It is always somewhat bittersweet for the baseball season to end, but rarely does it do so in such excellent fashion as last night’s Game 7. So as we tip our caps to the Giants (and, of course, the Royals), we can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that today is the start of the offseason.
Offseason spending, of course, does not guarantee anything. This last season proves that yet again. In an update I provided in mid-March, after most of the major outlays were in the books, the top three teams by total free agent commitments were the Yankees, Mariners, and Rangers. Though most postseason teams threw around some fairly significant dollars, led by the Dodgers with $105MM, half of them — including the newly-crowned champs — promised away less than $50MM.
Nevertheless, free agency (in addition, of course to the trade market) offers the chance not only to grab in-prime stars but also to plug holes, make upgrades, and find value in unexpected places. Will the Yankees follow their reported course of more limited spending this time around? Will the Dodgers trim payroll or make a splash? Do the Red Sox or White Sox fill up their largely open future balance sheets? Or is there a surprise team sitting on a hidden war chest?
That remains to be seen. For now, however, you can predict: which MLB team will commit the most total dollars (overall contract guarantees) through free agency? (Team order randomized.)