“Baseball’s Spending Spree”
Baseball has entered unchartered waters with its free agent spending spree.
MLB, once upon a time, was a 6B-business, surpassed by the profiteering ways of the NFL. Baseball has rallied over the last 4-years, and as of tonight, is nearly an 11B-business, almost equal to pro football.
It’s team values, its media contracts have blown by the NBA-NHL. It has become a global game, more so than basketball. It has upgraded its rules, expanded its playoffs. It’s a very different game now.
It still has significant disparity and a real lack of partnership with its Union. Whereas the NFL salary cap has given everyone a chance to get players and win, and the NBA and NHL caps have brought balance to their sports, MLB still struggles to make every franchise a winner.
For what the Mets, Yankees, Dodgers, Red Soxspent is offset by the likes of the poverty ridden, A’s, the Pirates, Orioles, Royals and Marlins. The inequity in baseball operations is staggering.
But the last 10-days has been wild.
The top 10-free agents signed contracts worth 2.3B. Thee have been 57-signings of veteran players at a total cost of 3.3B so far. And there are still some 130-unsigned veteran players out there still unsigned.
The Mets payroll at this hour is now a record 324M-blowing by the 3-tiered Luxury tax. The Mets owe another 76M-in luxury tax payments to the Commissioner’s office.
The Dodgers, who were over the luxury tax last year, dropped below by letting 10-players go on the open market, clearing some 101M-in payroll space and they can spend now.
The Yankees climbed back into the luxury tax world with its contract to Aaron Judge.
The Phillies brought in Trea Turner and hit an all time high in expenditures.
Quick comments on the super-star signings in baseball:
YANKEES…Aaron Judge (9Y-360M)…Wanted to stay with a franchise that will give him its captaincy and where he can leave a legacy. But NY still has holes in its outfield and pitching depth issues.
METS…Justin Verlander (2Y-86M)…Kodai Senga (5Y-75M)..and Jose Quintana in a huge overhault. What experience and what age at the front of the rotation in New York. They rebuilt the rotation by buying arms, old, young and new.
GIANTS..Carlos Correa (13Y-350M) capped off a big spending week, that included Sean Manaea. A huge investment in Correa and it seemed they were bidding against themselves. Thirteen years is an enormous amount of time for a player already 28-years old.
PADRES…Xander Bogaerts (11Y-28) for a complete player, but you wonder what he might be like in the final 5-years of his contract. Will he tail off? Will he stay healthy? I keep having Albert Pujols-Angels flashbacks about the length of the deal.
PHILLIES..Trea Turner (11Y-300M)…a tremendous talent but he has alot of miles on that body. Will he be as productive on the other side of 30-as he was leading up to age 30? Oh by the way, they added starter Taijuan Walker too.
BOSTON..Masa Yoshida (5Y-90M)..brings diverse talent from Japan..but it does not soothe the feelings of angry Sox fans over the erosion of talent in recent years, from Xander to Mookie, and maybe next year Raf Devers.
TEXAS..Jacob deGrom (5Y-185M) for a once ace, who is now 34-with recent arm problems. Last year it was bats, the Corey Seager-Marcus Semien deals, this year it’s pitching. He’s 34-years old.
CARDINALS..Will Contreras (5Y-87M)…This might be the most surprising signing, but maybe the most impactful, adding his bat alongside the likes of Goldschmidt-Arenado.
CUBS…Jameson Taillon(4Y-68M) joins a troubled staff that nEEDS lots more help.
TORONTO…Chris Bassitt (3Y-63M) joins a staff that could be good, if all the injured arms get healthy. They have such a strong batting order, now they just need healthy arms. Bassitt is a late developing pitcher at age 34.
TAMPA BAY..Zach Eflin (3Y-40M)…The Rays came out of character to get a proven arm.
We’re not done yet, but this goes down as a record setting winter, not just with snowstorms, but dollars spent signing free agents.