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 World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.