According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox will meet with Bob Garber, the agent for C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt, at the Winter Meetings next week in Dallas.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington spoke with Garber at the general managers’ meetings last month in Milwaukee, though it was believed to be a matter of due diligence at the time. While the club is in the process of negotiating with free agent slugger David Ortiz and evaluating their options to replace closer Jonathan Papelbon, they apparently haven’t ruled out making an addition to a starting rotation which wilted down the stretch.
The Nationals, Angels and Marlins are among the teams who have expressed serious interest in Wilson thus far. The Rangers are still in the mix, though Jon Heyman of SI.com reported this afternoon that they haven’t made much progress in talks. The market for Oswalt hasn’t been nearly as strong, likely due to concerns over his degenerative back condition, but the idea of a multi-year contract might be easier to swallow for teams like the Red Sox, Yankees or Nationals.
The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.
Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).
John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.
What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.
The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?