Even Red Sox Players Are Mad the Red Sox Are Being Cheap

Rafael Devers
Rafael Devers / Elsa/GettyImages

In yet another example of how we've seen the impact of shame completely disappear in society, the Boston Red Sox have refused to spend basically any money all offseason. They traded away most of their big salaries and let any free agent who wanted a raise walk. The front office leaked that it was "interested" in most big-name free agents but was never actually close to signing them. Now, with spring training underway and the roster mostly set, it has become apparent that the Red Sox were operating on a budget that kept them far from the Competitive Balance Tax in order to save ownership money and effectively punt on the 2024 season.

This is quite embarrassing for one of baseball's most historic franchises and one of the most successful teams of the 21st century. It is fair to say that throwing money at the most expensive free agents available is not a sustainable approach to winning, but sitting out of free agency almost entirely despite several obvious flaws in the roster that will not be fixed by internal development this season is clearly just giving up. Accepting that the Red Sox will not be in a position to win the World Series this season so they're better off filling the owners' pockets instead.

It is, frankly, an offensive stance to take in front of one of the most passionate fanbases in baseball. And it's one that is even bothering the players. Rafael Devers, the only expensive player on the entire roster, is soft-spoken and goofy and has never had any kind of quote make the rounds on Boston sports radio (an impressive feat for a guy who's been there for five years). Yet even he was bold enough to tell reporters that he told ownership what the team needed and they did not listen to him.

He spoke out even more strongly later in the day.

A sure-fire sign of how bad things have gotten. For Devers this is close to a full-on mutiny. He's watching one of the prime years of his career being thrown away because ownership refuses to spend despite quite obviously having the money. You could see how this might be frustrating to players!

John Henry is a joke. He's scrimping up loose change, entirely content to watch his baseball team limp to a 81-81 record. And apparently immune to the embarrassment of having the players of the Boston Red Sox, who won a World Series only four seasons ago, openly request ownership help them out a little bit. During Spring Training! How bad are things going to get once the team starts to lose games for the exact reasons everybody expects due to the lack of spending?

It's just brutal to watch, man. Even if you're taking great pleasure in the fall of the Red Sox you can acknowledge that this is shameful behavior. The second-most famous franchise in the sport has its players borderline begging their billionaire bosses to throw them a bone instead of sitting on their hands and staring at their bank account.

How far they've fallen.