Big Money Does Not Equal Big Success in the American League East
Now is the time of the season in Major League Baseball when speculation runs rampant as teams competing for a legitimate postseason berth look to shore up their pitching, fielding or batting lineup, while those teams out of the races put up players on the auction block to the highest bidders before the July 31 trade deadline.
However, when it comes to the American League East, the big spenders are not always the winners. Money is not always, worth what it once was. The days when teams would create veteran or free agent laden top teams appear to be in the past.
Teams today seem to be relying on their players that come up through their farm system with the exception of a superstar here and there to make a difference.
The New York Yankees are currently the biggest spender and the leader of the division at the moment. Yet New York has not reached the postseason the past two seasons, which underscores that the dynamics are changing in buying championships in the offseason or before the trade deadline does not always come to fruition.
Boston sits in last place in the division with likely its biggest payroll ever. There was a time when that combination likely would have been shocking to see or read, but not any longer. Today, if a team has a record setting payroll or not, is very little indication of the quality of it players.
Boston and the Los Angeles Angels have spent aggressively in recent years on veteran talent. Yet for each of the two organizations, success over the long term will not come from their bankrolls but from the best young players on the teams and that includes for Boston Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Rodriguez and Mookie Betts and for Los Angeles Garrett Richards and Mike Trout.
However, that does not stop the teams from opening their wallets and finding talents before the trade deadline.
The Yankees could use another starter or two in their rotation as they fight to stay atop the division. Tampa has the pitching it needs, but could use a power hitter, while the Toronto Blue Jays have great offense but little in the way of good starting pitching.
A rumor has circulated that both Prince Fielder and Yeonis Cespedes will be available as the trade deadline nears and could end up giving a contender a much needed bat in the lineup for the stretch run.