Following the Yankees signing Rafael Soriano to a three-year, $35 million deal last night Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes that the eight free agents departing the Rays this offseason have signed elsewhere for a total of $213 million over 19 years.
That total will rise to $215 million for 20 seasons once Chad Qualls’ deal with the Padres becomes official and Type A free agent Grant Balfour is still on the market (as are Willy Aybar and Lance Cormier).
Meanwhile, the Rays’ big free agent splash was signing middle reliever Joel Peralta to a one-year, $900,000 contract.
Tampa Bay isn’t nearly as bad off as those figures would suggest, as the Rays have several prominent young players like Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson ready to step into big roles, but $215 million versus $900,000 is still pretty staggering.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.