24 Nov 2010
The more I think about this off-season and the season that just wrapped up, the more I am convinced that as a fan, the Red Sox need to make a huge splash. Enough with the calculated, cautious approach we’ve been smothered with these past few years.
Up until now, I’ve been reasonably happy with the decision making of the Red Sox front office, especially given that they delivered 2 World Series trophies. But their decision making on long-term deals has been troubling of late. First off, they lost a bidding war on Mark Teixeira. By all accounts, he has been nothing short of fantastic in New York. Sure he fell off a bit last year, but there is no reason to think he can’t bounce back and if 33 home runs is a drop-off, I guess I like drop-offs.
Wouldn’t he look good in a Red Sox uniform? Compare that deal with the JD Drew deal, the John Lackey deal and the just starting Josh Beckett deal. All 3 players were disappointing in 2010. None of them justified their upcoming 2011 salary. So they missed on Teixeira, missed on Drew (no one can convince me otherwise) and they are not looking good in the early term on Lackey and Beckett. Oh and how about the $51mm just for the right to bid on Daisuke Matsuzaka? Sorry, but that deal is now looking bad…I had hopes after his first 2 seasons, but not so much anymore.
Yes the Red Sox have been good about locking up home-grown talent such as Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis, but the farm system hasn’t generated a legitimate power threat under this regime and if management isn’t going to aggressively pursue power in the trade or free agent market then what do we have?
I never thought I’d say this, but man, Dan Duquette had the guts and in retrospect, smarts, to sign Manny Ramirez and to trade for and then sign Pedro Martinez. Sure Manny’s stay in Boston was bumpy, but man could he hit. Those were 2 mega acquisitions. Not only did Duquette gamble, but he gambled and bet right. Ramirez’s deal is an example of what can go wrong with long-term deals in the final years, but that’s the cost of doing business. Manny’s deal was great for the first 6 or 7 years and not so much in the last year. If you budget that risk in, then what’s the problem?
If we are to believe team Chairman Tom Werner, the Red Sox will be aggressive in the free agent market. Said Werner, “I think that we are going to sign, I won’t promise, but we’re going to sign a significant free agent. We are going to make a trade to improve ourselves,”
Great, now if you think Andrew Miller, Drew Sutton and Brent Dlugach are significant acquisitions, then mission accomplished. If not, then I don’t see why we can’t get a player like Adrian Gonzalez and a Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth. Enough with the one and two year patchwork deals, give me players that arrive with fanfair (Drew didn’t), that are fun to follow.
Make a splash Boston, make me feel this team is worth watching and not just a financing mechanism for Liverpool FC and Roush Fenway Racing.