The last regular seaon NFL games are pver and there will be a Super Bowl sometime in the future, but this is really the beginning of the baseball season. This fact is marked by the Winter Meetings that ended two weeks ago and caused some commotion with a numbe or teams making dramatic moves to add players. The two that stick out in my mind, at least, were the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox. The Cubs also added talent.
Without getting into names and stats, it is my obsevation that teams add winter meeting free agent and traded for talent and that this talent is very expensive and seldom helps all that much. .
The cost of free agent talent is pure cash and, usually multiyear deals. That means a team has a burden to carry for sometime, It will consider the new player, who is usually older and declining in skills, a major asset, but he will be a major liability soon. The players who are traded for are also expensive, but in a different way. To acquire Jock Donaldson from the A’s (OK, I’ll mention one player!!), the Blue Jays gave up a number of young players. I don’t know who they are, but I doubt if Billy Beane would take chopped liver. So the Jays have a great third base man, but have been diminished, probably, by a like amount of talent elsewhere.
The Padres took Matt Kemp. (OK second player) from the Dodgers in exchange for some players and the Dodgers are paying SD like $25million to pay Kemp’s salary. I look askanse at teams that give away an old star and pay his salary to get rid of him. They know more about Kemp than SD, so what’s up with that.
The whole point here is that there was a lot of action this month, and the season is now on. I don’t think however, that much has been changed as baseball is the ultimate team sport and it takes a whole team to win a pennant. For example, the last place added free agents Torii Hunter, a 39 year old outfielder and Erivn Santana, (OK, Players 3 and 4 and that’s it) a 33 year old starting pitcher. Now, if the Twins can outbid Detroit and Atlanta for these guys, they are going to help a little, maybe, But even with these additions, the Twins will be last in the AL Central again. It pains me to say that, by the way, I am a huge fan, but that’s the reality of it.
So we are off to the MLB Season, opening day is looming in just over 90 days. Stay tuned.