Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It’s not the Money

As the Red Sox play their very short series in Altanta, I can’t stop thinking about money. Specifically, money the Red Sox have spent. And, beyond that, money other people don’t think they should have spent.

Some of it is because Rick Porcello pitched last night. As I discussed last week, people seem to have all sorts of problems with his contract. Not only when the Sox signed him to it, but how much money it involved. Then people remember that the Sox have Allen Craig and Rusney Castillo in Pawtucket at the moment. Both of them have pretty large contracts. When Pablo Sandoval eventually makes a rehab start in RI, it’s possible that team will have a higher payroll than many MLB teams. People yell and scream that they signed these terrible contracts and how much it has screwed the team.

Then I remember who is pitching for the Red Sox tonight.

David Price.

That’s when I feel I need to remind people that this is baseball, not football. There’s no salary cap. Signing one player doesn’t mean you automatically can’t sign another player. 

So, we need to change the question. It’s not about being overpaid or underpaid. It’s whether the player adds any value, and whether he prevents you from signing another player. 

Since David Price got his $200 million, I’m assuming the Pawtucket payroll isn’t hurting the Sox any. Now, I suppose you could argue that Craig and Castillo aren’t adding a whole lot of value. But, a former major league player isn’t a bad thing to have at the ready. And, Castillo has some skills that could be useful. As long as he’s not hurting you.

That thought process works even better in Boston. Sandoval is paid a ton to, oddly, ride the bench. But, there are worse things to have on the bench than a proven clutch performer. Hanley makes a ton, but he can play three or four positions for you, and seems to be doing a damn fine job at first base. 

If you hadn’t overpaid Rick Porcello two years ago, you wouldn’t have your best pitcher thus far this year. Which is the risk you run when trying to live up to an imaginary budget. You might miss out on players. You might miss out on players you need. All in the name of saving money.

Even though you could still go out and sign your ace.

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