How many times have you said, “Gee, if only I could get a piece of what players in professional sports leagues get”? Well, now you can!
Real Sports Investments (RSI) is offering four percent of the future Major League salary of pitcher Randy Newsom, a reliever in the Cleveland Indians system. RSI is selling a total of 2,500 shares at $20 per share. Each share will entitle the owner to 0.0016% of Newsom’s future earnings in the big leagues.
The 25-year-old Newsom has yet to make it to the Majors. He split last season between Single-A and Double-A. In 57 games, he went 4-2 with 18 saves and a 2.80 ERA. Those are pretty good numbers overall, but Newsom was old for the level of competition.
Newsom made the mid-season Double-A Eastern League All-Star team this year and helped the Akron Aeros win the Southern Division Championship. The Indians showed their faith in Newsom by sending him to the Arizona Fall League, where clubs usually send their top prospects.
This is far from a sure thing. It’s quite certain that Newsom will never sign a mega-deal like Alex Rodriguez or any of the sports top stars. It is conceivable that Newsom will never spend a day in the Majors.
But if you are going to be an “older” prospect in the game, there’s no better position to be than a pitcher. Teams are always looking for good bullpen pitchers and many players with credentials less than what Newsom showed last year get a chance in The Show.
The trick for Newsom is to start strong. Because while many pitchers will get a shot, most of them will not get limitless chances to prove they belong. But a mid-season call-up with a strong initial showing may be all it takes to get established.
Currently, the Major League minimum is $390,000 per year. Most players in the Minors who get called up to the Majors will get a pro-rated share of that amount for the time they are in the big leagues. By terms negotiated with the Players’ Association in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, owners can determine how much, if any, a player gets over the minimum salary in the early part of a player’s career. As you might guess, owners are typically not generous in this window when they hold the hammer.
A small percentage of players are available for salary arbitration after two years in the Majors while the vast majority have to wait three years before having the chance to receive a more equitable (although still not fair market value) contract.
So, how much would Newsom have to earn to make an investment in him worthwhile? He would have to make $1,250,000 in his career to break even at $20 per share at 0.0016 percent. Basically, he would have to be good enough to hang around for three years in the Majors.
Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it likely? No, it’s probably not a good risk.
But it is a fascinating concept, one which allows fans to have more than a rooting interest in a player. No longer would the Jerry Seinfeld line of “cheering for laundry” be apt. However, it does open up the possibility of illegal activity. Organized crime might load up on a player and have “accidents” happen to his competition, allowing him a chance he might otherwise not get.
Either way, when you look at Spring Training box scores this year, check and see how Randy Newsom is doing. That is because he is not pitching for just himself or the Indians anymore. He’s pitching for stakeholders all over the country. Maybe even you.