As America’s pastime, baseball struggles to compete with other major leagues such as the NFL and NBA. The West Coast has produced some powerhouse franchises that, include the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.
Could Baseball Make a Comeback?
Experts and fans of the MLB have mixed feelings when discussing the Cohen Tax, as the New York Mets have the power and will to outbid anyone if necessary. The Mets have a payroll of $500 million, which includes the luxury tax if Carlos Correa signs.
Still, having the highest payroll doesn’t mean that the team will be guaranteed a World Series, as teams like the Kansas City Royals come to mind. However, it forces the owners across the league to spend in order to stay competitive.
Most owners in the league are worth more than a billion dollars but refuse to spend or make key moves in the offseason. These professional franchises should be willing to spend as they have major TV deals and other types of sponsorships. The eyes will be on the Mets as the team should be able to win a World Series in the next few years by “default.”
The San Francisco Giants have been heavily criticized this offseason for missing out on superstars like Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa. The Carlos Correa situation is starting to become more understandable as the Mets are running into similar issues regarding his physical.
Regardless of the situation, the offseason has been an interesting one as the Hot Stove has been on fire. Will the talent spreading across the league help the MLB in the long run?
The Dodgers and Padres Look to Remain Competitive
The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost some talent this offseason by losing Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, and Justin Turner. Losing Trea Turner in free agency was their biggest loss as he signed a massive 11-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, who made it to the World Series.
The Dodgers didn’t make their traditional splash this offseason but may be geared towards a different direction as it has only produced one World Series ring in the shortened 2022 season. To cope with some of their departures, the team signed Noah Syndergaard and JD Martinez.
The Dodgers may have taken a step back but will be in the running for the next star that is available. Could the Dodgers make a trade with the Angels to bring Shohei Ohtani or bring back Manny Machado, who is expected to opt out next season?
The San Diego Padres missed out on Aaron Judge and Trea Turner (who they drafted in 2014). Still, their consolation prize was Xander Bogaerts, who was expected to return to the Boston Red Sox as the team refused to deal him at last year’s trade deadline.
The AL and NL West continue to put together talented rosters, despite Steve Cohen and the Mets using the “money cheat code.” Despite losing Justin Verlander, the Houston Astros are still the team to beat, as they added Jose Abreu. The Texas Rangers bolstered their weakest asset by signing arguably the best pitcher in Jacob deGrom. They re-signed Martin Perez and added Andrew Heaney to solidify the rotation.
The contenders from the AL and NL West are the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners.
Baseball Needs to Have a Better Marketing Strategy
The MLB needs marketing strategies that will help bring the younger generation to the games for the entire season. In addition, sportsbook operators will have to come up with new plans as the World Cup will not be scheduled for its normal summer slot as conditions in Qatar pushed the event to the winter.
The World Cup helped bring Illinois its first billion-dollar handle in the post-PASPA Era. Despite all of this, will Steve Cohen and the Mets making moves help the MLB and the sports betting industry during the summer slowdown? Only time will tell, as the MLB hasn’t seen spending of this magnitude since George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees did over a decade ago.