Originally this was going to be a quick and easy and fun little
essay about the Boston Red Sox, based around the signing of Mike
Napoli. In it, I intended to explore if the team really was moving
into the future properly.
I happen to like Napoli. I think bringing him to the roster, in
general, is a good thing. But from the beginning, I was concerned.
not why you would think… though the title of this essay does give
it away. See it isn’t the money, the questions about 2012 and
production, or his ability to play first base.
I don’t understand how you can say “Mike Napoli” and “catcher”
together in any context… in any sentence… in any thought… and
explain solving the first base issue for the team. To me, that
just doesn’t work.
you’ve signed a first baseman or you haven’t.
you start noting things like having Napoli work out with the pitching
staff during spring training, you’ve lost me. (I’m not going to
source that because you can do the searches and I saw it in multiple
places. Heck… coming up I’m going to refer to Cot’s, and they
have him listed in their records as catcher – first base. Besides…
in a moment I am going to swing away from this story because my
article does as well. It’s just a part of the foundation and deserves
a note. So… back to it…)
of all… doesn’t this roster currently have Jarrod Saltalamacchia
on it? …David Ross on it? …Ryan Lavarnway on it?
it does. (Oh… I get it -- Saltalamacchia is going to be traded.
You think that’s what I’m missing. Ok. Fine. He’s traded. I personally
think he should actually be traded to win your point there instead
of saying he will be traded. But I’ll play the game that way…
of all… who is playing first base when Napoli catches?
didn’t see that one coming, did you?)
Napoli is only going to catch a handful of game -- 1, 2, 5 or
such -- that’s just fine and dandy. But that’s emergency catcher
type stuff. That’s interleague play and David Ortiz to first base
me though, when you start saying Napoli and catcher together in
any fashion, you are thinking he will catch 15-20 games. More
than 10 games. Seem about right? Ok… well, catching 20 while serving
as the primary first baseman probably means sitting 20 games as
know, that 1 game catching to 1 game resting ratio isn’t perfect
for a full-time catcher. But Napoli isn’t a catcher. He’s the
if I pursued the argument, developing it and explaining it **abracadabra**
Mike Napoli… full-time first baseman and occasional catcher… is
suddenly your three-quarter-time first baseman.
75% first baseman.
games at first… 20 catching… 20 resting. That my friends -- a
three-quarter-time position player -- is something completely
different than solving your first base opening.
I said though, something else happened along the way to finishing
that original plan of an article.
up… no need to recap it, you’ve heard Napoli isn’t signed yet.
The combination primary first baseman and catcher is already a
disabled list threat. Wonderfuil.
as I write this it sounds like Napoli and the Red Sox have begun
dancing and posturing, and a signing may not be a given after
yet, all of that (and more) gets swiped to the side by this tidbit…
are you aware of how much money Boston has locked up in 2013 payroll
the Boston page at the industry leader in baseball salaries… Cot’s
Baseball Contracts. If you click on the link
for “2013-18 payroll obligations” a spreadsheet will open up.
And that spreadsheet is fairly up to date folks.
is on there.
Hanrahan is listed on the roster too.
Hanrahan doesn’t have a salary listed.
no salary for Saltalamacchia either, since that needs to be determined.
salary for Jacoby Ellsbury. None for Andrew Bailey. Geez… there
are a few players with no dollar amounts next to their names.
fact, this spreadsheet only contains salaries for 13 of the 35
players listed. And, as I said, it’s pretty much up to date.
yet, without paying Ellsbury (the starting centerfielder), Hanrahan
(the quickly announced closer)… you see where I’m going, these
are significant numbers to be added and not league minimums… the
salary for those 13 is…
you sitting down?
it me? Doesn’t that seem like quite a lot?
mean, really, for a team that is transitioning and still has an
identity to create, and also supposedly had lots of money off
the books to free up moves in the future, and has yet to agree
to numbers with several players -- isn’t $125 million high?
a comparison? Ok… remember it’s very early and these numbers are
much do you think the California Angels are committed to right
wish I was kidding. Here’s Cot’s
for the Angels. Same deal… use the 2013-18
spreadsheet link on that page.)
only have ten players signed. But monster deals for Josh Hamilton,
Jered Weaver, Albert Pujols and the anchor of Vernon Wells are
part of that number. Mike Trout… compared to some of those Boston
has yet to sign for deals in 2013… will be playing for pennies
once his number gets set on this total.
put this in easy to understand terms folks…
is approaching 2013, and hopes are they might improve enough that
if Baltimore falters then they won’t be in the basement again.
Boston is looking at 2013 and trying to wave a wand, distract
the audience, and make the fans believe that they could get above
is approaching 2013 as the favorite in the AL West and a legitimate
World Series contender, with championship aspirations.
as I write this, the Angels have committed $10 million less to
their season than the Red Sox… the Angels have low-cost players
contributing right now at high levels.
know. I know.
are going to change. The Angels will likely spend more than the
Red Sox. The stories of the Rays and the A’s and what they are
doing with their payroll will eventually be much more compelling
concepts in such a “how was the money spent” investigation.
now though… I just find it worth putting out there for consideration.
I hope I’m wrong. Boston sure seems like a rudderless ship though
-- still looking for a direction.
I was going to try and make that case by wondering if their actions
really had brought on resolutions. Instead, with the actions still
not settled, I found a different piece of information… where the
financial flexibility is being spent, though I have no clue on