Blog Entry

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:04 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 2:05 pm
Bobby Valentine was thrilled to get the job as Red Sox manager. But did he know he might be going to spring training without a starting shortstop and only three set-in-stone starting pitchers?

Young, bright Ben Cherington had to be excited to ascend to the Red Sox GM job. But did anyone tell him he'd have to operate like a small-market club?

With little more than a week to go before things start getting under way in the spring camp of the historic team, their starting shortstop is Nick Punto. If it isn't Mike Aviles. And their rotation is one big puzzle. At least 40 percent of it is.

Red Sox management has found a novel way to change the story from the chicken-and-beer parties to something else. Of course, the Valentine hiring helps, because there is no better manager at getting his team positive and interesting publicity. But how to cover the fact that they have major questions in three key spots and their owner has apparently decided to spend his resources on soccer instead?

The hiring of Valentine was a brilliant stroke, even if it did take a nudge from team president Larry Lucchino and upper management. And the wise trades for Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon satisfy the question of how they'll replace Jonathan Papelbon in the bullpen. But now, what are they going to do for a starting shortstop and two starting pitchers? (They have made an offer to Roy Oswalt, but it appears he will sign elsewhere.)

It's obvious poor Cherington was given pennies to try to compete with the Yankees and Rays, perhaps the two best teams in baseball, following the departure of his legendary mentor Theo Epstein. Epstein got $18.5 million from the Cubs and Papelbon got $50 million from the Phillies. But the biggest free agent signing Red Sox owner John Henry authorized was that of Valentine, whose contract isn't known. But we'll assume over his two years, he beat Cody Ross' $3 million (though that's on a one-year deal) and the eminently scrappy Punto's $3 million (two years). The other free agents, Vicente Padilla and Kelly Shoppach, were even less money.

Cherington showed some ingenuity in landing both Bailey and Melancon for the pen, reinforcements that will be sorely needed with a rotation that appears highly questionable. Beyond Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz, who incidentally is returning from a back injury, the Red Sox will hope reliever-turned-starter Daniel Bard can fill one of the remaining rotation spots and that someone from Padilla, Carlos Silva and a host of similar possibilities can be the No. 5 man. Cherington was also made to save money to allow him to make even the cheapie moves he did execute, leading him to trade starting shortstop Marco Scutaro at a $6 million savings.

Boston's total outlay of cash was less than $10 million (not counting Valentine). Henry hasn't explained the sudden frugality. But here's one guess: He overspent on soccer.

Henry's outlay of loot for his Liverpool soccer team was $179 million this year, or about 20 times what he spent on the Red Sox. Forward Andy Carroll got 35 million pounds ($54.7 million), forward Luis Suarez got 23 million pounds ($35.9 million), midfielder Stewart Downing 20 million pounds ($31.2 million), midfielder Jordan Henderson 16 million pounds ($25 million), midfielder Charlie Adam 7.5 million pounds ($11.7 million), defenseman Sebastian Coates seven million pounds ($10.9 million) and defenseman Jose Enrique got 6.3 million pounds ($9.8 million).

That's all great for Liverpoool.

Now, can any of them pitch or play shortstop?


Since: Aug 23, 2007
Posted on: February 11, 2012 1:00 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Here's another guess: they've spent over $400M the last few years on Gonzo, Lackey, Beckett and Crawford.  And have a payroll bordering on the luxury tax already. 

Since: Mar 11, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Musacha writes: <

Hey maybe the Red Sox can fill that huge gap at SS with your big nose heyman????......

From the looks of it, it could fit......Which leads me to believe that heyman is another in a long line of non atletes writing blogs for cbs......

I bet your parents wanted you to be a rabbi ......not a wri....i mean blogger heyman.....>>

Wowser! Where to begin with this one? you can't tolerate Heyman's bias, but you want everyone to tolerate your full on bigotry? Nice. Maybe it was just a swing and a miss at an feeble attempt of humor.

".. a long line of non at[h]letes writing blogs.."; would you prefer writers and bloggers to bat cleanup in the playoffs? then why would you want athletes that barely have 10 credits in journalism or broadcasting in the booths... strike two.

"I bet your parents wanted you to be a Rabbi... not a wri... [I] mean blogger [H]eyman..." ; I suppose you are one of the Devil's servants? Strike three... you're out. 

You will get another at bat in this game of life, try bunting down the third baseline next time to get something going.

All the best,


Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:10 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

The holes aren't as big as the media is making it out to be. SS we have Punto/Aviles to plug in. Niether option is an allstar, but both are adequate. If they don't work out Inglesias can step in. He doesn't have the bat but he is solid defensively. As for #4 and #5 Starting pitching, I like the idea of having Bard and Aceves, to start the year. This team still has A Gon, Youk, Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Papi, so they will score runs. Plus if Crawford can play to his potential, and they get some production from the farm, they will be fine. I think this was the year to not overreact, mid season if we suck start moving things around. But I'm glad they didn't throw money at Buerle or Kuroda. 

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: February 11, 2012 8:42 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

 Being a Sox fan I'm not looking forward to baseball season. With the collapse of last season and lack of moves this offseason it's gonna be a long summer. We are the 3rd maybe 4th best team in the AL East. I'm hoping the Bruins can help ease the pain by making another deep run into the summer cause it's all we have to cheer for in Boston this year.

Since: Feb 11, 2012
Posted on: February 11, 2012 6:55 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Hey great article Jon, not sure the John Henry baseball and soccer coffers are one in the same but your baseball points are on the money. Any Sox fan who thinks they're team is as strong as 2011's is in kool aid shock. Look at 6 thru 9 in the line-up tell me what AL pitching staff is shakking in their boots with that murderers row in th batters box. Bard has never pitched more then 74.2 innings and was never stretced out in winter ball, you have to be kidding me thinking he'll eat the required innings needed for a #4. I understand Wilson and Ogando made similiar jumps but the bet here is Bard kills the pen. Buchholz still has to prove he can eat the required innings, still hasn't done that and like Hughes in NY he's no prospect anymore, not to mention does anybody trust Beckett ? Henry stepped on the porch with the big dogs last year dropping over $300M, but at the prices he charges and the revenue that comes in from NESN you have to expand the budget like NY does, can't have the fans take the brunt of bad GMing, I blame Lucchino and Epstein here, I don't think the Sox are cheap I think their adulterate.

Since: Feb 9, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:21 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Heard Jon interviewed on WFAN in NY today and he still apparently hasn't grasped how poor his reporting was on this subject despite the many criticisms posted here and elsewhere. For those football (soccer) fans who read this because LFC was mentioned let me say than Jon Heyman is a well respected baseball writer but apparently has zero knowledge of how the transfer system works. If I were a Red Sox fan who also had no understanding of how soccer teams operate and was told that LFC spent $179m for new players while the Red Sox have spent almost nothing this year I'd be pretty concerned that John Henry had shifted his focus overseas. On the radio today Jon seems to have figured out that the $179m was for transfer fees and not players contracts but he still hasn't grasped the fact that Liverpool sold players worth roughly $115-120m so the net outlay is more like $60-65m. He also it seems has never heard of the Financial Fair Play rules which preclude owners from writing a personal check whenever they feel like making a big signing. He ignores the fact that the Carl Crawford deal (he's got to play better this year right?) was done before Andy Carrol and others signed for Liverpool. So the Sox had already taken on big contracts over the last few seasons (Lackey, Dice etc.) before Liverpool's fairly modest deals in net terms. I am a Red Sox fan but the free agent market this year was pretty thin to say the least. It's frustrating not to have a big name shortstop but did anybody want to take a chance on Reyes and his hamstrings? Are you that excited by Roy Oswalt? Unless you were in the market for Pujols or Fielder (I'm fine with Gonzo thanks) there wasn't a lot out there to buy. Let's hope they can pull off some trades. The Sox still are operating with a big payroll. They've got a few big contracts hanging around their necks but they shouldn't be crying poverty and frankly they're not. Nor should anybody be pointing to Liverpool and saying they are draining off funds from the Red Sox because they have significant revenue streams as do the Sox. Now, for the Liverpool fans feeling a lack of respect because they are a "big club" with world appeal may I point out that FSG paid $476m to buy out those geniuses Hicks and Gillette. The Red Sox according to Forbes magazine (July 2011) were worth $912m so I'm not sure you can say Liverpool is a "bigger piece" as an earlier commenter stated. FSG probably bought an undervalued asset and unless someone actually offers $912m for the Sox that figure is a guess so the teams may be a bit closer in value terms than those numbers suggest. Bottom line for me as a Red Sox fan is that I'm not bothered by this poorly researched piece by Jon Heyman since I realize his numbers are way off. What really bothers me about John Henry's investment in Liverpool is that I'm also a Manchester United supporter and I'd have preferred that he bought out the Glazers albeit for a much larger price tag for the world's most valuable sports franchise. Red Sox fans should do their homework to understand how LFC's finances contribute to FSG. It's a fair bet that Jon Heyman will not.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:31 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Heyman shows his true colors with the quote....."Yankees and Rays are the best two teams in baseball".......Got a good laugh from that biased comment.....
I just thought that statement was funny, I don't think that Yankees and Rays are the two best teams. The Yankees still has pitching issues and Rays need more offense, Angels, Rangers and Tigers has improve an lot this offseason.

I always expect the Red Sox to have a good team, right now I feel that the Red Sox has a better team then the Rays.

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:05 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

better than lotta holes in big spending red sox, have to pay medical bills plus lackeys salary

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 6:17 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Jon wanted an apology from an oft sober gentleman days ago.  The words in your texting seem just right.

Since: Dec 12, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 5:53 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Heyman shows his true colors with the quote....."Yankees and Rays are the best two teams in baseball".......Got a good laugh from that biased comment.....

Hey maybe the Red Sox can fill that huge gap at SS with your big nose heyman????......

From the looks of it, it could fit......Which leads me to believe that heyman is another in a long line of non atletes writing blogs for cbs......

I bet your parents wanted you to be a rabbi ......not a wri....i mean blogger heyman.....

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