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Thursday, December 29, 2022

Can you buy a World Series? What Mets can learn from the biggest spenders in MLB history [$]

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1992 Toronto Blue Jays
Record: 96-66
Background: The Blue Jays had been contending for several years, reaching the American League Championship Series in 1985, 1989 and 1991, but they hadn’t yet reached a World Series. The opening of SkyDome midway through the 1989 season pushed the Jays to record-setting attendance figures, including more than 4 million in 1991. According to a report from Financial World magazine at the time, the Blue Jays earned nearly $18 million more in gate receipts than any other team. In response, longtime general manager Pat Gillick started spending on free agents, a departure for a franchise that had stressed player development.

What happened: Prior to the 1992 season, the team signed Dave Winfield and Jack Morris, and then it acquired David Cone in August to bolster the rotation for the playoff run. It worked: The Blue Jays won the World Series. “The Toronto Blue Jays paid big money to win big,” read The Associated Press story about their championship. It was true: When final payrolls were calculated, the Blue Jays topped the majors at $49.1 million. That was 57% higher than their 1991 figure of $31.3 million, and a 25% increase from 1991’s top payroll of $39.2 million—which belonged to the Oakland A’s. (The A’s had the second-highest payroll in 1992; it was a different era.)...

Lesson for the Mets: This can work—at least in the short term. After those two World Series titles, the Blue Jays got old in a hurry, falling to 55-60 in the strike-shortened 1994 season and then 56-88 in 1995. Gillick, seeing the handwriting on the wall, “retired” after 1994—only to resurface a year later with the Orioles. By 1996, the Blue Jays were in rebuilding mode; they dropped to 19th in payroll. While that won’t happen under Cohen, the Mets did have the third-oldest lineup in the majors in 2022 and the oldest pitching staff. With the addition of the 40-year-old Verlander, that group will be even older in 2023. The problems are most likely to surface in a couple of years, when Verlander and Scherzer might be gone (both are free agents after 2024) and the likes of Correa, Lindor and Nimmo will be drawing hefty salaries as they start declining in their 30s.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2022 at 05:10 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. John Northey Posted: January 01, 2023 at 04:21 PM (#6111546)
Makes sense - if you spend money you can push a team over the top which is near the top already. But as the 2010-present Yankees have shown spending money doesn't guarantee playoff success. Easier in the 2 round pre-1994 version of the playoffs to make it than the current system.
   2. spivey Posted: January 02, 2023 at 10:03 AM (#6111574)
The owners are certainly trying to make the playoffs so that the answer is "no".

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