Does history give any clues as to how the Mets will perform with a lower payroll?
Late last month, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reported that the Mets are facing the largest one-year payroll cut in major-league history, at least in terms of total dollars. With owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz deprived of the profits they derived from decades of investing with Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, and struggling to find minority partners willing to provide a quick infusion of capital, the team is hemorrhaging money and facing a growing mountain of debt. According to general manager Sandy Alderson, the Mets lost $70 million last year, and made no real attempt to retain pending free agents Carlos Beltran (who was traded in midseason) or Jose Reyes (who departed for the Marlins in December). Barring even one additional midlevel signing, they could become the first team to drop $50 million in salary from one Opening Day to the next.
The Reds try to defend their crown while maintaining the division's third-lowest payroll.
Since 2006, only one club in the National League Central has managed to win more than 91 games in a season. The Reds turned the trick in 2010 and won the division title, despite being outspent by four of their other five Central competitors. Spending will remain flat in Cincinnati this season, but the division’s financial landscape is shifting. Let’s break down the projected 2011 payrolls for the NL Central.
Keeping a lot of balls in the air this winter should give the pinstripers an excellent chance to win it all in 2011.
It's no picnic building a team to compete in the American League East, and within this year's GM for a Day series, I've been tasked with doing so for both the Blue Jays and the Red Sox. Both of those jobs required a fair bit of background research to familiarize myself with the contract situations and the minor-league systems in order to craft rosters for 2011. Today, however, I take the helm of a team whose organization is far more familiar given my geography and extracurricular activites: the New York Yankees. Roll over, Brian Cashman, and tell Bob Watson the news.
A glimpse at who is in line for a bigger payday and who may be non-tendered in the six-team division.
There is no shortage of intrigue in the potential arbitration cases for teams in the National League Central. From trade candidates and non-tender candidates to an MVP candidate, the division’s six general managers face several difficult decisions. So let’s check out the 2011 cases for the NL Central, the fourth in a six-part series analyzing each of the divisions in Major League Baseball.
The dirty half dozen throw their money around in different ways and to different extents, but are adaptations coming?
The great Red Smith wasn't a fan of baseball's six division/two Wild Card format. Though he died 12 years before the plan came to fruition, he saw it coming as early as 1978, when he wrote that, "[T]he powers, principalities, and archangels of the game are considering a plan to restructure the major leagues so that almost every team can be a winner, or look like one."
The day is dawning when the Cardinals must re-sign Albert Pujols and the Brewers must do the same with Prince Fielder.
Baseball's largest division will likely feature four of the top 15 payrolls in the game for 2010-the Cubs, Cardinals, Astros, and Brewers. The other two teams, the Reds and the Pirates, project to rank 23rd and 29th or 30th, respectively. Continuing our look at the 2010 payroll forecasts (the projections for the AL Central can be found here), let's take a look at the NL Central.
The Twins play in a small market but they have consistently beaten the large-market White Sox and Twins.
Since its inception in 1994, the American League Central has been the Junior Circuit's weak sister. Its teams have posted cumulative records above .500 only four times, topping the league only once (1996) and trailing it nine times, including six of the last eight. While the division has produced its share of memorable races for the postseason-including Game 163 tiebreakers in each of the past two years-it has rarely played host to two strong teams at the same time. Or even one. In non-strike years, the AL Central champions have averaged just 92.9 wins, compared to 95.7 for the West winners and 98.4 for the East winners, and they've produced just one wild-card winner, compared to three for the West and 11 for the East.
There's no denying it, this is the division where the big boys come to play.
It's no secret that the American League East has been the game's strongest division in recent years. They've produced the highest winning percentage and Hit List Factor by far over the past three years, as well as the last three AL pennant winners, two of the last three World Series champions, and the strongest fourth-place team of the wild-card era. With the two highest average payrolls, those of the Yankees and Red Sox, and a reliance on more free-agent muscle than any other division, this is baseball's high-rent district, though not every team is trying to spend with the big boys. As part of my ongoing series on the game's competitive ecology (introduced via a division-based overview, and continued with a look at the NL East), today we delve further into some numbers that illustrate that diversity.
A look at which teams gets the most for their money in the National League East, and which ones don't.
The response to last week's piece on the competitive ecology of the six major-league divisions, which integrated recent work by colleagues Shawn Hoffman and Matt Swartz with older work by Keith Woolner, Doug Pappas, and Nate Silver, was enthusiastic enough that I figured it would be worthwhile to delve into some of the nuances of each team's situation in the service of division-by-division rundowns. We'll start with the NL East.