The Yankees took an uncharacteristically frugal approach to free agency this offseason, but it’s working — to the tune of the best record in MLB.
A whopping 18 clubs spent more than the $35.4 million New York handed out to FAs in 2022, down from $114.5 million it spent in ’21 and $336.5 million in ’20.
But on Sunday, the Yanks (16-6) reeled off their ninth consecutive victory and 11th in their last 12. They lead the AL East in their latest tilt at a first World Series title since 2009.
The key to the Yanks’ latest hot streak is, unsurprisingly, power hitting. The Bronx Bombers are living up to their nickname, led by Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge — two stars in very different contractual circumstances.
- Rizzo was their only marquee FA signing in 2022 (2 years, $32M) — he leads MLB in HRs (nine) and is tied for second in RBI (21).
- Judge is tied for second in HR (8) and T-10 in RBI (16); he could be looking for a possible $200 million extension this offseason.
- The Yankees are tied with the Blue Jays for most HRs (31) and have the best run differential in the AL (+41).
The Yankees were wary of overspending for a reason: They still carry the third-highest payroll in MLB ($245.4M).
For now, GM Brian Cashman’s relatively conservative strategy is paying off: New York is tied with the third-best odds (+750) to win the World Series.