Would you believe that the Red Sox have won fewer games than the Royals since the start of the 2012 season?
It's true -- the Royals lead the Sox in victories during that time, 228-222. And while the Sox celebrated the 2013 World Series title, they were so bad in '12 and '14 that their follies actually have produced benefits.
Barring a late surge, the Sox project to finish with a top seven draft pick for the second time in three years. Their accompanying draft pool also will be higher, as will their international pool.
Keep in mind: The Red Sox already possess significant financial advantages over many other clubs. They took on the contracts of outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig at the non-waiver deadline. They're on the verge of signing Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal. And they can dominate the free-agent market this offseason, if they choose.
A low-revenue competitor such as the Rays cannot compete with the Sox for Cuban defectors and major-league free agents. And now, with the Sox again "earning" high draft picks, they're in an even stronger position going forward.
The moral of the story?
If you're going to lose, might as well lose big.