The Boston Red Sox are poised to take the dubious honor of paying the most per win of any team in Major League Baseball for the second season in a row.

The Red Sox, who won the 2017 World Series, have seen their pitching staff fall apart, partly due to injuries, while the team’s farm system – among the worst in baseball – has failed to provide replacements. At the same time, over the last two seasons, the team’s payroll has remained among the highest. Boston continues to pay some of the salaries of players like David Price and Pablo Sandoval who no longer call Fenway Park home.

Boston’s fate as the league’s laggard for return on investment isn’t sealed quite yet – they could still fall below the rival New York Yankees or Texas Rangers – but each scenario would require the Red Sox to win the majority of their three remaining games.

All told, the Red Sox payroll for the 2020 season was $83.5 million, the third highest in the league according to Spotrac.com.

Through Wednesday the team had won 22 games in the coronavirus-shortened season, which works out to $3.8 million per win. That figure will drop with additional wins in their final games, but can only go as low as $3.2 million.

During the 2019 season, the Red Sox won 84 games with a payroll that approached $230 million. That put their cost per win at $2.7 million, $100,000 more than the Chicago Cubs who also won 84 games.

As for which team gets the best bang for its buck, that distinction again goes to the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ve paid just $764,613 per game won this year after setting the pace in 2019 at just $668,528 per win.

Boston has taken note of the Rays’ success: they hired Chaim Bloom as their head of baseball operations at the end of last season. Bloom previously was a front office executive for the Rays.

The Red Sox end the season with a three-game series on the road against the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves this weekend.

JERSEY WARS: Dodgers star Mookie Betts supplanted Yankees slugger Aaron Judge on Friday for baseball’s top-selling jersey in his first year on the West Coast.

Judge’s pinstriped No. 99 had been the most popular uniform in the majors for three straight years, but he’s been bumped by his former AL East rival, according to data released by Major League Baseball.

Betts was traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers in February, and Los Angeles signed the 2018 AL MVP to a $365 million, 12-year deal that runs through the 2032 season. Betts’ No. 50 is the first Dodgers uniform to top the list since MLB began releasing sales rankings in 2010.

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