Dec 19, 2022 - Sports

Baseball's big spenders: $3.5 billion and counting this offseason

Data: Spotrac; Table: Axios Visuals
Data: Spotrac; Table: Axios Visuals

This time last year, MLB teams and players were nearly three weeks into what would become the league's longest-ever lockout. Now, those same teams have set a record for offseason spending.

By the numbers: Entering Sunday, 28 teams had signed 69 free agents to $3.53 billion in guaranteed major league contracts, per Spotrac, already surpassing the record of $3.31 billion set the last offseason.

  • Top spenders: 81% of all money has been spent by just eight teams: Yankees ($573.5 million), Giants ($463.2 million), Mets ($461.7 million), Phillies ($387 million), Padres ($326 million), Cubs ($265.3 million), Rangers ($229.7 million) and Red Sox ($141.5 million).
  • Non-spenders: The Marlins and Brewers are the only two teams that have yet to sign anyone to a major league contract.

The intrigue: Nearly one-third of all free agent money ($1.11 billion) has gone to four-star shortstops.

  • Carlos Correa, Giants: 13 years, $350 million
  • Trea Turner, Phillies: 11 years, $300 million
  • Xander Bogaerts, Padres: 11 years, $280 million
  • Dansby Swanson, Cubs: 7 years, $177 million

What to watch: All the biggest names are off the board, but there's still plenty of talent available. Our top 10 remaining free agents:

  • Position players: Brandon Belt (1B), Trey Mancini (1B/OF), Andrew McCutchen (OF/DH), Gary Sánchez (C)
  • Starters: Nathan Eovaldi, Corey Kluber, Michael Wacha
  • Relievers: Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Taylor Rogers
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