Dec. 15, 2012
Major League Baseball is having their winter meetings and there have been some significant changes. Many notable players have changed teams and the top spending team is most likely to be someone other than the New York Yankees. The Los Angeles Dodgers look to replace the Yankees as the team with the highest payroll and therefore have the biggest luxury tax to pay to the league. Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels and they look like they could have a formidable lineup with Hamilton, Albert Pujols and Mike Trout. Just because you spend the most money doesn’t guarantee that you will win a championship. The second and third place biggest spenders for 2012 were the Philadelphia Phillies, who did not make the playoffs, and the Boston Red Sox, who finished last in their division. For 14 years the Yankees have had the highest payroll, but the last team to hold that distinction other than the Yankees was the Baltimore Orioles in 1998. The Orioles finished fourth out of five teams in their division that season. The Yankees actually had one of their best seasons that year winning a major league record 125 games counting the postseason. Some have erroneously stated that the Yankees have simply bought their championships, when in fact some of their better players and teams that they have actually won with came up though their farm system. Bernie Williams ( Yankees postseason home run leader); Derek Jeter (who will probably become the all-time hit leader as a shortstop this next season); Mariano Rivera (the all-time saves leader); Jorge Posada (5 time all-star catcher); Andy Pettitte (all-time postseason wins leader) all came up through their farm system. That along with some very astute trades (Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez) was more responsible for their success than signing free agent players.