2014 MLB Free Agency: 5 Teams Most Likely to Keep Their Wallets Closed

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2014 MLB Free Agency: 5 Teams Most Likely to Keep Their Wallets Closed

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees of recent decades are famous for opening their big fat wallets and signing every player they could for as much as it took to guarantee a winning team. As irritating as that is for a lot of small-market teams, it worked well for a long time. During the 2014 MLB free agency season, there are going to be some of both types of teams. There will be those who open wallets and bring in whoever they need no matter how high the salary goes. There are those in between and there are those teams who will keep their wallets closed.

For the next few moments we’ll look at the teams that for whatever reason just refuse to open their wallets and pay for better players. Each one of them, to a staff member loves to assume that they can develop their own superstars but if that happened all the time they wouldn’t be considered ‘super’. That is just simple truth.

Some reasons these guys come up with are very good and understandable and some of them are not. The Minnesota Twins you might assume would be on this list but they won’t be for one key reason. They never have extra money but they plan this offseason to use every bit of cash they can as well as they can. That is enough to at least drop them out of the top 5 in my book. Without further delay, here are my top 5 non-spenders for this free agent season.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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5 – Kansas City Royals

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are at a turning point in their franchise this offseason. They went out of their way and spent prospects on a winning team and they were successful. In the business of baseball however, contracts come up quickly when you trade for a big name. Now with options coming up on a few players and Ervin Santana hitting free agency looking for a big payday, the Royals have to decide what to do. I think they’ll crack the wallet a tiny bit and try to add a little power somewhere but they are most likely to make changes once again by trades and hope for the best. As far as opening the wallet for a free agent that would make a huge splash, count them out.

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4 – Seattle Mariners

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The Mariners are in a bit of a bad situation. I don’t think anyone had more free agents hit the market this offseason than they did. That would be okay if they were either able to rely on their younger talent or willing to pay big money to bring those veterans back. Sadly neither of these seem to be the case. The owners aren’t even willing to spend a lot of money on the next manager. Now if that doesn’t tell you it’s a closed-wallet year, what does? Managers don’t make that much compared to players anyway. Look for the GM to be out at the end of 2014 and for a new crop of office staff to refurbish the entire organization. That means no wallet openings this year.

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3 – Miami Marlins

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For all those teams that have good reasons not to go after a big name free agent, this is not one of them. It looks more and more like the reason the Marlins are unwilling to spend money is because their bone-headed owner is just unwilling to open his wallet more than a crack. He says he tried the free agent thing for one season and it didn’t work. I bought that excuse for a few minutes but he never planned to keep a high payroll, in spite of his promises to the city of Miami to put a winner on the field. He might be able to get the right people in place and luck out for a year or two but this guy isn’t opening his wallet wide for anyone right now.

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2 – Philadelphia Phillies

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There is one very good reason that the Phillies aren’t going to open their wallets this offseason. They already have $112.5M to about eight players, most of which are past their prime. There is no way Ruben Amaro, Jr. is going to go after the bats and arms the Phillies need because he can’t. He already spent that money on bad decisions from the past few seasons. For now it seems they will have to just buckle down and try to make the best of a bad situation in Philadelphia.

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1 – St. Louis Cardinals

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The Cardinals are on everybody’s good list right now and for great reasons. They won’t open their wallets this offseason but it isn’t because they can’t or refuse to; it’s because they don’t have to. Every current player that makes a difference is either pre-free agency or under long-term contract for another few years. The exception to that rule is Carlos Beltran who they will likely not open their wallets for simply because they don’t need to. They have other outfielders waiting in the same organization that provided most of their current roster that are willing and able to take his place.