For every MLB team, the offseason isn’t only about what they do, but what their rivals do, especially within their own division.
For example, if the Tampa Bay Rays sign Jacob deGrom, that’s bad news – and embarrassing – for the Boston Red Sox.
And according to league sources, the Rays have spoken with deGrom’s representatives.
Rays reportedly in contact with Jacob deGrom’s camp while Red Sox avoid top pitching
Divisional play is reducing from 19 to 13 games in 2023, but the Sox would still have to face deGrom multiple times. As if they don’t have enough trouble hitting as it is.
The only other teams known to be in contact with his camp are the New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers. They’re all more likely landing spots the Tampa because of their spending habits, but that brings up another issue. While the Sox reportedly aren’t even looking at superstar free-agent pitchers, the notoriously thrifty Rays are talking to one of baseball’s best and most expensive pitchers. It’s a horrendous look for the Sox in such a crucial and pivotal offseason. They’re ‘prioritizing’ Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers and they’re ‘interested’ in anyone and everyone below a certain AAV, but there’s no indication they plan to spend any real money on pitching. Meanwhile, the Rays, who’ve never given a free agent more than $15M AAV, are making overtures to the pitcher who’s expected to command a deal of at least $40M per year and could surpass Max Scherzer for the highest AAV in MLB history.
The Sox hired Chaim Bloom from the Rays because they wanted to be more like them in terms of farm system strength and consistency, but since Bloom left Tampa, the Rays have given out a bigger contract than the Sox; they signed Wander Franco to an 11-year, $182M extension with a $25M club option for a 12th year last November. They also made Freddie Freeman an impressive offer by their standards, especially factoring in that he wouldn’t have to pay state income tax in Florida, versus the 13.3% tax in California.
What are the Red Sox doing?