At $17.6MM and $11.3MM, respectively, Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo will give the Red Sox two of the AL’s three most expensive bench players this season, writes Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. (Those salary figures include portions of those players’ signing bonuses.) And in addition to Sandoval and Castillo, the Red Sox will also have Allen Craig, who has a $9MM salary, at Triple-A. The only more expensive reserve than Sandoval or Castillo will be Josh Hamilton, who will make about $26MM, most of it paid by the Angels. The Red Sox’ projected $48MM bench is almost four times more expensive than that of the average AL team. Of course, the Red Sox have enough money to have very expensive players, but the cases of Sandoval, Craig and perhaps Castillo are reminders of some of the organization’s past mistakes. Here’s more from the AL East.
- In the Rays’ additions of Hank Conger, Corey Dickerson, Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Steve Pearce and subtractions of Jake McGee, Nathan Karns, Rene Rivera and James Loney, the Rays might be straying from their pitching-and-defense-first philosophy, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman says the team has merely made a slight adjustment to take advantage of what was available — making itself better by finding better offensive players that are capable enough defensively. Chris Archer, at least, agrees with their new approach. “You have to have balance,” he says. “We learned for the last eight years that just being pitching heavy is probably not the way to do it. You’ve got to have defense. You’ve got to have pitching — the teams that win get high-level pitching, starting and relief. But you’ve got to have offense, too.”
- The Orioles’ situation with Hyun Soo Kim is “a mess,” Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com writes. The two sides currently disagree about whether Kim is ready to play in the Majors, but Kim has the right to refuse a minor-league assignment. This isn’t the first time the O’s have run into had a hard time due to an interaction with a Korean player, Connolly notes — they had to release pitcher Suk-min Yoon last year when it became clear they had little use for him, allowing him to go back to the KIA Tigers in Korea. And they were briefly banned from scouting in Korea after offering a deal to amateur pitcher Seong-Min Kim.