25 Aug 2012
A colonic? An exorcism? A purge? All of the above?
After months of uninspired play and over the top drama, the Red Sox have basically hit the reset button with their roster. Dan Roche is reporting that a deal sending Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to the Doegers for a basket full of players, is done. Both Crawford and and Beckett agreed to waive their non-trade rights. The Red Sox are shedding $260mm in payroll meaning they have somehow gotten themselves out from under their 3 largest contracts in one trade.
So those of us who wanted a major shake-up, we’ve got it. My take:
Beckett – Hooray (or as he’d say Hooray beer…and chicken). Beckett is not a good pitcher anymore and his open disdain for anyone trying to hold him accountable was infuriating. He was sucking the Red Sox and their fans of life. His contract was going to haunt the Red Sox for two more years and having to replace a 5.00 era shouldn’t be tough. This is the best part of the deal.
Carl Crawford – He seems to be a likable enough fellow but his 1.5 years in Boston have been marked by mediocre play and injuries. At the time of his signing we all knew this was a terrible deal and the only way he could live up to it would be by hitting .315 with decent power, speed and fielding. A $20mm a year player needs to be elite and Crawford isn’t elite.
Adrian Gonzalez – This is the toughest part of the trade. Gonzalez is an elite defender and when on, an elite offensive force. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been an elite offensive force over the past 365 days. Add to it various assertions and rumors that he was behind efforts to undermine his manager, He had to go.
All of this salary relief doesn’t mean the Red Sox will be good next year. In fact, the free agent pool looks to be thin and the main purpose behind this deal is to get back to player development which can be a slow, imperfect science.
Red Sox fans should be ready for what comes next. Plenty of rookies and growing pains. But if that is what it takes to be a better run team which has a handle on its ego, then I’m all for it.
Only thing to do now is to get a new manager and coaching staff in the offseason.