Red Sox

Red Sox' payroll goes down, but it's still MLB's highest

Red Sox' payroll goes down, but it's still MLB's highest

The Red Sox again have the highest payroll in baseball at just less than $222 million, according to the Associated Press study of major league salaries, but their payroll has actually gone down as has the average major league salary.

The Sox' payroll last season was a major league-high $223 million and ended a four-year run at No. 1 for the team they defeated in the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Boston's payroll for 2019 is the lowest top payroll on Opening Day since 2012, according to the AP.

The Cubs are No. 2 this year at $209 million, followed by the New York Yankees ($207M), the Dodgers ($191M), the Washington Nationals ($185M) and the San Francisco Giants ($176M)

The bottom five: Oakland A's ($88M), Baltimore Orioles ($78M), Pittsburgh Pirates ($77M), Miami Marlins ($71M million) and Tampa Bay Rays ($61M).

For the second year in a row, the average salary has dropped. It's at $4.36M, down from $4.41M last year and $4.45M in 2017. The drop is reflected in slow markets the past two winters that despite record deals for stars Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado this offseason, saw many veterans settling for cheaper contracts.

Pitchers are the five highest-paid players in annual salary: The Washington Nationals' Max Scherzer is first at $37.4M, followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke ($32.4M), the Red Sox' David Price and Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw ($31M each) and the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg ($30.7M).

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Brock Holt wearing patch to honor Dustin Pedroia, credits him for recent hot streak

Brock Holt wearing patch to honor Dustin Pedroia, credits him for recent hot streak

Since returning from the IL in late May, Brock Holt has been playing well.

In fact, that's an understatement. He has been red-hot.

In 14 games since returning to the lineup, Holt is hitting .396. He also clubbed his first homer of the season at Camden Yards on Friday night. Throughout this streak, Holt has been wearing a patch on his left arm to honor one of his teammates, and he believes that the patch is helping him to hit better.

“Dustin Pedroia right here,” he said to NESN's Guerin Austin about the patch (as transcribed by Lauren Campbell). “Little shoutout. I’ve been wearing it ever since he went back home. We’re always thinking about him. I’m obviously thinking about him. It actually might be the reason I’m doing so well is I’ve got a little bit of him with me. He’s part of our team still, no matter where he’s at.”

Pedroia was moved to the 60-day IL after suffering yet another setback in his return from a knee injury. He elected to stop rehabbing the injury to take time off. The team's long-time second baseman and former AL MVP has played in just nine games since the start of the 2018 season as he has been plagued by the malady.

It's nice to see Holt honor Pedroia, and it's also nice to see the bat come around again for Holt. He could once again prove to be a valuable piece for the Red Sox as the lefthanded part of the second base platoon and a utility option who can give other players days off.

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Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

The Boston Red Sox will look to make it a clean sweep against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon. They took the first two games of their three-game series by a combined score of 20-4 and will turn to their third straight lefty starter on Sunday in Brian Johnson.

Johnson has been sidelined since early April with an elbow injury, so his return to the rotation could provide a spark for the Sox. Last season as a spot starter, Johnson had a 4-3 record and a 4.15 ERA in 13 games as a starter. He was a solid fill-in at the back of the rotation, and that's something that the Red Sox have lacked in the absence of Nathan Eovaldi

Johnson's ERA this season isn't pretty (12.71), but that largely stems from a disastrous 1 1/3 inning outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he gave up seven earned runs. That was just before he was put on the IL, so he may have been dealing with the injury in that outing.

The Red Sox lineup looks pretty normal for Johnson's start. The only major notes are that J.D. Martinez will play left field while Andrew Benintendi sits. Eduardo Nunez will get the nod at DH while Marco Hernandez gets the nod at second base over the hot-hitting Brock Holt.

Here are the lineups for today's game at Camden Yards with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

BOSTON RED SOX 
Mookie Betts, RF
Christian Vazquez, C
J.D. Martinez, LF
Rafael Devers, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Michael Chavis, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Eduardo Nunez, DH
Marco Hernandez, 2B
--
Brian Johnson, LHP (1-0, 12.71 ERA)

BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Hanser Alberto, 3B
Trey Mancini, RF
Pedro Severino, C
Renato Nunez, DH
Anthony Santander, LF
Jonathan Villar, 2B
Chris Davis, 1B
Keon Broxton, CF
Richie Martin, SS
--
John Means, LHP (6-4, 2.60 ERA) 

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