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: Feb 10, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 2:47 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Ok I'm a Liverpool fan and I'll let you in on some other things that have gone on at the Club since FSG took over from those Cartoon characters that were, George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

He has spent alot of money on us, that is 100% true, but he has been mainly atoning for the Cowboys mistakes and dishonourable running of our club. Quite a large sum of money they have spent came from the sale of Fernando Torres who had left the club on the final day of the Transfer window for around £50 million. Don't forget his wages on top (£120,000 Per Week which equates to approx £6.2 million per year, not including added on bonuses). Andy Carroll was bought as a replacement, really out of desperation because we have just lost our star striker. Due to it being in the final hours of the Transfer window, the price was inflated dramatically (£35 million but FAR less wages than Torres).

I don't know the full ins and outs of the club and all the accurate details, but from what i've gathered from sources and what has been reported in the local Newspaper (the only real paper to get proper and accurate answers and NOT from national tabloids/Rags), The Liverpool Echo etc, we have had some major offield changes too. We have signed a deal with "Standard Charted Bank" which sees Liverpool get £20 million per year for having their name on the front of our Shirts/Jerseys etc. We also have signed a deal with "Warrior" who, I know don't deal in the sport of Football (Face it that's it's real name!) which also means we get £25 million per year for wearing their brand as our Shirts/Jerseys/Training gear etc from 2012-2013 season onwards, The second largest deal in Football behind the Worlds best team, Barcelona. We also apparently have the rights back from Adidas to merchandise our own stuff (I think they had a deal with us which meant that they branded the stuff and got a cut) this means more money will be made by the Club. With a successful season (European Competition for next season) That will include around £20 million for the place we finish, plus TV rights etc and for being in the European Competition that could equate to approx £40-50 million.

We have also signed a Deal with Turkish Airlines, one of the most popular destinations in Europe, 3K Batteries (I think they are a Thai Company that makes Car Batteries, apparently one of the leading makers in the world) and LeBron James has a stake in the club. All this equates to more sales, higher revenue and more possiblites to make money globally. This added to the fact since FSG took over Liverpool the wage bill has been dramatically decreased by approx between £20-30 million per year and the new philosophy of buying young players for their growth, a possibly higher selling on fee and a fantastic youth system. This means we won't have to buy much in future and we will continue to grow and make money without the need to continue buying players.

So if you look at it, from a new kit sponsorship and a new kit maker that is in itself £45 million per year. Added revenue from making our own merchandise, that could add another £5-10 million per year. We still have a deal with Carlsberg which gives us £1-3 million per year. IF we finish in the European spot that will add an extra £40-50 million per year. Potentially that is £90-100+ million per year in revenue and prize money (not including the Carling Cup final that we have reached). This added to the £20-30 million SAVED from a dramatically cut wage bill and a youthful, hungry and potentially very good squad of players with added academy players coming up, could be worth even more in the long run.

We had to spend big over the past year "to steady the ship" after what happened under the leadership of those Cartoon Characters, Hicks and Gillett. They nearly ruined us. They sold 2 of our best players which severly weakened the team and as a rsult alot of unrest surrounded the club on the inside, players, coaches etc and ofcourse the paying supporter. We wasn't able to spend the money that we raised from the sales of Xabi Alonso and Mascherano (Both left for a combined £60-65 million pounds) because they had to try and reduce the crippling debts they themselves heaped on the club. We are now in a good place with players and coaching staff that are very happy and very skilled in what they do. We have now nearly fully recovered from near turmoil and are on the right track again with everything being set in place on and off the field. I am sure that FSG will be able to concentrate more on the Red Sox for the coming season as they have now done a remarkable job in turning my beloved team around within such a short space of time.

I'm not a fan of Baseball, but I hope you have every success for the season and Hopefully in another 12 months time we can see 2 great sporting Franchises guided by FSG. I'll be watching the results of this coming season from  my computer/phones screen

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

CBS sports writers do research? That's pure wishful thinking and will never happen. As long as CBS allows them to post whatever they want and still pay them for it, they'll do the least work possible. I mean you're talking about a site that takes info from another site and just rewords it to try and make it look like their own work.  A site who mixes up the team a player plays for as well as the league the team is in. CBS is like the Tampa Bay Rays when it comes to spending money, the only difference is the Tampa Bay Rays find talent to win. Here it's obvious CBS is choosing the cheapest writers they can get their hands on.

And I'm a Red Sox fan who isn't complaining over lack of big name transactions. Would I have loved the Red Sox to let David Ortiz go and sign Prince Fielder to play DH? Hell yeah but I'm not gonna feel let down or betrayed by the Red Sox for not going on a huge spending spree either. They made a huge splash last year, you can't expect that every single year.

Since: May 16, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:13 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Everyone knocked the Sox last year for overspending on Crawford, now we knock the Sox for not overspending on guys like Roy Oswalt and whoever else??  I'm sorry but as an unspoiled Red Sox fan I can't be disappointed in their team this year just because they didn't go out and get a couple new big named pitchers.  Come on's not like Scutaro , Dice-K, and Lackey were all studs who left huge holes to fill.  They will probably be better without those 2 pitchers anyway!

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:39 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Please do a little research before posting articles. Last year, prior to Liverpool buying Andy Carrol and Luis Suarez, they sold Fernenado Torres to Chelsea for about $75M. I am sure they sold other players, but this eliminates about 2/5ths of the money you wrote your article about.

There are a few good websites out there (ESPN for one) that has some of this info if you need it.

Since: Oct 12, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:26 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Spending big money doesn't always translate into wins and success. Baseball is a team game where knowing the basics and knowing what to do to make the team a success. You don't need a bunch of over paid superstars on ego trips getting special favors. It destroyed the Reds years back and destroyed the Red Sox this past year. Boston needs pitching changes, more timely hitting and speed to keep up with other teams now. The ball is no longer lively, the bats are inferior and the steroids are about gone. Extra base hits and roll players win, strict power hitters are a liability now. Good pitching starts with drafting and teaching the fundamentals of why you pitch what and when you do it. Then you build four to five good starters with a competent bullpen. That's major league baseball today.

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:14 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

The Red Sox torpedoed their own ship when they dealt for Dashushi Tongue outMatsunaga. Other than leading the league in walks per innings pitched, and spending the most time on Injured Reserve in the past five years, he has nothing except walk the bases loaded every game. The guy is an overpriced stiff.

The same should be said about John Lackey. What justifies this meatballer getting a 15+ milllion salary when his ERA fluctuates around 6.00? Good luck whoever got Theo Epstein as general manager. This guy's concept of scouting is pathetic. Can anyone name a left fielder who is paid 15+ million in salary but cannot hit a major league curveball?  

Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:09 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

You've got to be proud of the Yankees though...I mean they have the highest payroll. 

Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:05 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Hey Knute,

Sometimes you choke when you get to the big dance (Bankees, Rays, Phillies, Brewers).  Sometimes you choke before you get there (BoSox & Braves).

They call it a championship for a reason.

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:36 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Hey, Wild Thing

Let me straighten you out on something.  The Rangers and the Cardinals were most definitely NOT the two best teams in baseball--they were the teams in the World Series...and if you think one equals the other you need to look closer.  Sometimes the best teams and the World Series teams (also known as the two hottest teams in early October) are the same but not always.  Baseball is a game of streaks; sometimes your team will win 14 out of 16 games and sometimes they'll lose 14 out of 16 games.  It's all a matter of streaks.  That's why the baseball season is so long, to accurately assess who truly is the best, not whose streak coincided with the playoffs.

Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:26 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

First of all, the best two teams in baseball, according to last season, are the Rangers and Cardinals...not the Bankees or the Rays.  Secondly, who says hiring Booby V was a stroke of genius?  I think that's yet to be determined.  Thirdly, Nick Punto @ SS...I can't help but chuckle when I see that!

Face it, the BoSox roster is full of old, overpaid, underperforming vets with bad contracts.  Theo is the genius for jumping off the Titanic before it sunk.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or