Red Sox sign Vicente Padilla to minor-league contract

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Nothing is official yet, but Peter Gammons of MLB Network reports that the Red Sox have agreed to terms with right-hander Vicente Padilla and Alex Speier of WEEI.com says it’s a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Padilla missed nearly all of last season following neck surgery and worked strictly as a reliever for the Dodgers when healthy enough to take the mound, but it’s unclear which role he’ll fill for the Red Sox.

He could compete with fellow minor-league signings like Aaron Cook and Carlos Silva for the fifth spot in the rotation or be viewed as a late-inning bullpen option if Daniel Bard sticks as a starter.

Padilla has had a ton of trouble staying healthy over the years, but has typically been a solid mid-rotation starter when not on the disabled list and also has a 4.15 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 113 career innings as a reliever.

And as we learned last week, no matter which role Padillla winds up in he’ll be “erect, proud, shining, and solid.”

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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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).

Yay?

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?