The Philadelphia Phillies kept adding superstars to compete for championships
The Phillies struggled at the start of the 2022 season. They fired manager Joe Girardi in June and then later they snuck into the playoffs. The Phillies got hot at the right time and rode a hot streak to a World Series appearance.
The Phillies used free agency to build up their roster to get near a championship. They were not afraid to sign Bryce Harper to a monster deal a couple of years ago. The Sox could have gotten Harper but decided they did not want to pay the GDP of a small nation to bring him to the Southside.
That is the difference between the Sox and the Phillies. The Phillies are not afraid to spend big to win big.
Philadelphia did not stop after signing Harper. They have brought in pitcher Zach Wheeler, catcher J.T. Realmuto, and outfielders Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber on huge money deals in the following offseasons. A massive payroll did not stop the Phillies from adding Trea Turner this offseason.
The Phillies went through a playoff drought like the White Sox. Philadelphia went out and enhanced their roster through free agency and almost won the World Series. Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades but it is closer than the Sox have gotten.
The San Diego Padres are showing market size should not prevent an organization from spending big.
The Chicago White Sox operate like a small-market team despite playing in baseball’s third-biggest media market. The Padres are in a small market and they operate like they play in a top-5 media market.
The small-market Padres were willing to compete with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for superstar talent. They beat the Red Sox for Bogaerts.
The Padres also traded for Juan Soto and Josh Hader before last season’s trade deadline. The Padres realized if they want to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers, they have to spend like them.
San Diego could use having limited financial resources as an excuse to not spend like many small-market clubs do. Instead, the Padres have realized they do not hand out the World Series trophy to the team with the best balance sheet.
The New York Mets and San Francisco Giants are also spending big to replace losing key players.
The New York Mets lost to the Padres in the playoffs and then lost ace pitcher Jacob deGrom to the Texas Rangers in free agency.
The Mets went ahead and replaced deGrom with Justin Verlander–the current AL Cy Young winner and future Hall of Famer.
Verlander may be getting up there in years, but he is still a dominant pitcher. He is the type of pitcher that could have helped put the Sox rotation over the top. Instead, he will be paired with Max Scherzer to be the highest paid pitching duo in the league.
The Mets also re-signed outfielder Brandon Nimmo to a huge deal.
The Mets made sure they kept a prized player in their outfield. The Chicago White Sox let a legend in Jose Abreu go to the Houston Astros.
The Mets do have the richest owner in sports. Steve Cohen is showing that owning a professional sports franchise is a vanity purchase. There are only so many billionaires in the world, and you do not win the World Series based on profit margins. Instead, Cohen is spending to get a ring.
The Giants missed the playoffs last season. They also compete in a tough NL West division. They are set to lose Rodon in free agency. They still tried to lure Aaron Judge away from the New York Yankees. When he returned to New York, the Giants turned around and signed Carlos Correa to a 13-year deal.
Sometimes to get the best players, you got to make more than just a financial commitment. You also need to make a time commitment.
Although, the Giants did the Sox a favor by getting Correa out of the division and signing him before the Chicago Cubs did. Maybe the Giants are making the Cubs look more foolish than the White Sox.