New York– Assume this spending spree continues and this has been an offseason like none other, the rich will continue to spend and those who don’t are looking at another dismal few years ahead.
I’m referring to the massive spending spree and record contracts granted during this never ending busy and eventual offseason for Major League Baseball. The players wanted this and the owners consented as over $2 billion in contracts were allocated.
So, yes the game is wealthy and well. The money is being spent for those who are willing to take a risk especially to those longterm deals for veteran pitchers.
Exception, though, the Oakland Athletics as they continue to go with their trend as the low budget franchise that peddles away players and have no concerns with a luxury tax as Carlos Correa (Giants) Justin Verlander (Mets), Trea Turner (Phillies), and Xander Bogaerts (Padres) got richer.
Manny Machado and Fernando Tatís Jr., well they got their share of the pot last year. Next year, Juan Soto, who many say is the best player in the game, has an opportunity to surpass the Aaron Judge contract of close to $400 million the Yankees were willing to sacrifice in their goals to win their first World Series title since 2009.
Leading also to a fact, that baseball franchise in Oakland will never win a World Series title, nothing similar to the Charlie Finley owned and Dick Williams managed era, then when free agency was at an infancy stage, an A’s dynasty winning three straight championships from 1972-74.
Perhaps so many of you will not recall how baseball was structured at that time. Owners had the money, though not billion dollar conglomerates and a players contract would not exceed $10 million over three years.
But, as I always say, that was then and this is now. Owners that want to spend, at that sacrifice to win, are doing so. Players have agents, not a part of the system during that A’s dynasty era. There is a powerful and enticing Major League Baseball Players union.
The words of a collective bargaining agreement were years ahead. And the reserve clause was more at the forefront that opened the door to free agency, though never envisioned to reach the heights it has today.
So, Wednesday afternoon, I was on a Zoom call the New York Mets arranged with the media. The Mets introduced their newest free agent acquisitions along with GM Bill Eppler.
The Mets, with the richest owner in baseball are spending money, close to $400 million in contracts and Steve Cohen, known to fans as “Uncle Stevie” may be far from done as they look to be that premiere team in the NL East with the free spending Braves and Phillies.
“I want to win, everybody talks about us,” said David Robertson, the new and hopeful reliable bullpen setup formula for the Mets, the bridge to Edwin Díaz who was granted the highest salary for a relief pitcher.
Robertson, with a one-year $10,000,000 deal, all guaranteed. Unheard of during those Oakland A’s championship years. Though, the late George Steinbrenner said it was always to win it all, because his philosophy as the “Evil Empire” owner of the Yankees was to always spend.
And so on it goes. As Eppler presented his case, he said, “You got to get in the tournament in the end. Depth is crucial for October baseball. We’ve done a lot of heavy lifting.”
But he said, the Mets were not done as there are reports of possible additions of a returning Michael Conforto or signing JD Martinez to contracts to put some more punch in their lineup.
Already Justin Verlander has solidified a one-two punch in the rotation with Max Scherzer. The five-year deal, $75 million deal with highly touted Japanese right-hander Kodai Senga, José Quintana (two-year, $26 million) a one-time homegrown Met, that adds to a commitment to spend and win.
Yes, Steve Cohen has the right intentions for a fan base that believed in his commitment to win when purchasing the Mets three years ago. Thing is, as others are learning, those willing are going to spend. And the players are grabbing the money. They want to win.
“Let’s win… this is the goal,” Quintana said Wednesday. Four days since the Mets stopped spending. And tomorrow another team will continue to grant another high profile contract in their quest to win a World Series.
Rich Mancuso is the senior writer @Latinosports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso. Watch “Sports With Rich” with Rich and co-host Robert Rizzo Tuesday evening live 8pmET on the SLG Network and YouTube
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