Why wait until the offseason to sign dudes?
Sweeney hit .266/.324/.448 with six homers and 19 RBI in 212 plate appearances this season. The Cubs had signed him to a minor league deal and called him up on May 6.
He made $1.75M for the Red Sox in 2012, so now he’s basically back up to his old salary level, this time with some job security. Although maybe not location security: there was talk of trading Sweeney over the summer. If he has a decent start next year the Cubs could always shop him again.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: