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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 11/7/19

The Yankees’ (lack of) spending; midlevel free agents that could make a difference; what Strasburg’s opt-out means

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FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: The Yankees came two games of the World Series, and it wasn’t because they spent more money. Their 2004 payroll, for example, was about 60% higher in 2019 dollars, and they’re currently at their lowest spending levels overall since the century began. The team has gotten better at player development and holding on to top prospects, which ha borne fruit, but it’s also worth noting that they were approaching a pennant with only two or three reliable starters.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): We know about the big guys like Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, but what about the midlevel signings? Players like Didi Gregorius, Mike Moustakas, and Travid d’Arnaud are all players that could improve your club immediately without even touching a luxury tax issue.

ESPN Insider | Buster Olney ($): Speaking of elite guys, Stephen Strasburg has opted out of Nationals deal and will test the market, thinking he can get more than his guaranteed $100 million. The Nationals will certainly try to retain him, but all teams will have to grapple with both his age (on the older side for a free agent pitcher), and his injury history, where his reconstructed elbow is nearly a decade old.