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December 26, 2013

Skewed Left

The Quiet Offseason in Odds

by Zachary Levine


All that money spent on free agents this offseason—$1.543 billion with a “b,” according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan—and to what end?

MLB teams’ aggregated spending spree has been roughly the GDP of Belize, or the net worth of Belize, or nearly the total net worth of Passan’s former boss, if you want to go straight to the sportswriter’s handbook entry for coping with such hard-to-understand numbers.

All that player movement, too. Virtually none of the $1.543 billion in offseason dollars has gone toward retaining free agents. Outside of the Mike Napoli/Juan Uribe/Hiroki Kuroda/Brian Wilson class, few of any impact have stayed put.

Yet through all the overhaul—the week-long parade of hitters to Seattle, the return to loud offseasons in New York and Texas, and the relative quiet of the National League—things have remained virtually unchanged as far as who’s perceived as a contender and who’s not. To see this, just look at the industry that deals in perception.

Despite the record-threatening levels of player movement in free agency and one of the biggest trades in years with Prince Fielder swapped for Ian Kinsler, the oddsmakers have all but sat this one out.

This is nothing at all like last offseason, when the Blue Jays shot from 35-1 after the season to 8-1 in spring training. There’s no parallel to the Nationals and Dodgers both getting sliced last year, the former from 12-1 to 7-1 favorites and the latter from 18-1 to 9-1. And there has been no move nearly as dramatic the other way as the Yankees’ freefall from 7-1 to 20-1 longshots.

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Related Content:  Free Agency,  Odds,  Player Movement

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/26)
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Premium Article Skewed Left: Better Ve... (01/02)
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Fantasy Article Sporer Report: Top 20 ... (12/27)

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