The Boston Red Sox plan to print 5,000 copies of their media guide during the last week of February. Their opening-day roster could include several players who won’t make the deadline.
Perhaps 100 free agents still seek contracts as the start of spring training workouts on Feb. 14 draws near, a group that includes J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish.
In a historically slow market, players and management are feuding publicly about riches and rules, and teams seemingly are seeking bargains like shoppers awaiting a closeout.
Job-seekers include pitchers Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn; reliever Greg Holland; infielder Eduardo Nunez; outfielders Carlos Gomez and Carlos Gonzalez; and catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
With Cincinnati, Detroit, Miami, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay in the early stage of rebuild mode, and Atlanta, the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia starting to emerge, it appears about one-third of the 30 teams have little chance for this year’s 10 playoff berths. For their fans, hope and faith are longer-term emotions going into opening day on March 29.
And many of the perennial big spenders are cutting back, too. The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees want to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold, putting them in better position for a free-agent class next fall that could include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and Clayton Kershaw.
The Yankees did make the splashiest move of the offseason, acquiring big league home run champion Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins when former New York captain Derek Jeter took over as Miami’s chief executive and started a payroll purge.
After losing to the Astros in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series, New York fired manager Joe Girardi and replaced him with Aaron Boone, who has never managed or coached at any level. Other new managers include the Mets’ Mickey Callaway, Boston’s Alex Cora, Detroit’s Ron Gardenhire, Philadelphia’s Gabe Kapler and Washington’s Dave Martinez.
Mike Scioscia, starting his 19th season with the Angels, is the only manager hired by his team in the 20th century. But he may have to learn some new moves. Pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani signed with Los Angeles, and Scioscia is considering a six-man rotation to accommodate the special skills of the Japanese star.
Seeking to follow the Astros’ example and win the World Series for the first time, Milwaukee realized its rebuild was ahead of schedule. The Brewers obtained Christian Yelich from the Marlins and signed Lorenzo Cain to an $80 million, five-year contract , thus far the largest free-agent deal of the offseason.
If a free agent does sign with the Red Sox late, there’s always time for the next publication: The deadline for the press run of 10,000 yearbooks is in mid-March.