Upon being reminded that all of the big-ticket free agents this offseason are shockingly — SHOCKINGLY! — going to large-market clubs with larger revenue streams, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred this week at the Winter Meetings unwittingly admitted that baseball's economic system is unfair.

"Do I deny that Tampa can't sign a pitcher for $326 million? I don't deny that; that's a fact," Manfred said, per La Velle E. Neal III. "Having said that, I think there are other areas in our system that allow those smaller markets to compete."

Presumably, Manfred is referring here primarily to the draft and to MLB's economic system that keeps young players on limited salaries for six years of team control — three years at or around the minimum, then three years at fixed rates through arbitration.

That certainly does help small market teams. But all those avenues are also available to help large-market teams like the Yankees.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.