We thought the last frontier of defense against "contrarianism" were the suits in the front offices of every Major League Baseball team. After all, they fall victim to the ever-changing discourse on a daily basis that pertains to their decisions. Wouldn't they be sympathetic?
But perhaps (how?) we underestimated how deep the hatred for the New York Yankees runs.
Don't worry, Blue Jays fans, we're giving you yet another opportunity to bust out of your strait jackets on Twitter (man, do you guys need help or what?), so make this one count, too.
And for any Rays fans that actually exist out there, we're coming for you, too! Well, truth is we're more so aiming our disdain at these executives for somehow propping up both Toronto and Tampa's free agent contracts (either above or on an equal playing field) alongside New York's.
MLB.com's Mark Feinsand polled a number of MLB executives about the "best value deals" in free agency this offseason and the results were ... bizarre. And we're not even saying the Yankees should've been on top! We'd argue they didn't even get fantastic value paying $40 million per year for Aaron Judge and $27 million per year for Carlos Rodón. We'd do those deals 10 times over ... but from a "value" perspective, they're not exactly ones you'd salivate over.
But NOBODY is thinking the same about Blue Jays signing Brandon Belt ($9.3 million) or the Rays signing Zach Eflin ($13.33 million).
MLB executives are off their rockers for favoring Rays, Jays over Yankees
"Daaad!! Come down here, Yankees fans are being mean to me again in one of their articles I shouldn't be reading anyway!! Wahhhh!!"
Let's start with Eflin and the Rays to keep Blue Jays fans reading as far down as humanly possible. Tampa dished out its LARGEST FREE AGENT CONTRACT IN FRANCHISE HISTORY when they signed Eflin to a three-year, $40 million deal this offseason. That's a $13.33 million AAV for someone who owns a career 36-45 record, 4.49 ERA, 4.36 FIP and 1.30 WHIP. What did we miss here? He's pitched over 20 games in a season just twice in his seven-year career. His "renaissance" in 2022 was a result of him being moved to the bullpen. Outside of limiting hard contact and walks in 2022, he was less than impressive, to put it nicely. What's the value here? Judge is the better value play at $50 million, and Rodón at $27 million all of a sudden looks like a steal.
Nonetheless, Eflin tied Carlos Correa for three votes (the most) for best value deals this offseason. Zach Eflin and Carlos Correa, two guys you can't possible exclude from the same sentence.
And now, for our good friends north of the border, who couldn't handle some playful criticism about the Daulton Varsho trade with the Diamondbacks. Sounds like a group of fans that are sick of watching that boring movie trailer two years in a row.
This time, though, we have to talk about Belt, who was signed to a one-year, $9.3 million contract to presumably fill DH reps (and take over at first base from time to time) in 2023. Bad signing? Not at all. Lefty power depth. Valuable veteran presence. But two votes (the same as Judge and Rodón) for BEST value signing of the offseason?
The guy played in 78 games last season and 97 the year prior. He's had two fully healthy seasons (one was the shortened 2020) since 2017. He's entering his age-35 campaign. His defense has greatly diminished. But let's hear the rebuttal, Blue Jays fans! He's better than Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton? Yankees fans are jealous that he has three World Series rings since 2010 and New York has zero? There's a silver lining to be had with his fourth percentile sprint speed? Lay it on us!
Because we really do need convincing here. Two of the most underwhelming offseason moves can't possibly be projected to possess the most value. And we'll happily eat a heaping helping of crow (or Jay) if 2023 proves us wrong.