receives and approval from MLB.
The payment of obnoxious amounts to the Baseball players started way back in 1869 when Cincinnati’s Redstockings were paid openly. Earlier to that professionalism was not quite known especially in the terms that are known today. The stakes for winning then were a trophy or a cup and sometimes a benevolent benefactor would issue cash prize. But as the popularity rose, and various sources of revenue like media marketing through telegraph, radio and television came to be known, the players would receive some amounts as wages. Eventually professionalism trickled in and the players started realizing their worth in terms of monetary gains to the extent that today each player who has had a successful season signs up contracts worth millions and millions of dollars