I’ve seen a few posts around the web in which writers have reported how much money in contracts teams have handed out in total this winter — I think we’re at or near a billion now — but I find that to be rather abstract and not entirely useful. In contrast, however, Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLB Trade Rumors put a great post up late last night breaking down how much each team has spent so far this offseason. That’s something I can get my arms and mind around a bit more easily.
No surprise: the Red Sox have spent the most, making $172 million in commitments, and that’s not even counting the inevitable Adrian Gonzalez contract extension that will come in the spring. The Nats and Phillies are two and three. Again, no shock there. What is shocking: that the Marlins have out-spent the Cubs, Mets and Braves.
On average teams have committed $40 million each to new contracts this winter. The median, however, is only $19 million, so yeah, there are a small handful of teams propping up the mean.
Definitely click through, as Nicholson-Smith breaks each team’s expenditures down by player.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.