In a season where the New York Yankees have already lost to the Injured List Miguel Andujar, Dellin Betances, Greg Bird, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorious, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton you would think fans would be jumping off bridges because the season would be over, but you would be dead wrong.
Even though the Yankees Injured List payroll currently sits at over $81 million, that is around $20 million more than the Rays entire payroll, their season has not come crashing down on them. In fact the Yankees are only two and half games back of the Rays and are four games up on the mighty Boston Red Sox. Obviously I have to get the Red Sox in to any article about the Yankees just because of their rivalry.
Is the unexpected performance of the Yankees a sign that they are destine to win dominate when healthy? Maybe or maybe not, but what it does go to show is that just because you spend big doesn’t mean you can expect big results. How does it show that, well their active roster is only eighth in spending yet they still hold the third best record in the American League. Maybe they get better when they get healthy, but maybe not.
If I told you the Tampa Bay Rays would be tied for the second best record in baseball (based on win percentage) after around 30 games would you have said I was crazy? Maybe not, but I doubt you would have gone to Las Vegas and put money on it. It is true though.
Currently the Rays are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the second best record in majors, with the Minnesota Twins holding the top spot. Cardinal are not a surprising team to see near the top, but the Twins and Rays might be. What is even more interesting is when you look at the financials. Minnesota and Tampa Bay are both below the league average in 2019 total payroll. Minnesota is 18th on the list while the Rays are dead last.
My question to you the baseball enthusiast is are we seeing a new trend beginning to appear where teams who build a team on the cheap with young talent and a group of role players is able to not only compete, but dominate?
Of the top five spending teams in MLB only one, the Los Angeles Dodgers, leads their division and the biggest spender, Boston Red Sox, aren’t even over .500. It is still early in the baseball season, but this presumptive trend is surely something I will be keeping an eye on and you should to.
I know this is a little late as Gio Gonzalez is in agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers on a deal, but I have to at least put it out there as to why he should have been an Angel.
Anaheim is dead last in their division. Their pitching staff looks more like the waiting room at your local hospital then a major league staff with injuries to Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs and Nick Tropeano. 4/5th of the what should have been their starting rotation this year are injured. What did the Angels’ do? They turned to Matt Harvey, a reclamation project, and Trevor Cahill, an 11 year vet with a career ERA of 4.11.
Gio Gonzalez was at one point a very good pitcher, similar to Matt Harvey, but he lost his way. For a team like the Angels that really have no better options why not take a chance on another reclamation project? Why not see if they could capture lightning in a bottle? What is the worst that could happen, they fall further in to last place? Getting Gonzalez on the cheap is a low risk, high potential reward for the Angels who really can’t sink any further.