OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — A hundred dollars can still go a long way in baseball.
This week, the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers made a trade involving two big leaguers, two minor leaguers and a player to be named later or cash.
The amount? Yep, $100.
Less than daily meal money for guys in the bigs last season. Far less than the price of a box seat at many ballparks.
In a multibillion-dollar sport where $100 million contracts are becoming common, it looked like a misprint. Instead, it was right on the money.
Major League Baseball rules require an alternate cash consideration to be listed for deals that involve a player to be named, just in case something goes awry. Could be $50,000, maybe more.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in this case, he and Milwaukee general manager David Stearns were sure there would be no problems. So they just wrote down any old amount.
“They usually don’t like when you make it $1,” Dombrowski said Wednesday, smiling, “so we made it $100.”
That made things official — Boston got reliever Tyler Thornburg, and Milwaukee received infielder Travis Shaw, a pair of minor leaguers and a player to be named or that $100.
The winter meetings this week featured far more pricey transactions, with closer Aroldis Chapman agreeing to an $86 million deal with the Yankees and reliever Mark Melancon getting $62 million from the Giants. Recently, slugger Yoenis Cespedes got $110 million from the Mets.
But last year, there actually were at least two deals for just $1. Often, such moves are done as a courtesy.
The Mets paid San Diego a dollar on May 28 for first baseman James Loney, who was stuck in Triple-A for the Padres but had a chance to play regularly in New York.
On Sept. 22, Pittsburgh needed a reliever for a week-plus and gave $1 to the Yankees for Phil Coke. It was a worthy move — for those four quarters, the Pirates got four scoreless innings.