Chicago White Sox and AL Central teams don't spend big or win big

Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox
Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

The Chicago White Sox have spent the 10th most amount of money on free-agent contracts so far this offseason. However, that pales in comparison to what others, including some major contenders, have ponied up.

The New York Mets stealing of shortstop Carlos Correa from the San Francisco Giants put them at the top of the free-agent spending pile.

Granted, just going out and spending money like crazy does not guarantee a team will produce a championship. But, if spent on the right players, it definitely boosts the chances of a team to not only make the postseason but possibly make a run at a title.

The Yankees have always been a team that spends a great deal of money. Despite doing so over the last few years, they have not won a World Series title since 2009. Yet, the team has been in the mix for a title every year since with the exceptions of 2013, 2014, and 2016.

The Chicago White Sox are currently in a bad American League division.

This year, American League teams who believe they have a chance to win it all have stepped up and been active in the free-agent market. Teams in the AL East and the AL West have done what they can to sign players while the AL Central (where the White Sox reside) have not.

The White Sox went out and brought in pitcher Mike Clevinger and outfielder Andrew Benintendi to top all Central Division teams at $87 million. When added to the amount spent by the other divisional teams, the Central has spent $188.5 million on talent.

That may seem like a lot, but it falls way short of what the other divisions are doing. The AL East has spent $866.7 million with Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore totaling $293.2 million in addition to what the Yankees spent.

Over in the AL West, the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros $334.7 million make up the bulk of the $419 million spent by the division.

When looking at win/loss totals last season, the AL East posted a record of 438 and 372 while the AL West went 397 and 413. The Central posted a mark of 382 and 428.

Houston's 106 victories skew that total a bit but even if one subtracts the 14-game difference in wins between the Astros and Cleveland Guardians, the West still would have a one-game advantage over the Central.

The Central has been one of the weakest divisions in baseball over the last few seasons and there could be a correlation between the division's lack of spending and its performance. Again, spending does not guarantee victories but not doing so isn't exactly helping the situation either.'s 2023 Payroll Tracker shows eight of the top 10 team payrolls belong to teams that made the playoffs last year, the exceptions being the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. The Astros won the World Series and is now ninth in payroll.

It all comes down to not just how much a team spends but to who they spend it. Teams have to spend wisely and find players who will contribute at a high rate.

Still, there is a parallel between MLB and the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. Upsets happen in the tournament all the time as mid-major schools pull off wins and do some bracket busting.

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