Baseball’s record-setting free agency spending spree, in charts

0
8
Baseball's record-setting free agency spending spree, in charts


Max Scherzer, left, and Will Smith of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after beating the San Francisco Giants 2-1 in game 5 of the National League Division Series at Oracle Park on October 14, 2021 in San Francisco, California.

Thearon W. Henderson | Getty Images

Major League Baseball deal-making came to a screeching halt at midnight on Thursday when the league’s collective bargaining agreement expired, causing a lockout. But that didn’t stop a record-setting amount of cash that was doled out in the free agency market in the days before.

“It’s a unique situation,” said Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Washington University, explaining that the impending lockout and uncertainty around the details of the next CBA pushed teams and players to act more quickly than in a typical offseason.

 “People might think that we should have a lockout every year because it certainly made the free agency situation exciting for a few days.”

Scherzer deal sets a record

The record-setting figure raised some eyebrows because Scherzer, an eight-time All Star throughout 14 seasons in the majors, is 37 years old and likely nearing the end of his career.

Rishe said the deal may have been as much about Mets owner Steve Cohen’s desire to “make a splash” in New York as it was about turning around the team’s 77-85 record last season.

Cohen opened Scherzer’s introductory press conference last week focused on how his new starting pitcher would improve the Mets’ World Series odds. He did acknowledge, though, that off-the-field factors played into the calculus of the deal, saying “I might add a little bit more for brand building” on top of the value of Scherzer’s skills when asked how he arrived at the $130 million number.

Scherzer, who is a representative with the league’s union, said that his historic deal would serve as a benchmark and that “other players are going to be able to use that number in the future” to help with their own contract negotiations. 

The $130 million deal isn’t the most lucrative by total value, according to a list maintained by Cot’s Contracts. That title goes to Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, whose 12-year, $426.5 million contract runs through 2030.

The Mets’ total payroll for 2022 is now $255.5 million, the most of any MLB team among projected Opening Day 26-man rosters.

A record $1.4 billion day

The CBA expiration deadline triggered a flurry of deals, and teams committed to a single-day record of $1.4 billion in player salaries on Dec. 1, according to a tally from the Associated Press

Along with Scherzer, five other players were inked to contracts of $100 million or more: shortstop Corey Seager and infielder Marcus Semien with the Texas Rangers, infielder Javier Báez with the Detroit Tigers, pitcher Kevin Gausman with the Toronto Blue Jays, and outfielder Byron Buxton with the Minnesota Twins.


Baseball’s $1.4 billion day

Major League Baseball teams committed to a single-day record $1.4 billion in player

salaries on Dec. 1 across 27 different deals

Corey Seager

Rangers

$325M / 10 years

Max Scherzer

Mets

$130M / 3

Kevin Gausman

Blue Jays

$110M / 5

Byron Buxton

Twins

$100M / 7

Marcus Stroman

Cubs

$71M / 3

Jon Gray

Rangers

$56M / 4

Avisail Garcia

Marlins

$53M / 4

Marcus Semien

Rangers

$175M / 7

Chris Taylor

Dodgers

$60M / 4

Javier Báez

Tigers

$140M / 6

Raisel

Iglesias

Angels

$58M / 4

Baseball’s $1.4 billion day

Major League Baseball teams committed to a

single-day record $1.4 billion in player

salaries on Dec. 1 across 27 different deals

Corey Seager

Rangers

$325M / 10 years

Marcus Semien

Rangers

$175M / 7

Javier Báez

Tigers

$140M / 6

Max Scherzer

Mets

$130M / 3

Kevin

Gausman

Blue Jays

$110M / 5

Byron Buxton

Twins

$100M / 7

Raisel

Iglesias

Angels

$58M / 4

Jon

Gray

Rangers

$56M / 4

Avisail

Garcia

Marlins

$53M / 4

Marcus Stroman

Cubs

$71M / 3

Chris Taylor

Dodgers

$60M / 4

Baseball’s $1.4 billion day

Major League Baseball teams committed to a single-day record $1.4 billion

in player salaries on Dec. 1 across 27 different deals

Corey Seager

Rangers

$325M / 10 years

Marcus Semien

Rangers

$175M / 7

Javier Báez

Tigers

$140M / 6

Max Scherzer

Mets

$130M / 3

Marcus

Stroman

Cubs

$71M / 3

Chris Taylor

Dodgers

$60M / 4

Raisel

Iglesias

Angels

$58M / 4

Kevin Gausman

Blue Jays

$110M / 5

Jon Gray

Rangers

$56M / 4

Byron Buxton

Twins

$100M / 7

Avisail Garcia

Marlins

$53M / 4

In addition to locking in money and contract terms, Rishe said that signing deals now instead of whenever the new CBA is finalized — which could be weeks or months — allows players to know where they will be spending the upcoming season and start making logistical arrangements. 

$100M deals nearing a record

Six players have been signed to free-agency deals of $100 million or more as of the lockout, more than any season other than 2016, a Cot’s Contracts count dating back to 2010 shows.

With a handful of big names still on the market this year, 2016’s record of seven $100 million dollar deals could be surpassed once the lockout ends. Players Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Kris Bryant, and Trevor Story, among others, went into the lockout unsigned. 



View original Post

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here