This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"The Yankees can be profligate on free-agent relievers because they’ve developed a core of inexpensive, highly-productive players. In 2018, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Gary Sanchez, and Severino combined for 16.6 bWAR and were paid $3 million in total. That group, even with Severino’s new contract, won’t make $7 million combined in 2019. We can talk all we want about payroll restrictions and revenue sharing and all of the other mechanisms in place to restrain competition, but the single biggest factor in on-field success is player development, in getting $100 million in value for 3% of the cost."