Boston Red Sox
There is one team who should be fearing numbers right now. The Red Sox sit in last place.
Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Remember, these are the defending World Series Champions. I use the term “defending” loosely, of course. They are 16 games UNDER .500, 19.5 games back in the division with an elimination number of 2. That means with an Oriole win and a Red Sox loss, they’re eliminated from the division race. In the Wild Card race, the Sox are 15.5 games back and have an elimination number of 6, so there’s a bit more hope, right? Nope. The math says they have a playoff probability of 0.0%. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the Red Sox have NO CHANCE of making the post season in 2014.
Let’s look at some other numbers. How about Big Papi, David Ortiz. The iconic slugger will turn 39 in November. It seems like every year we are saying, he’s done, he’s too old, he won’t produce. Yet, this season, all the 9 time All Star has done is hit.
The Red Sox took a risk with Ortiz. He’s signed through 2015 and they hold an option for 2016 and 2017. Maybe, with the options, it isn’t that risky. It tells the player you want him, but it doesn’t handcuff the team if he declines. It’s just…will he ever decline?
The other question is: Do the Red Sox have the well over $100 million it is going to take to bring Jon Lester back? He’ll be a free agent. He loves Boston. Part of me says he’ll return to Boston and the free agent process is just a formality. But, considering the REALLY low ball offer of $70M they gave him previously, there is room for doubt. The Yankees will certainly be in play. Other teams should be as well. Lester would be a fool to not listen to them. But, no one should be surprised to see him in a Red Sox uniform next year. And, the Sox will come off smelling like roses. Look at the talent they picked up for unloading Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavey and Andrew Miller.
Don’t look for the Red Sox to repeat 2014 numbers next season.