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.