Miami Marlins news: Don't overestimate big signings

Carlos Correa
Carlos Correa / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages
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The Miami Marlins need to spend more money in free agency. The sad part is we can actually afford a higher payroll, maybe even higher than most would expect. Do you remember the whole Carlos Correa situation with the New York Mets? It's often wrongly assumed that a team's record is a completely accurate reflection of the team's talent level, and that the following season this should be the expectation if the team is ran back. This flawed thinking ignores injuries, declines, improvements and non-flashy transactions. Let's analyze this deeper...

Win-loss records are not always affected as expected by flashy signings.

Back in 2010 LF Carl Crawford just completed a 7.0 WAR season for the Tampa Bay Rays. When the 89-73 Boston Red Sox signed him, it seemed that they would be significantly better in 2011? They won just one more game, finishing with a 90-72 record in 2011. When the 80-82 in 2018 Philadelphia Phillies signed RF Bryce Harper, they probably expected better than a one win improvement to 81-81 in 2019.

The Boston Red Sox won two World Series with LF Manny Ramirez. However when the elite slugger signed with the 85-77 Boston after the 2000 season, they actually got worse, finishing the 2001 season with an 82-79 record. The 95-67 Detroit Tigers signed superstar 1B Prince Fielder and won 7 LESS games in 2012, for an 88-72 record (though to be fair they did win the pennant that year).

Albert Belle was worth 5.7 WAR in 1996 for the Cleveland Indians, as he batted .311/.410/.623 with 48 HR 148 RBI. He signed with the Chicago White Sox, who went 85-77 in 1996. Chicago got worse in 1997, going 80-81. I should point out that all of these records happened with the signed players staying generally healthy for the following seasons.

Obviously there are plenty of examples of big signings helping their new teams to improve the following seasons, but it's important to mention that signing a top player never guarantees a better record the following season. Remember that we always still need to play the games to see how a team actually is.

Next. 2023 lineup projections. dark

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