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, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:17 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

You have outdone yourself this time. The 'Liverpool' idea is absurd...I mean how much does the Nascar Racing team cost?

I would be extremely surprised if the Red Sox go into the 2012 season without a solid SS.

It makes no sense.

THe media needs to be fired...that's all I know


Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:16 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Yes, they are below the luxury tax because they didn't go put and sign Jose Reyes or some starting pitchers. That is my point. The Yankees are way above the luxury tax right now and are trying to reduce payroll over the next few years because of it.

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:51 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

The red sox are well below the luxury tax limits even with those bad epstein signings j.d drew and papellbum's huge salaries came off as did big papi'is who will get less through albratation and they finally got free of rent a wrecks contact. Haha ...... Never will understand the red sox and yankees signing players then paying them to play somewhere else

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:20 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

I don't thiink it can be reduced solely to Liverpool. The Yankees didn't spend any money this year either depsite having a need for some pitching and position players. The luxury tax in the new CBA is very punitive, and as we've been hearing all year, the Red Sox and Yankees and trying to reduce payroll so they don't get hit with a 50% fine. 

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:37 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Soccer is the most popular sport on the planet , only because of it's availibility not the game itself , most of this planet is dirt poor and it costs really nothing to get a ball and sticks for a net and play ... Soccer is the Sport of the poor and always will be , that is WHY it is popular in the world

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:32 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

The Sox are only cost conciucious ,because of the many stupid moves by theo epstein and the Owner more concerned with his his Soccer Toy than his baseball team

Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:11 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

I think the yankees have so prostituted MLB that now if a team doesn't outlay a $150 mil a winter for bloated, broken down free agents they are somehow dropping the ball and even they are being accused of financial restraint. It's not monopoly money folks and it's about time somebody spent their money properly. Is it possible that the expense vs value just isn't there especially after last years frenzy.Somebody has to clean up Theo's mess and Dice-K and Lackey are still being paid about $30 mil + not to pitch (probably a good thing) and so far Crawford is still finding his way. Right now that's about $50 mil dead money and even for a deep pocket team like the Sox that's substantial. And let's not forget the new luxury tax system that is much more prohibitive as well. There is virtually zero chance the teams that grossly overpaid for Pujols, Fielder and Beltran will get a positive return and the Pujols and Fielder signings have in all likelihood crippled both franchises with albatross contracts that will cause decades of problems.The only smart guy here is the Pizza King who won't be alive long enough to have to pay out that ridiculous contract and it will be the new owners problem.  

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:30 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

So the Red Sox fit right in with the Dodgers. Hopefully they'll be fading from the picture soon and with the aging Yankees, the Rays, Jays, and hell, even the O's might be getting up there again soon.

Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:28 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Liverpool FC plays football, not soccer. Football is the sport where you constantly hit the ball with player's foot, hence the name. It is the other "rugby-like-ball" that needs to be renamed, not football.

BTW football is the most popular sport on the planet. 

Since: Feb 9, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:28 am

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

See,there a a zillion apologists out there that empathize with Henry and have no problem at all with watching the team turn cheap this winter. They don't mind that billionaire John did nothing this offseason to improve a team that is not good enough to get to the WS. They will rant and rave at quality reporters like Jon who is not afaid to tell it like he sees it. Other teams in the division improve while the Sox regress. Funny how Jon Heyman is a good enough reporter to be reporting for CBS,but not good enough for wannabee reporters in the audience.

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