2013-14 Free Agent Spending By Team To Date

While some prominent names remain available, the free agent market is relatively settled at this point. (Click here to see who is left.) It would be surprising to see more than a few additional guaranteed MLB deals.

Given that, it seems like a good time to break down what each club has spent. You'll notice also that this provides some update on the total spending figures that I most recently calculated in late January. The total spend has now surpassed $2B. Unlike that post, I'll keep it simple and just give you the numbers today. 

FA spending by team

And in chart form (click image for full size):

FA spending chart

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34 Responses to 2013-14 Free Agent Spending By Team To Date Leave a Reply

  1. Yanks48 1 year ago

    Yeaaaaaaaaaa, we the King of Spending XD XD XD, now can we please win number 28 -.- or all these spree was for nothing. Then again, we’re not really better off since we lost Cano and no one on our infield really could 100% grant us any WARs with the unknown of how Jeter and Tex bounce back from injury and Roberts and Kelly Johnson being wildcards still

    • rje49 1 year ago

      $471 million committed for 29 years. Good luck to ya. Not really. Haven’t we learned this is NOT how you win? Look, the Pirates had a better year!

      • Yanks48 1 year ago

        Haha, there was a hint of sarcasm in my post. I know this isn’t how any team wins; the Yankees success will depend on how well Tex and Jeter come back and the production we get from Roberts and Johnson. Just saying that this spending spree is just something yankee fans are use to even if its futile most of the years

  2. BlueSkyLA
    BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

    Including extensions, or no?

    • stl_cards16 1 year ago

      Extensions are not included.

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

        How can you tell?

      • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

        I thought the title and post both made that pretty clear. (If nothing else, your Dodgers seem to be missing a couple hundred million!) It is free agent spending only.

    • Cam Hodgson-Dwyer 1 year ago

      Probably could safely assume that because it’s a Free Agent spending list, those who weren’t Free Agents aren’t included.

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

        Likely you are right, but leaving out extensions is questionable, given that extensions by definition include free agency years.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

          The point is to look at the overall open market and how teams engaged with it this year. Extensions are an entirely different ballgame, because they are so heavily impacted by service time. I could ultimately do a total spend type of thing, but we’d need to wait since a lot of extensions happen right at the end of the spring/very beginning of the season.

          I did two posts on total future commitments at the start of the off season, which I’ll probably update at some point early in the year. Also, we are breaking down the total off season moves of every team over the course of the month, which includes all varieties of spending.

          • BlueSkyLA
            BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

            Possibly I am misunderstanding some of what you are saying, but it seems to me not too difficult to take arbitration year buyouts into account. The balance of the extension can be assumed to be at the current market rate for the player, paid as if they were going to become a free agent.

          • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

            It is not difficult to do the math, but I’m not sure I understand why that would be a useful way of looking at things. How can we assume that any FA years are at “current market rate,” when it is not agreed to on the open market? We don’t know the “true” market rate, and we don’t know whether team/player were even trying to peg the deal to such a rate.

            And I don’t really see what value it would add. Would I count, say, Andrelton Simmons’ deal as 2/$28MM, since it buys out two FA years?

            I mostly posted this information in this way to show it from the overall market perspective — how did different teams factor in on this particular market, in the end? If we were looking at an individual team, then yes, it makes sense to consider all spending. If we are looking at a specific extension deal, then we need to understand what kind of rate was paid both for the arb and post-arb years, and how it compares to other deals of similarly situated players (quality, age, service time, etc).

            Every post could try to cover everything, but that’s obviously not workable. This is just one group of data points.

          • BlueSkyLA
            BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

            The true market rate is what someone is willing to pay for something at any given time. That is the only useful definition of market rate in any market you might want to describe. We also know that agents are not going to deliberately sell their players short by signing extensions for under market. Arbitration year dollars should not be difficult to back out, if you choose to go that route. You’ve been guessing them pretty darn close to the money for some time. I understand what you are saying, but it all depends on what you are trying to represent.

  3. formerdraftpick 1 year ago

    The chart reminds me of Missle Command. Good times.

  4. Hills of Glenallen 1 year ago

    Yankees spent that much more than anyone else and didn’t even really get anyone great.

    • JacobyWanKenobi 1 year ago


    • MetsMagic 1 year ago

      Buying third place is the new buying championships.

    • Lionel Bossman Craft 1 year ago

      That’s a matter of opinion. I’d say most of the big signings would be starters on most any team.

      • NL_East_Rivalry 1 year ago

        I think you mean to say stars. I would hope a 100 million guy would be a starter on the Yankees team let alone someone else’s.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      You have very high standards then. Any of at least 5 of the players they signed would be the best player on the cubs..

      • Hills of Glenallen 1 year ago

        The Cubs are terrible, so the same could be said about most teams signings. I don’t get your point.

  5. GrilledCheese39 1 year ago

    Good job Pirates!!!! Ugh

  6. East Coast Bias 1 year ago

    Dodgers’ spending looks so efficient against Yankees.

    • Lionel Bossman Craft 1 year ago

      How many world series have they produced?

    • pft2 1 year ago

      You have to look at how much money came off the books. The Yankees have cut payroll by 30 million this year (part of thats Arods suspension), and another 20 million savings on tax

  7. BENT_WOOKIE 1 year ago

    I didn’t think it was possible for another team to spend less than the cubs this offseason, but I was wrong.

  8. chicothekid 1 year ago

    The Mets come in at #5 on the list and yet Boras STILL has nasty things to say about them. That guy will never be pleased unless your team has 400M tied up in bad money (all his players of course). I’ve got no sympathy for that guy and am still bothered by Iglesias going down. Nothing like bailing out Boras at the last minute by adding a desperate client to the list out of nowhere.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      Look at the payroll /revenue, Mets are way below MLB average. Mets have cut payroll over 10 million this year despite receiving new national TV money of 10 million.

      • chicothekid 1 year ago

        oh I’m very aware of all that. I follow the Mets religiously. I’m not terribly happy about their level of spending either, but that said, there wasn’t a TON out there in this market that was screaming for them either. They aren’t going to the playoffs this year. As soon as Harvey went down for the year, that was taken care of. There is no point in spending money just to spend money, and yet that is precisely what Boras is asking them to do. They brought in definite upgrades to the worst OF in baseball, and spent a lot of money doing it. Hopefully one of the farm hands will be ready to take over for Young after this season (I’m hoping for Puello) and they can put some serious resources into 1b or SS next year. But there was no point in getting into a bidding war with the Cardinals for the only legitimate SS on the market when the season is already shot.

        The problem here is that Drew has a decent name, but when you consider his injury history and numbers, he really isn’t THAT much of an upgrade over Tejada, and that’s scary. Then when you consider his pricetag, it’s ridiculous. If money were no object, sure they could use him, but if money were no object, there are plenty of other things they could as well.

        FYI the TV money is 25M and that’s why the market took such a dramatic jump in prices this winter. All the new FA’s wanted a bigger chunk because of that new money hitting the market. That’s why a lot of the players turned down the QO’s, because they knew it was coming. The market was going to adjust to the new inflation, and they were going to reap the benefits. A few of them did, but Morales and Drew overplayed their hand and are paying for it.

        I have NO sympathy for them or Boras. The Mets are trying to build a team that can compete for years to come. They are not trying to build a team that can line the pockets of Boras’ clients for years to come. They did that for the last decade and have nothing to show for it. Sandy has ended that, and Boras is still crying to his financial adviser because of it. I have absolutely no interest in returning to the days of 100M on the DL, even if it suits Boras’ interests, and have no idea why ANY fan would want that anyway.

        For the first time in over a decade, the Mets are finally doing something right, and Boras doesn’t like it. Well cry me a river.

        Once the farm is in place, THEN they can start supplementing the team with a FA here and there, but until then, Boras can stick it.

        • pft2 1 year ago

          Drew kills RHP’ing. He would be an ideal platoon candidate still getting 70% of the playing time. Even if not platooned his plus defense makes his struggles against LHP’ers bearable. Mets spent money on Granderson and Cone, why even bother if they are not going to try and compete, you never know with the 5th WC spot how far you are away. They are still 10 million away from last years payroll, and new national TV money kicks in this year.

          As for the injury history, he has had 1 significant injury, and fractured ankle from a play at the plate. This cost him parts of 2 season. He has recovered as last year showed and is only 31. Every other season he has had at least 500 PA. Maybe he is no Cal Ripken Jr but he is no JD Drew.

          • pft2 1 year ago

            Oops, meant Colon

          • chicothekid 1 year ago

            Colon and Grandy are two diff beasts. Colon serves 2 purposes. He gets us through this year while Harvey is out and will be trade bait once when the season is over. They signed him because they desperately needed someone to fill out a rotation spot and someone with his success to teach the younger guys is a good thing.

            Grandy filled a glaring need and fills it well. He can play LF exceptionally well, and can protect DW in the lineup as well.

            As for Drew, why would anyone pay 3/30 for a platoon player? Why would a platoon player turn down a QO? He blew it, he’s paying for it now, and Boras wants to make you think the Mets are the bad guys for not bailing him out for his mistake.

  9. pft2 1 year ago

    3 teams are responsible for 1/2 of the free agent spending on players (excluding resigning their own free agents ).

    My estimates of this years payroll/revenue is 43%, continuing at least a 5 year decline.
    Its dropped almost 3 % in 5 years, which translates into a loss of 200K per player and a 6% less than if the players maintained their share of the pie.

    Lot of these teams don’t even seem to be trying to get better despite at least a 6% boost in revenue last year and a new TV deal that has given teams at least a 3% increase in revenue for 2014 on top of an expected 5% growth from other sources.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if my estimate of 43% is on the high side since I only projected another 6% revenue growth.

  10. fastball 1 year ago

    Yay!!! We’re second!! Number 2!!! Wait – that’s second from the bottom. That’s good, right? Go Jays.

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