Chicago Cubs’ LF Alfonso Soriano talked to Gordon Wittenmyer about teams whom spend big in free agency don’t win it all. He mentions teams do good in the first few years when spending big, but that’s all and the team goes down from there.
Soriano said; “I think baseball has changed, how the world has changed. What I see now is that teams that have the big names, they don’t win”.
Soriano was talking about hitters, and pointed out the San Francisco Giants have won a World Series 2 of the past 3 seasons without big-time money players Barry Bonds, JT Snow and Jeff Kent.
Soriano goes on about the Giants and says they’ve paid their pitchers well, but Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Jonathan Sanchez (not a Giant anymore) were all homegrown players. Plus Ryan Vogelsong was drafted by the Giants, left and is a Giant again. All five players are pitchers. Pitching and defense wins games. The Giants are a perfect example of that.
Soriano adds; “they’re not free agents. If you play good at the right time, with the young guys , you can do something”.
“In 2007 and 2008, we had a very good team, with veteran guys, big contracts and we made the playoffs for years.” Soriano said of a team built largely on a 300 million spending spree before the 2007 team. “After that the team declined.” The Cubs signed Soriano to the 8-year contract, 136 million prior to the 2007 season.
Soriano does want to win a World Series ring before he retires, but agrees with the direction the Cubs are going.
Soriano does not think the Cubs are far off; “I think now with all these young guys that have all the talent, I think we’re not far away”.
The New York Yankees are a perfect example of what Soriano is talking about. The Yankees have been known to have off-seasons of spending sprees. The Yanks did win rings because of the spending sprees, but now they’re in trouble. Players on the Yankees are aging and/or declining and the Yankees aren’t said to be a top team anymore.
A lot more teams are not spending big in free agency (minus the Los Angeles Dodgers) and are building from within. Teams are valuing draft picks more now a days instead of giving them up for Type-A free agents. Baseball has changed a little from recent years and keeps changing every season/off-season.