Let's Lay Off That Throttle

PrometheusWakefield

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Quatchie

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Can you elaborate? You're entitled to your opinion, but it's on you to back up your specific thoughts about Breslow. How is he overmatched? He may turn out to be, but what are you basing your statement on?

Edit: My bad, I apologize, you did say seems. Seems how?

If it's true (and it's not been established) that they've "lost their way," can they find their way back? Why or why not?

Is it really a disaster? Will we know that before we see some baseball? If you're correct, where do the fixes lie?

Others read his comments differently, and some quite similarly, and each explained why they feel the way they do. Can you do us the same courtesy?
His comments to me read like he underestimated how hard it would be to acquire SP. Would a veteran who has experience in the role have done that?
 

OCD SS

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Why hasn’t there been a sniff of a rumor on what they offered Yamamoto? I’ll give you a hint: it would make the FO/ownership look silly what they thought would be a competitive offer. Werner’s comments continue to make them look either out of touch with the reality of where they’re at or clueless(or both).
I mean it's not like they have a history of misreading the free agent market, just ask Lester or Xander...
 

BigSoxFan

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But will Snell/Montgomery still be on the team and still effective when the team's "chances are better"? And for that matter, wouldn't they make the team's chances better? They are both 31, I believe, not 35. If they can get an 11-year contract like Xander, I get demurring. If they are going to get more like 6 years ... and the team revenue is high, and the budget commitments are low relative to past (successful) years ...and the need for quality starting pitching is a screamingly obvious need ...well, given all that, isn't there a logic to signing them?
There definitely is some logic to signing them, especially Montgomery. I’m just trying to read the tea leaves a bit about why we haven’t really seemed that aggressive towards him. I also would have tried Imanaga at the price he went for or slightly above. It’s not really clear to me how the rest of the money gets spent although it feels like it’ll be a bunch of 1 year deals.
 

6-5 Sadler

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My theory on the reported $300M offer is that it wasn’t an “official” offer but more like a filtering device for teams to get a face to face meeting with YY (this would somewhat square with the Passan report that no offers were made at that time). I’m sure a lot of teams were interested early in the process (he reportedly had zoom calls with 13 teams) but YY was only going to meet in person with teams where he had some level of confidence they could meet his asking price. Once he conducted his initial meetings, he narrowed his choices (or maybe even chose LAD at that point), and then the real negotiations/official bidding started (or he just used the NY teams as leverage).
 

Sprowl

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His comments to me read like he underestimated how hard it would be to acquire SP. Would a veteran who has experience in the role have done that?
Yes, I think most of MLB's general managers have been getting nosebleeds in the rarefied air of starting pitcher salaries, including those who have been in the job for a long time.
 

geoflin

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I never took "full throttle" to mean spend indiscriminately and pay whatever it takes. I understood it to mean if a player is available at a salary and number of years Breslow feels is worth it the front office won't stop him. Both Breslow and Werner appear to be saying that now. So if Montgomery or Snell fits those criteria the Sox could sign one. If the AAV or number of years is higher than Breslow is comfortable with he won't meet their asking price. I'm fine with this.
 

chrisfont9

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His comments to me read like he underestimated how hard it would be to acquire SP. Would a veteran who has experience in the role have done that?
Versus what, overpaid a guy? You may be right, he did have like five minutes to get ready for free agency to begin after he was hired. But I don't know what he should have done differently to this point.
 

simplicio

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I also don't recall a market where all the highest AAV starters (Ohtani, Yamamoto, Nola, Gray, Stroman) have seemingly picked a team they wanted to play for and then just gone there. Maybe the Boras guys will be more mercenary but it's definitely not been a typical offseason in that regard so far.
 

koufax32

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Measured approach, don’t spend before your window opens, yadda yadda…great, fine. I get it and agree.

How are those extension talks going with Casas and Bello?
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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But will Snell/Montgomery still be on the team and still effective when the team's "chances are better"? And for that matter, wouldn't they make the team's chances better? They are both 31, I believe, not 35. If they can get an 11-year contract like Xander, I get demurring. If they are going to get more like 6 years ... and the team revenue is high, and the budget commitments are low relative to past (successful) years ...and the need for quality starting pitching is a screamingly obvious need ...well, given all that, isn't there a logic to signing them?
Yes. Even if you think this team won't really contend until, say, 2026 when Mayer et al are established major leaguers, there's no reason you can't start building the 2026 pitching staff today by signing a Snell or Montgomery to a long term contract. Is it really better to rely on a series of one year deals and hope that they somehow give you the flexibility to put together a real rotation when you're ready to contend? We've seen how difficult it has been for this year's edition to acquire the 2 or 3 starters most of us think this team needs now. Why will it be easier to do this in 2026?

Signing Montgomery might not put us over the top this year but it might in a year or two.
 

BigSoxFan

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I never took "full throttle" to mean spend indiscriminately and pay whatever it takes. I understood it to mean if a player is available at a salary and number of years Breslow feels is worth it the front office won't stop him. Both Breslow and Werner appear to be saying that now. So if Montgomery or Snell fits those criteria the Sox could sign one. If the AAV or number of years is higher than Breslow is comfortable with he won't meet their asking price. I'm fine with this.
Which is fine. But at some point he is going to need to meet some FA SP’s asking price on a multi-year deal to address this team’s biggest issue. The farm has nothing close. The trade market is seemingly limited and would require dealing one of the top 3 guys. Whatever you get for a deal not involving top 3 guys likely won’t yield much, unless you pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Maybe he wants to see what he has first and then re-assess next offseason when guys like Burnes, Fried, etc. will be available? I don’t know. But at some point he’ll need to take some risk and commit to someone for big money.
 

geoflin

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Which is fine. But at some point he is going to need to meet some FA SP’s asking price on a multi-year deal to address this team’s biggest issue. The farm has nothing close. The trade market is seemingly limited and would require dealing one of the top 3 guys. Whatever you get for a deal not involving top 3 guys likely won’t yield much, unless you pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Maybe he wants to see what he has first and then re-assess next offseason when guys like Burnes, Fried, etc. will be available? I don’t know. But at some point he’ll need to take some risk and commit to someone for big money.
I agree. But I never thought Montgomery or Snell was that guy. Maybe YY but he wasn't coming here. Hopefully Burnes, Fried, etc. next year might be both more palatable and possible.
 

YTF

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His comments to me read like he underestimated how hard it would be to acquire SP. Would a veteran who has experience in the role have done that?
I would feel comfortable in saying that every baseball exec holding the same or similar title was not expecting Ohtani to be signed to a $70M per year deal in which he would defer $68M per that allowed the massive deal that Yamamoto signed. We all new that Montgomery and Snell would get paid, but the contracts that the Dodgers handed out likely bumps their price up more. I'm not sure anyone anticipated this to play out quite as it has played out so far.
 

SuperDieHard

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I still felt Bloom deserved one more season and it included adding one of the big name starters which is how I read his plan.
Honestly the Sox had a bunch of good players returning at the deadline. Those players drastically underperformed until it was too late. I don’t think it was the best plan…. But it made sense to me. If he just somehow traded for Story, Sale, Whitlock and Houck and added them, SOSH would have likely judged it a big win.
Story couldn’t hit. Whitlock and Houck never seemed to get it together and Sale came back way later than hoped.
min hindsight it’s obvious he should have dealt Paxson, Sale, Duvall and Turner. So obvious!
Disagree with this- it was obvious both of the past two trade deadlines that the team as constituted had very little chance of contending for a World Series title and both years Bloom was indecisive which cost the team in both the short and long term. He should have sold heavily or added more (I’m in the sold heavily camp) but both years were maddeningly frustrating.
 

mikcou

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None of the words Werner says are flatly saying it isn't true I would note. He carefully phrases the Yamamoto portion to note that they "thought they would be competitive" rather than that they actually were competitive. He also doesn't actually say there isn't a budget either total or per contract, he instead says they look less to that than .. word salad about Breslow's assurances, which could mean anything up to an including assurances that they could be competitive without exceeding a budget.

It's a carefully crafted non-answer made to IMPLY a response to criticism/questions without actually making them.

Now maybe they really have no budget, and they really were in the hunt for YY (say within $40M), definitely possible. But nothing in that statement is an outright rejection of what McAdam wrote. SO I wouldn't trumpet that they are liars and Werner flatly said they were

This is what I was trying to get at. There is a huge gray area between the direct statement "There is no line" in the sense of a line that they will never pass and the idea there aren't strict parameters about what total spending and the terms of that spending are. Both can easily be true. For example, they could have a rough budget of $225M (or $230M or whatever number) and tell Breslow that if there is a specific player that makes sense for the long term (e.g., Yamamoto) then they'll discuss increasing the rough number on a case by case basis.

Of course that is consistent with most large businesses. There is a baseline budget/plan and variances can/may/are approved based on ROI criteria and short and long term business growth plans.
 

Jimbodandy

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Reading back on Werner's comments today: "We are resolute about being competitive this year." That is certainly putting some heat on Breslow who was musing earlier today about the 2025-26 Teel Anthony Mayer team. Now if Breslow is likewise being held to a tighter budget down around 200M (or prevented from offering more than 2 years to guys) we have a serious front office problem.
I'm resolute about getting back to 185 and dunking a basketball, but I don't think that anyone should pay to see it until they've seen some evidence that I am taking steps to get there.

As a big prospect follower, I love the idea about a sustainable pipeline of guys. Problem is that the team is short of good starting pitching at all upper levels of org and doesn't seem to have materially changed that at all. Offseason isn't done yet I guess.
 

HfxBob

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So if the Sox payroll winds up around the budget line that's been reported (by just about everyone at this point), that's just a coincidence?

C'mon. It's possible that both things are true: Breslow is not enamored with the current Free Agent class, which is very weak, and Red Sox ownership is full of shit when they're speaking about how much they're willing to spend.
Was it really very weak? The Red Sox primary area of need was starting pitching, and some of the top starting pitchers for the 2023 season were available, including a Cy Young winner and a Cy Young runnerup.

Is it really going to be better next year?
 

SouthernBoSox

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Was it really very weak? The Red Sox primary area of need was starting pitching, and some of the top starting pitchers for the 2023 season were available, including a Cy Young winner and a Cy Young runnerup.

Is it really going to be better next year?
Its never going to be better. It never gets better trying to time a free agent market. The players union isn’t going to allow that.

It’s the same force that made people said “woah” when Kevin Gausman get 110mm and now that looks like a steal.

It’s why if Montgomery gets 25AAV and produces 3.5 WAR in ‘24, it will look like a steal going into 2025x
 

tims4wins

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Man the calendar just turned to 2024 and this board is honestly discussing not competing until 2026 - after not competing for the last 4 seasons already. That's so depressing.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Man the calendar just turned to 2024 and this board is honestly discussing not competing until 2026 - after not competing for the last 4 seasons already. That's so depressing.
I just don’t think they are that far. I think Devers, Casas, Bello, and Kutter are too good.

I think Duran is a real asset.

I think Grissom’s offensive ceiling is not appreciated.

I think Abreu had a major league approach and a really good strong side of a platoon.

I think Wong is a great defeasance catcher and Story could post the best OOA of any shortstop in baseball this year.

I think the option depth arm adds are great moves to shore up the back end of the 40.

It’s why it’s even more depressing they appear to unwilling to do anything. Montgomery and Turner makes this team very compelling and you can accomplish that while staying under the tax.
 
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moondog80

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The idea that they can't compete until 2026 is insane. Perhaps they can't be favorites to take the division until then but as documented, there are numerous examples of teams like the Diamondbacks squeaking into the playoffs with a win total in the mid-80s and making a run. And there are ways to increase those chances without giving up prospects or hurting future payroll flexibility; unfortunately, most of those guys have already signed with other teams.
 

Salem's Lot

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Man the calendar just turned to 2024 and this board is honestly discussing not competing until 2026 - after not competing for the last 4 seasons already. That's so depressing.
It’s depressing but that’s what happens when you pick the wrong guy to lead the rebuild. They gave him 4 years and he couldn’t do it, so the can gets kicked down the road. There are no quick fix solutions to avoid rebuilding anymore. Hopefully they picked the right guy this time.
 

CR67dream

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Man the calendar just turned to 2024 and this board is honestly discussing not competing until 2026 - after not competing for the last 4 seasons already. That's so depressing.
Sure some of us are, but not everyone's buying into that take. If there's one thing the polls we have around here lately have shown me, it's that there are a lot of really good posters here who have wildly different views on this team and its outlook, both long and short term. The board is healthiest when that's the case. I mean, after actually listening to a lot of smart people over the past week or so, my opinions may not have drastically changed, but they've certainly been modified, and I understand where people I disagree with are coming from a hell of a lot better too.
 

lexrageorge

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Its never going to be better. It never gets better trying to time a free agent market. The players union isn’t going to allow that.

It’s the same force that made people said “woah” when Kevin Gausman get 110mm and now that looks like a steal.

It’s why if Montgomery gets 25AAV and produces 3.5 WAR in ‘24, it will look like a steal going into 2025x
The problem is not necessarily the AAV for the pitchers - it's the years. I have no problem with the Red Sox, having just got out from under Sale's albatross contract, decide to take a hard pass on offering 8-10 years for Jordon Montgomery or Blake Snell. Paying either one of them $25M+ for their age 35 seasons and beyond is simply not prudent.
 

SouthernBoSox

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The problem is not necessarily the AAV for the pitchers - it's the years. I have no problem with the Red Sox, having just got out from under Sale's albatross contract, decide to take a hard pass on offering 8-10 years for Jordon Montgomery or Blake Snell. Paying either one of them $25M+ for their age 35 seasons and beyond is simply not prudent.
No one is offering 8-10 years.

Montgomery and Turner puts you squarely in the middle of the pack for projections. Somewhere around 14th and near the NL winning Diamondbacks.

They have no long term commitments right now outside of Devers. They can compete next year through free agency they just aren’t doing it yet.
 

tims4wins

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It’s depressing but that’s what happens when you pick the wrong guy to lead the rebuild. They gave him 4 years and he couldn’t do it, so the can gets kicked down the road. There are no quick fix solutions to avoid rebuilding anymore. Hopefully they picked the right guy this time.
But why is the can getting kicked down the road? They haven't traded prospects, they haven't given out bad long term contracts (well, they kind of did with Story and Devers)... why do we need yet another 2-3 years?
 

mikeford

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You know what it sounds like to me? It sounds exactly like what should have been said from the beginning of this process.
It also sounds like what the last guy they fired was trying to do?

I was absolutely not a Chaim guy but I don't really get canning him if you're just going to continue the same approach.
 

OCD SS

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It’s depressing but that’s what happens when you pick the wrong guy to lead the rebuild. They gave him 4 years and he couldn’t do it, so the can gets kicked down the road. There are no quick fix solutions to avoid rebuilding anymore. Hopefully they picked the right guy this time.
Or maybe it’s the problem of a confused ownership group demanding that the team be competitive to put butts in seats while also demanding that the team (re)build to something sustainable long term.

I don’t remember talking about a full on rebuild until this offseason; any “rebuilding” in previous years was limited to the farm system.
 

bluefenderstrat

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It also sounds like what the last guy they fired was trying to do?

I was absolutely not a Chaim guy but I don't really get canning him if you're just going to continue the same approach.
It appears that Chaim's inability to get deals done was the issue, not the approach. I'd prefer the Sox act like the Atlanta Braves and start developing and locking up their own guys vs. having to overpay in the free agent market. In the meantime they should act a little more appreciative of the people who spend to go to Fenway even when the current product is mediocre.
 

sezwho

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It also sounds like what the last guy they fired was trying to do?

I was absolutely not a Chaim guy but I don't really get canning him if you're just going to continue the same approach.
Ultimately because it’s a lot harder to develop pitching than position players and four years into said rebuild we have Bello and pray for rain.

There is nothing coming (Fitts?) soon internally
and I believe there is a false equivalence perceived in the value of our farm.

So, until it happens in this market, the idea we are so smart for avoiding high ceiling young arms and will just trade prospect bats for arms at some reasonable exchange is a fantasy.

I’m not sure how to go about analyzing it, since it hasn’t happened yet, but have a background in financial engineering and Im convinced there is a ‘correction’ in that exchange rate to reflect market realities…that won’t favor the Sox situation.

Edit - plus I also buy the reports he wasn’t able to work effectively with his peers on deals.
 

moondog80

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It's very confusing. Though I don't think they've done enough to help the team for this year, especially given the space they have under the tax, other signs point to the fact that they do think they can contend. They traded for O'Neill, who will be a FA at the end of the year, and signed Giolito with an option for him to also become a FA. Martin, Pivetta, and Jansen all are pending FA with some trade value (esp. if they eat some $ in the case of Jansen). Possible explanations:

-There is a mandate to not have payroll much higher than it is now.
-There is a massive reluctance to take on deals beyond two years, so much so that even the 3rd year option on Stroman was a bridge too far. The Imanaga offer (two years with vesting options) and apparent unwillingness to go beyond that points in this direction.
-Of the guys who signed two year deals (Maeda, Wacha, etc.), they simply don't see those guys as upgrades from the Houck/Whitlock crew that is lined up to compete for the 5th starting job. Or from this year's Kluber who ends up signing a one year deal.
-Plan B after Yamamoto all along has been Jordan Montgomery, and they are playing a long game of chicken to get the terms they want.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I just don’t think they are that far. I think Devers, Casas, Bello, and Kutter are too good.

I think Duran is a real asset.

I think Grissom’s offensive ceiling is not appreciated.

I think Abreu had a major league approach and a really good strong side of a platoon.

I think Wong is a great defeasance catcher and Story could post the best OOA of any shortstop in baseball this year.

I think the option depth arm adds are great moves to shore up the back end of the 40.

It’s why it’s even more depressing they appear to unwilling to do anything. Montgomery and Turner makes this team very compelling and you can accomplish that while staying under the tax.
Agree here that really this is all that needs to be done to make them playoff material.
I still think they’ll end up with one of Snell or Montgomery. I’m guessing what’s happening is the teams of their preferences aren’t going as high as Boras wants and their second choices aren’t going significantly over to pull them away from their preferences- Boston likely being one of those.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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@CR67dream , thank you for separating this out from the rumors megathread. And your thoughtful (and no doubt time-consuming) moderating throughout the pre-season.

I have two thoughts:

1. I think Werner's “In the end, we don’t have a line in terms of our payroll that we look at as much as trusting that Craig (Breslow) is going to deliver on his assurance that we’re going to be competitive" sounds 100% like his hanging Breslow out to dry. Or at least positioning himself to hang Breslow out to dry. I can't tell you how many bosses I've had who have latched on to an optimistic strategy idea and turned it into a promise, in order to blame the poor sap who dared to be forward-looking. There's a lot of ground to cover between plan and result, and I got the sense Werner glossed over that in this statement. [Standard disclaimer: I am neither in the room where this was said, nor in Tom Werner's head.]

2. If I'm following Breslow's statement properly, believing in the young core coming together, it screams out all the more for getting long-running extensions done ASAP for as much of that talent as possible. Bello and Casas, for sure. Mayer, Teel, Anthony and Grissom -- yup, if you believe in them. And potentially also not-fully-emerged talent like Duran, Houck, Kutter and Abreu too. [Like @SouthernBoSox, I choose to believe Duran actually could be the real deal.] Use the spare room in the 2024 cap to fund some of these. Will you make a mistake and overpay on some of them? Likely. But one Ozzie Albies contract can pay for a bunch of mistakes.
 

Salem's Lot

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Or maybe it’s the problem of a confused ownership group demanding that the team be competitive to put butts in seats while also demanding that the team (re)build to something sustainable long term.

I don’t remember talking about a full on rebuild until this offseason; any “rebuilding” in previous years was limited to the farm system.
You get no argument from me there. The messaging sucks. They should just come out and say they’re rebuilding. They would still sell the park out regardless, and people would be a lot less pissed off.

And I get the ticket price argument, but the face value is not changing. It costs a lot of money to go out and pay for entertainment in Boston. Although my college aged cousins had no problems getting in the ballpark for 5-6 games last year for $9.
 

YTF

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It also sounds like what the last guy they fired was trying to do?

I was absolutely not a Chaim guy but I don't really get canning him if you're just going to continue the same approach.
The same plan argument has some validity. I think that argument also has to include the idea that Breslow has already made two deals that Chaim was reported not to have been able to make and has gotten what seems to be exactly the types of players that the Sox hope to build with.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I’m also guessing there’s a league wide reluctance to assign the value to Montgomery and Snell that Boras is demanding. They’re both seriously flawed and handing them $33m+ per for 5+ seasons is going to make a Burnes contract $40m per. I’m not saying collusion (though Boras would probably say it is) just market correction?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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When I read Breslow’s comments, my first reaction was that he was talking to Boras as much as he was talking to us. The two sides seem to be dancing, including using propaganda.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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I'm on board with Breslow's quote, and the posters who have cited the Atlanta model. That's what I want to see.

I was looking for something about Theo's "$100 million player development machine" (which I'm still eagerly awaiting) and I found this:

https://bostondirtdogs.boston.com/2003/theo_chat_2.6.03.html

Lots of familiar names there-was this a SoSh Q&A with Theo? @philly sox fan was asking the same question 20 years ago-where is my PDM?
 

CR67dream

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But why is the can getting kicked down the road? They haven't traded prospects, they haven't given out bad long term contracts (well, they kind of did with Story and Devers)... why do we need yet another 2-3 years?
My take is that Breslow said it would take that kind of time to build a "World Series" team. He also said that doing so means having a consistent, solid core that is competing on that level every year, not just once in a while.

Others strongly disagree, and understandably don't trust what they're hearing, but I don't see anything there that tells me that they won't improve, and at least be competitive while that process is going on. They can't get where they want to go without incremental improvement on the way. It's not a snap your fingers kind of process. I think a lot of people understand that, but I don't blame people for being skeptical either. All I can say is that I felt better after yesterday's clarifications, not worse. As always, YMMV. :)
 

astrozombie

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You get no argument from me there. The messaging sucks. They should just come out and say they’re rebuilding. They would still sell the park out regardless, and people would be a lot less pissed off.

And I get the ticket price argument, but the face value is not changing. It costs a lot of money to go out and pay for entertainment in Boston. Although my college aged cousins had no problems getting in the ballpark for 5-6 games last year for $9.
I am down on ownership, but I also understand that saying the quiet part out loud (i.e. the bolded) would result in even worse PR. Telling your fans before the season starts that you're not really in it this year is a bad look, especially after some down seasons and possibly a perceived change in ownership ethos with regards to payroll since payroll and trying hard have a direct correlation in the mind of many, especially casual Sox fans. That said, where the Sox shoot themselves in the foot are things like the full throttle comment. That frustrates me. I get that they are rebuilding. Most posters here get that they are rebuilding. Some people (including myself) are frustrated that the rebuild window keeps getting extended (the 2025 window of Bloom is turning into 2026, and that's only if the top 3 prospects are all impact big leaguers which - we have no idea, especially if there are injuries and a ton of pressure and no real pitching staff) but it is what it is. So knowing all that, for ownership to have the galaxy brain to announce that they are "going to be competitive this year" and "full throttle" (Werner's words) when that doesn't look likely really just assumes that most fans are stupid enough to believe what they are told and not what they see. And THEN to have Breslow and Werner walk those comments back muddies the water by making it seem like someone - ownership or Breslow - isn't being honest.
 
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But why is the can getting kicked down the road? They haven't traded prospects, they haven't given out bad long term contracts (well, they kind of did with Story and Devers)... why do we need yet another 2-3 years?
Because the rebuilt got screwed up and needs a reboot on the rebuild.

The FA contracts are supposed to supplement the core group of young players... You start with a base of a dozen solid players spread across the roster and then supplement the holes with free agents that fill the holes on the roster.

If you try to predict which prospects will be successful and when and sign the free agents 1st then you end up some big money contracts and some solid young players but the team is never really a contender and some of those FA signings might be onto the downside of their contract and not really producing by the time the competitive window opens.

My feeling is you get to the place where you only need 3-4 free agents to really put you over the top once you have an established core... except for a few exceptions over the years buying free agents and then trying to build around them seems to be a recipe for losing.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,688
Why hasn’t there been a sniff of a rumor on what they offered Yamamoto? I’ll give you a hint: it would make the FO/ownership look silly what they thought would be a competitive offer. Werner’s comments continue to make them look either out of touch with the reality of where they’re at or clueless(or both).
That was not proven to be true. Jeff Passan refuted this report saying at that time no teams had submitted formal offers.
This is a silly point to make. Are you saying you know the nature of the Yamamoto negotiations? Do you think it's more accurate that the Sox were never seriously interested because a formal offer wasn't made? Would they be more serious in your mind if they had continuously made formal offers every time the bidding went up?

The reporting around Yamamoto was that there was a protracted courtship and discussion period while the player determined where he wanted to play. After that — quote — "the money would follow." That seems to be exactly what happened. I don't know why we need to conspiratorially believe that that is an outright lie, and that instead the truth is that the Red Sox orchestrated several months of public pursuit as some kind of charade to conceal the super secret new spending cap set by ownership.