Spring Training 2022: Can you buy a championship by winning the off-season free agent market? The Mets will find out soon. – Sports Talk Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees have made a habit of winning the offseason. It is no coincidence that they have also won many titles.

That hadn’t happened since 2009, when flash signings CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira helped New York ‘buy’ its 27th World Series championship.

“The Boss” died a year later. Since then, the sport the Yankees once dominated with big spending has become all about efficiency. While the Bronx Bombers will still have one of baseball’s highest payrolls in 2022, it’s been strange to see New York stand ready as this year’s top free agents went to the Minnesota Twins (Carlos Correa) , the Texas Rangers (Corey Seager and Marcus Semien) and of course, the Crosstown Mets (Max Scherzer).

In fact, second-year Mets owner Steve Cohen seems determined to fill the void left by Steinbrenner as the Big Apple’s biggest spender, ready to chase a championship at any cost.

But what is even worth winning the offseason? To give you an idea, here’s a look at the clubs that have “won” the offseason since it last ran for the Yankees:



Offseason Winners: Seattle Mariners

World Series winners: San Francisco Giants

Relieved to have canceled Adrian Beltre’s five-year, $64 million contract — yes, really — Seattle has sent a trio of prospects to Philadelphia for 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee, signed Chone Figgins for $36 million and acquired Milton Bradley from the Petits. They also locked in ace Félix Hernández on a five-year, $78 million deal. These Mariners have won 61 games – one clean swing and one miss.


Offseason winners: Boston Red Sox

World Series Winners: St. Louis Cardinals

Boston acquired All-Star slugger Adrían González from San Diego for three minor leaguers, including Anthony Rizzo, then signed speedy outfielder Carl Crawford for $142 million. They won 90 games, but the fit wasn’t good, and the Red Sox dumped both players to the Dodgers in August 2012.


Offseason Winners: Los Angeles Angels

World Series winners: San Francisco Giants

Several teams caused a stir: Prince Fielder signed with Detroit for $214 million, the Marlins lost $191 million to free agents Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell, and of course the Angels lured Albert Pujols away of St. Louis for $240 million over 10 years — and added CJ Wilson for $77.5 million. The Angels won 89 games and finished third in the AL West. The Giants, whose best winter player was Melky Cabrera, won the World Series for the second time in four years.


Offseason Winners: Toronto Blue Jays

World Series winners: Boston Red Sox

Toronto dug deep into its farm system, offloading Noah Syndergaard and several other future big leaguers for Mets ace RA Dickey and Marlins veterans Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes. They also essentially traded manager John Farrell to the Red Sox, who went on to win the World Series. The Jays, meanwhile, have won 74 games.


Offseason Winners: New York Yankees

World Series winners: San Francisco Giants

Another blow to a characteristic Steinbrenner offseason. As Derek Jeter enters his final season before retiring, the Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka from Japan for $155 million, dropped Jacoby Ellsbury from rival Red Sox for $153 million, convinced Georgia-born Brian McCann to quit Atlanta for $85 million, and also brought in Carlos Beltrán. Robinson Cano left for Seattle, but hopes were still high in the Bronx. New York won 84 games and missed the playoffs.


Offseason Winners: Chicago Cubs

World Series winners: Kansas City Royals

Washington signed Max Scherzer for $210 million and also acquired minor leaguers Trea Turner and Joe Ross, but the budding Cubbies stole the offseason. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein poached longtime Rays manager Joe Maddon, signed Jon Lester for $155 million and traded for Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler. Chicago won 97 games, but the moves didn’t pay off until a year later.


Offseason Winners: Chicago Cubs

World Series winners: Chicago Cubs

The Cubs signed Jason Heyward to the second-biggest contract of the winter at $184 million — behind only David Price’s $217 deal with Boston — and added Ben Zobrist ($56 million) and John Lackey ( $32 million). They also traded talented but frustrating shortstop Starlin Castro. It worked, although local stars were still the biggest contributors. Chicago ended its 108-year title drought on the backs of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Báez.


Offseason winners: Boston Red Sox

World Series winners: Houston Astros

The Red Sox get a close nod here after acquiring ace Chris Sale from the White Sox and reliever Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee, just before the Mets re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, with the Cardinals adding free agents Dexter Fowler and Brett Cecil, and the Dodgers retaining free agents Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Rich Hill. Houston also caused a stir by acquiring McCann from the Yankees and signing Josh Reddick ($52 million) and Beltran ($16 million).


Offseason Winners: New York Yankees

World Series winners: Boston Red Sox

The Yankees replaced manager Joe Girardi with Aaron Boone, then acquired NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the fire-selling Marlins. Stanton had 38 homers and 100 RBIs in his freshman year, but Boston won the AL East. The Red Sox were pushed over the top by the acquisition of free agent JD Martinez ($110 million), as well as previous Price and Sale acquisitions.


Offseason Winners: Philadelphia Phillies

World Series winners: Washington Nationals

San Diego stunned the sport by signing Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million deal, but the Phillies still won the winter by adding Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen. Harper signed a record 13-year, $330 million deal, Realmuto came in a trade from Miami, and McCutchen was added for $50 million. Philadelphia won 81 games, then saw rival NL East — and Harper’s former team — win it all in October.


Offseason Winners: Los Angeles Dodgers

World Series winners: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Yankees appeared to have made the biggest splash when they signed Gerrit Cole to a $324 million deal in December, but the Dodgers then poached 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts from the Red Sox. It worked perfectly for LA, which hoisted the World Series trophy into baseball’s COVID-19 bubble this fall.


Offseason winners: San Diego Padres

World Series winners: Atlanta Braves

With a roster consisting of Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres bolstered their pitching roster by trading for Yu Darvish, Mike Clevinger and Joe Musgrove. They also locked Tatis in with a 14-year, $340 million contract, the longest in baseball history. The Mets and Cohen, in its first year as owner, also caused a stir by acquiring Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco and James McCann, but the Braves won the title thanks to a series of trade delay additions by the general manager. Alex Anthopoulos.


Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Comments are closed.