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BOSTON (CAP) - Following their huge spending spree at the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Florida, the Boston Red Sox continue to roll this offseason as they announce the signing of the entire Kansas City Royals franchise to a five-year deal worth a reported $362 million. General Manager Theo Epstein said the move was "all part of the plan."
"You know, NFL teams have had a practice squad for years, and we're always looking for something to give us an edge over the Yankees - umm, I mean, the other teams in the league," said Epstein. "But there isn't enough time between now and spring training to hand pick all the individuals, so we figured we'd just buy a team. I mean, what's another $360 million?
"What we needed was a squad who would put up a good fight but ultimately just roll over and play dead," noted Epstein. "And we felt the Kansas City Royals fit the bill."
Epstein said one or two of the Royals players like Billy Butler or Zack Greinke could see some action with the Red Sox in regular season games, but likely only if one of the Boston starters loses a limb in a combine accident or something similar, and even then it depends how well he can hold a ball with his arm sewn back on.
"I don't care that the Red Sox can field a zombie team and we can't," said one general manager, sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with I Came To The Baseball Winter Meetings And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt. "One hundred percent cotton, right here. Pre-shrunk, too. Theo's leaving in the same flannel he arrived in. So he can suck it."
Other teams who left the winter meetings relatively empty-handed echoed the same sentiment, saying that for a guy who wheels and deals sums of money larger than the gross domestic product of many third world countries, they'd think Theo Epstein would dress just a little better than he does. A few of the owners took up a collection during the meetings so Theo could "get himself something nice" for his 18th birthday next year.
"I'm just glad he has his license now so I don't have to drive him to the meetings," said one American League owner. "I actually bumped into Dan Duquette sleeping on a park bench down the street, so I tossed him a few bucks so he could get himself a hot meal.
"He kept mumbling something about Manny Ramirez, but I didn't quite catch it," added the owner.
The deal still needs the approval of the commissioner's office, but league sources tell CAP News that should be just a formality. Commissioner Bud Selig said the deal is a natural progression after the International Astronomical Union voted to demote the Kansas City Royals' status to a new category of "dwarf teams" similiar to "minor league teams."
"You know, we've been trying to figure out what to do with the Royals for years so this is perfect," said Selig. "Plus I think it was the only deal all week that didn't involve Scott Boras.
"Now if you'll pardon me, I need to go explain to [Washington Nationals owner] Ted Lerner the difference between real baseball and fantasy baseball," Selig added.
While the deal includes not only the entire Kansas City 40-man roster but also the Kauffman Stadium groundscrew, the batboy and a dozen concession workers, the Royals will maintain rights to their gay guy for the duration of the contract, with the option for a lesbian extension after the five years.
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