Does anyone else find it odd that the big-money Dodgers, like the big-money Angels a year ago, required mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from a relative novice? Compared to Yasiel Puig, Mike Trout actually was a grizzled veteran when he joined the Angels in April 2012; he had appeared in 40 games the previous season. Puig, a Cuban defector, played in just 63 games in the minors before making his debut with the Dodgers last week. Still, the energy that both outfielders injected to their clubs was similar — and a damning statement on the way baseball teams spend their money. This is the age of drug testing. The game keeps skewing younger. Yet, many teams continue to invest heaviest on free agents whose best years already are behind them. At the same time, the recent labor agreement’s restrictions on amateur spending, both domestically and internationally, make it difficult for teams to be as aggressive as they once were mining young talent. Which is exactly the wrong idea at the wrong time. The greater bang for the buck, more than ever, comes from young players who make an immediate impact. Puig, 22, is something of an exception — he signed a seven-year, $42 million deal shortly before the new rules took effect. Nearly everyone in the industry viewed his deal as a massive risk, and it’s still fair to categorize it that way.
Phenoms paying off big for clubs
Fox Sports | Jun 11