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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 9, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:52 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Well said!  Thank you for educating the uninformed.  You'll never walk alone...

Since: Jul 2, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:25 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

If the Sux, miss the playoffs for the third year in a row. We will a 25% increase in Yankee fanbase lol

Since: Jan 10, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:22 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Good job John...

Good job of being a lazy American reporter who doesn't bother presenting the full picture - because it wouldn't support his lousy blog entry.

While you were very accurate in reporting how much they paid out - you convenient left out the fact that they recovered a huge portion of that money in sales - I won't both to bring up those foreign names...but one guy alone (Fernando Torres) was sold for 50 million pounds.  They recovered at least 70 million pounds that they laid out - so they might have spent 40 million pounds....or about half of what they paid Adrian "God didn't want us to win" Gonzalez.

You don't get the business of "football" is a world sport - the world's number one sport, the world's richest sport.  The Red Sox owners are playing with the big boys now.

This blog is a joke  

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:17 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Or Maybe it's because the Red Sox spent too much on bust players like Carl Crawford and John Lackey that they either don't have much money to commit another huge contract like those over 200 million dollars or Ben is scared of making huge mistakes like Epstein. A lot of other teams felt like spending big, big, big this season as well and the Red Sox did that last year. In conclusion It's going to take awhile for the Red Soxs to be in contention again. <br /><br />

Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:16 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

The new CBA and its penalties for going over the cap are so severe that we see that even the Yankees can not afford  them.  Boston knows this and is trying to get under the cap.

When comparing the Yankees rotation and Boston  the Boston rotation is more solid.  After CC all of the Yankees starters come with a ton of question marks.  Nova has only done it one year and will he suffer the same sophomore slump that Phil Hughes did.  Is Phil Hughes able to ever recover.  Can both new starters pitch in the AL East?  AJ Burnett is totally useless and is only there because his contract. Garcia fooled many last year can he do it again?

As far as SS position I think that if the kid from Cuba doesn't throw up on himself this spring he will be the opening day SS.  They can carry his glove until his bat catches up.    

I like the two bull pen people they picked up.  I also think that  Alfredo Aceves will work himself in to the rotation.  If there is one man in MLB that has a chance to unlock  Matsuzaka's vast potential it is Bobby V.  I expect him to be a real good number 3 starter before the end of the season. Boston should have more than eneough to compete for first place in the AL East.

I am not sure that anyone that knows what Bostons payroll is can say that they are being cheap.     


Since: Feb 9, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:04 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Thankyou,John Heyman, for coming out and saying it. For John Henry to give short shrift to the Boston Red Sox this offseason is unaceptable. Particularly when a soccor team in another country is creating a financial shortage for the Sox.  It doesnt matter how much he spent on soccer players as much as that he has bought a soccer team at all. 400 million dollars worth.  Why is MLB allowing this. Baseball ownership is a unque fraternity, and should be for people who should consider themselves lucky to be part of the club. Making a profit should not matter, and to do what Henry is doing now is an outrage. This team was two players short of having a real shot. A quality 4th starter, and a productive RFder. They have done neither. There will be apologists out there who will talk about how much he spent in the past. Great. That was then, this is now. He should be suspended from the game for a year. That might give him enough time to figure out what his priorities are.

Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:04 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Ah, yes...Valentine's Day is here...pitchers and catchers are getting ready to report...and Jon Heyman, the veritable one-man Fox News (Facts? We don't need no steenkin' facts!) of Long Island, posts his annual clueless assessment of the Boston Red Sox.

Other commenters have already eviscerated poor Mr. Heyman for his lack of knowledge concerning how monies for European soccer are allocated, so I won't pile on there.

As to baseball in Boston, things are much better right now than they were a year ago after Theo Epstein threw money around like he had inside info from the Fed concerning a major devaluation of the dollar.  The absurd Yankee-like contracts to both John Lackey and Carl Crawford should hamper the Sox for years to come, and that's a fact, but to try to address the situation now is the thing to do and Cherington has been doing a good job.

The Sox will get better production in right field (everyone foretold that the final year of J.D. Drew's contract was sure to be a killer...and so it was) with the combo of Ross, Sweeney and Kalish (eventually) sure to do better than Drew/Reddick.  Shortstop should be a wash, no matter how the PT is divided between Aviles and Punto.  I mean, the 2012 Sox are not going to crash and burn because 36 year-old Marco Scutaro isn't around to be his very average self. Clay Buccholz should have a full season this year and Dice-K should have half of one and that's about 200 innings of better pitching right there.  The pitchers who held down the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation last year (John Lackey, I'm looking at you!) were absolutely horrible and whomever replaces them will have a very low bar to exceed.  Look for better production there from Bard, Aceves, a half-season of Dice-K or Charlie Sheen or whomever the Sox use.  Crawford has to be better in left (his second half of 2011 was much better than his first.)  All in all, even taking into account that players like Jacoby Ellsbury might have a step back this season, the offense should still score more runs than anybody else in baseball.

When one considers just how bad the starting pitching was last year and how calamitously it failed in September and STILL the Sox won 90 games and finished ONE game out of the post-season, one has to feel pretty darn good going into this season, especially with a smart cookie like Valentine at the throttle and a talented team that has a lot to prove to the world.  The key is the starting pitching...that was Problem Numero Uno last year and not chicken and beer. It should be better this year, as stated above, and that alone will keep the Sox from over-using their bullpen as in 2011.

I'm looking forward to this season.  And, judging by Mr. Heyman's past prognostication results, I think the Sox could be in for a very successful year indeed. 

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:50 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

This is one of the most ridiculously misinformed articles I have ever read. Does the writer really believe that all the transfer fees (not salaries as others have rightly pointed out) spent by Liverpool have come out of the pockets of Henry/FSG/Red Sox? It is ridiculous to think that this would be affecting the Red Sox spending. Does he think that Liverpool generate no revenue whatsoever?

Besides, so what if FSG decide to spend money on Liverpool rather than the Red Sox? Don't get me wrong, I'm a Red Sox fan and have no affiliation with Liverpool at all, but what makes the Red Sox a more righteous recipient of their money than Liverpool?

All this article does is highlight the writers complete inability to comprehend the workings of English football or do any kind of rudimentary research before coming to some ill-thought out, bigoted opinions.

Oh, and Sebastian Coates and Jose Enrique and DEFENDERS and not defensemen. Please get it right. I am an English fan of American sports and I have no trouble learning and using your terminology. I'd expect you to have the decency to do the same when talking about football (soccer). Or don't bother talking about it at all.

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:49 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

simple......................they are just gonna make some money finally.  It happens. look would ya rather be boston, or the cubs.  Theo is gonna be exposed cause he aint shit without the benji's...and ole boy ricketts aint got it..

Since: Jan 26, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:44 pm

inaccurate concept, moreover inaccurate facts

not only the confusion of transfer fees for salaries but also the intimation that liverpool football club and the boston red sox share a common funding pool confirm mr heyman's column as jounalistic can attract notoriety by suggesting that the boston fans are being cheated..where is the journalistic effort to determine the real , current red sox approach to this year's free agency period....perhaps, red sox management is no longer willing to spend free agency money to be saddled with bad contracts - lackey, the japanese wunderkind, drew, crawford?  if any analogy is to be made to liverpool, perhaps one should look to the liverpool's hyperactive attempt to acquire players following financially the imposed neglect of previous management which has resulted in similarly bad signings......any blogger can provide creative juxtaposition of facts which have no cause and effect relationship.....hopefully, the paid columnists of can do better...

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