Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 3, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With NBA free agency moving fast and furious I thought it was interesting that there where people out their who thought that the other leagues could learn something from the way it went. Now sadly this plays into a lack of knowledge of the other sports as free agency on the NFL and the NHL move along at just about a fast of a pace as NBA free agency does. I guess no one was paying attention to those other two sports. Now baseball on the other hand they definitely could learn something.

Free agency is much easier to forecast when that certain league has a salary cap. Things are made even easier in the NBA as teams know what the maximum amount of years and money they can offer a player. While the NFL and the NHL don’t have the same contract limits and dollar amount they are still working against a salary cap.

Over in baseball it’s an entirely different story. There is no salary cap; so in reality teams can spend as much money as they’d like, but there is a luxury tax which a team has to pay if their total salaries go over a certain number. I’ve seen quite a few people try to say that the luxury tax is baseballs salary cap, but it’s not even close to that. In MLB it’s completely up to the team if they want to go over the luxury tax while in a salary cap league you have to make roster moves to stay under that salary cap number.

I don’t expect MLB to adopt a salary cap any time soon as it seems that the luxury tax has worked for them. If you’ve noticed these last few seasons most of the higher salaried teams have been doing their best to stay under the luxury tax line.

So while I don’t believe that baseball has to make any moves with their luxury tax I do think they could learn a thing or two about making their off season more interesting. With a new CBA coming up will see if there are any changes made to head that way.

We’re a little past the half way point with games played in baseball and looking at the standings and the way that things have played out I’d have to say that even though they’re 5 games over the .500 mark the Boston Red Sox have been one of the more disappointing teams this season.

Coming off of a World Series winning 2018 season the Red Sox went into the off season trying to stay under or close to the luxury tax we just talked about; so that took them out of the free agent market.

The only off season signings the Red Sox made was of their own players. They brought back World Series MVP Steven Pearce on a one year deal. Then they re-signed Nathan Eovaldi to a four year $68 million dollar deal.

Since the Red Sox where working on the cheap they allowed closer Craig Kimbrell to go into free agency. It was decided that they’d use a closer by committee format and that hasn’t served them very well. Boston has had 34 save opportunities this season and they’ve converted on just 17 of them. Six different relivers have saved at least one game this season with Ryan Brasier leading the way with 7 saves. I can understand the Red Sox not wanting to meet Kimbrell price as he was asking for 5 years and around $15 to $18 million dollars a season, but it appears as though they need a better solution than what they’ve been doing.

As for a better solution will see, but the Red Sox are making a change at closer. Boston has announced that when Eovaldi is reinstated from the 60 day IL he’ll be the teams closer. Now this could be as interesting as it is intriguing since health hasn’t been Eovaldi’s strong suit in his career.

Eovaldi went on the IL after he needed to have what was described as “loose bodies” removed from his right elbow. He is expected back after the All=Star break; when he’ll move into his new role.

In his career that has covered almost eight full seasons Eovaldi has pitched in 160 regular season games, but 152 of them have been as a starter. He has 0 career saves. As a starter Eovaldi has only made 30 plus starts once in his career 2014 and he hit his highest inning total in that same season 199 2/3rds. He has piled up quite a few injuries in his career even missing the entire 2017 season as he recovered from surgery.

Can he really be a guy who can be called on out of the bullpen to pitch two or even three days in a row?

It clear that the Red Sox are banking on the same kind of success as a closer that Eovaldi had coming out of the bullpen last post season, but is that really a reliable way to gauge him as a closer?

It’s clear that the Red Sox have to do something at the end of games as they find themselves 10 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East race. Boston is also 1 1/2 games behind the Oakland A’s for the second American League wild card spot, but aren’t their other options.

The Red Sox have always had a highly rated farm system and you’d have to think they’d be able to turn one of those prospects into an upgrade at closer and their should be some on the trade market.

I’m sure for the right prospect or package of prospects Boston could pick up Brad Hand, Shane Greene, Will Smith or a handful of other closers. It seems a though the Colorado Rockies have soured on Wade Davis and you can understand why with an ERA of 5.76, but he’s done the job before and has quite a bit of post season experience. You also have to think with the struggles Davis has had Boston might not have to give up too much to get him.

It will be interesting to see how Eovaldi fairs as a closer and if the Red Sox will make a deal just to have a guy in the bullpen; just in case. Whatever the Red Sox are going to do they can’t wait much longer or else their chances of repeating will be gone.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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