Orioles’ domination of Yankees is a reminder that teams can’t just buy a good roster

Baltimore has asserted their supremacy over the Yankees so far thanks to a roster that cost a fraction of New York's.
New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

You will struggle to find two teams that have been built more differently than the Baltimore Orioles and the Yankees. While the Orioles had a cheap owner for a long time and had to rely on getting draft picks and player development exactly right to become a playoff contender, the Yankees had the benefit of a huge market and rabid fanbase that has given them financial advantages that other teams just don't have.

In fairness to the Yankees, they have had plenty of player development successes as well with Aaron Judge and Anthony Volpe being prominent examples here. However, it is also hard to ignore the fact that the Yankees consistently sport among the league's highest payroll each year and have the money to take on the payroll necessary to trade for a guy like Juan Soto. Meanwhile, the Orioles have had to search around for loose change in their couch just to make do.

However, Tuesday's 4-2 Orioles win over the Yankees was a clear reminder that money can't solve all of your problems, no matter how much of Baltimore's bullpen is laid up.

Orioles dominate Yankees on Tuesday as New York doesn't get their money's worth

For the Orioles, Tuesday's win was almost perfect. Dean Kremer didn't exactly make it look easy at times, but he still went seven innings while giving up just a pair of runs. Homegrown Orioles studs Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman each drove in runs, while almost the entire lineup chipped in one way or another.

Conversely, the Yankees had Aaron Judge, who was definitely homegrown but who also required a massive $360 million deal to keep around, go 0-3 with a walk. He's hitting .207 this year. The Yankees took on Giancarlo Stanton's albatross of a contract and he also gave New York a hitless performance; he's been a colossal disappointment with the Yankees overall. Rounding out the heart of the Yankees' lineup was Anthony Rizzo, who has dealt with scary concussion issues, and while he had been looking better, he also went 0-4.

Those three Yankees are making a combined $89 million this season, which is more than the salaries of Baltimore's active roster combined (not including injured list guys and retained salaries). Don't forget, too, that Baltimore's infamous "draft tanking" didn't exactly gift them with wins like Henderson, who was selected 42nd overall.

As painful as it is to admit, the Yankees are still a very good team and do a lot of things well, regardless of how anemic they have looked in this series against the Orioles. When September rolls around, it will be a surprise if they aren't firmly in the running in the AL East. However, games like Tuesday were a stark reminder that there are multiple ways to build a good team, and some are definitely cheaper than others.

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