I don't know why Dombrowski felt fine with not getting relief help this offseason.
Itís really bizarre to me. They replaced Kelly and Kimbrel with nobody.
They chose not to bring back Kimbrel and/or sign other elite names to stay under the 246M luxury tax threshold. They already pay a luxury tax, but once you cross 246M, you pay a higher bracket % AND lose 10 spots in the Draft. They already took that penalty in 2018 and I think if you go over that threshold another year the $$$ goes up. So they paid 12M in luxury tax last year, and after this season (if they'd gone over 246M), they'll pay around 24M I think. Now though it's probably 20M since they didn't go over.
Right now their payroll is around 239M. There's about 7M that could go towards in-season trade acquisitions and such. But yeah, even outside the elite names (Kimbrel, Ottavino, Robertson, etc.), there were many good-great options to go after who went for cheap (Romo, Sipp, Wilson, etc.) yet they signed absolutely no one. That's perplexing. Most of those guys signed for less than 3M which we could have easily afforded even when trying to staying under 246M.
And as a result, Hembree and Thornburg are now 2 of our Top-4 relievers on the team! (ugh)
Yeah, that totally befuddles me as well. I get the ramifications of exceeding the luxury tax (draft pick sliding 10 spots down, heavy tax penalties) but the Sox are also defending the World Series and have a golden opportunity to be the first team in almost 20 years to repeat.
So what if they exceed the luxury tax? If you continue to field a competitive team that can contend for a World Series on a yearly basis, you not only make up the money from being taxed, you're still probably going to turn a huge profit.
Winning brings fans to the ball park. Losing keeps them away. Something John Henry has never been able to comprehend.
Personally, I think David Robertson and Adam Ottavino were two guys the Sox should've taken a serious look at. Both guys came off successful seasons and Robertson preferred to pitch in the East coast because he lives in Rhode Island.
So, the Sox decided to sacrifice the bullpen and I am worried about Chris Sale and his drop in velocity (and the fact the Sox just tied him to a 5 year, $145 million extension.)
Hopefully the rails don't come off the track early into the season. And can Dombrowski PLEASE dump the Tyler Thornburg experiment, cut his losses and admit that was an awful trade (dealing Travis Shaw and 3 prospects, what a fiasco.)
They already are over the luxury tax. The luxury tax kicks in once you go past 206M. Then there's like 2 tiers I believe. Once you cross the first tier (I think it's around 225M but correct me if I'm wrong), the penalties become a bit harsher, but once you cross that second (and harshest) threshold (at 246M), then those penalties hit. The Sox were trying to avoid that latter one for a second straight year.
The Yankees payroll is around 220M. In a way they passed up on Machado/Harper because signing either to some 300M+ deal adds another big contract but also puts their payroll past 246M. But you could argue that adding either would have made them CLEAR favorites to win the division and probably World Series.
What amazes me about the Yankees is that for years they didn't have a great farm system, relying heavily on buying free agents, now (seemingly) all of a sudden they have more good young players and big bats than the Sox.
Since George Steinbrenner passed on and his sons took control, the Yankees have changed their business model from heavy spenders to relying more on a beefed up farm system. They'll still make the occasional free agent splash as their payroll is over $200 million. However, they're alot more conservative than their father was at spending on free agents and trading prospects for veteran talent.
Makes sense. But I guess it's also true that their front office (Cashman and Co.) is exceptional at evaluating talent.
Boston's got a great defensive outfield and some solid young players after Betts (Benny, Bogaerts, Devers, Bradley), and of course J.D., but it just seems to me that the Yankees have a more dangerous and explosive offensive group with Stanton, Judge, Andujar, Torres, Hicks, Voit, and Gregorius (and even Sanchez, who had a horrible average last season but still hit 18 homers, which is a heck of a lot more than Vazquez, Swihart, or Leon will likely hit).
Of course, I might just be bitter after such a crappy opening day.