It’s the Little Things
The media is going to gobble up the signings of the premier players. It’s going to be headline news when Price signs on the dotted line, when Cespedes racks up a price tag in the $100 million range, or when Greinke shuffles up the west coast to San Francisco (it’s possible, probably the biggest threat to the Dodgers re-signing him).
But what the media overlooks will end up being the eventual World Champions.
The 2013 Red Sox signed David Ross to a minimal two-year deal worth $6.2 million, but it added depth and a veteran leader to the dugout. Jonny Gomes, the perpetual good luck charm, signed on for $10 million over two years, and turned into the best dugout presence and spark plug in baseball.
Shane Victorino was the big deal, coming to Boston on a three-year, $39 million deal, but again, a veteran leader and a guy who played the right role.
The Red Sox refused to make the massive deal, bringing in valuable players who played the role they needed to and nothing more, and it resulted in the franchise’s sixth World Series title and third in ten years.
This past offseason, the Royals followed a similar path, signing Edinson Volquez to a two-year deal worth $20 million, and getting Kendrys Morales for $17 million. In total, the Royals spent just $68.425 million during the winter of 2014, or 37 percent of the Ramirez and Sandoval deals in Boston.
The Royals didn’t spend big, but they won big. The moves that don’t grab the headlines are the ones to look for. On a roster with 25 players, one man isn’t going to completely change the fortunes. Only on an already-established roster are the big moves worth noting.