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: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:38 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

I'm actually a soccer fan that got hooked in here by the lead...the writer of this clearly has no idea how the transfer market actually works in soccer.  Those amounts are transfer fees payed to the player's old club, NOT their salaries.  The salaries are an entirely different issue.  Plus Liverpool did offset this by selling some players of their own, as someone else mentioned below (Fernando Torres, in particular).

Saying the Red Sox are suffering because of Henry's focus on Liverpool is probably a fair point, but this report of their spending is a bit inaccurate.  (Also, while I doubt too many here care, for what it's worth many of the players that Liverpool bought above have been complete busts.  Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing, in particular, have been pretty big wastes of cash thus far).

Since: Aug 13, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:58 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

no actual American citizen could care less about a buch of bitches kicking a ball around.  I've seen tougher trannys than most, no all soccer players

Since: May 7, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:51 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Interesting article. According to some posts there are inaccuracies, non the less very interesting read.

Since: Feb 9, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:33 pm

Liverpool Players Did Not Get That Money

This article is completely inaccurate on this point. The fees quoted are what Liverpool paid transfer fees to other clubs for those players, as they need to do to sign players in European Soccer. The players did not get any of the money whatsoever.

Very poor and inaccurate reporting, if CBS writers know nothing about Soccer then they shouldn't comment on the issue.

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:31 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:28 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Oswalt is too scared to come to the AL East. He would be a perfect fit for the Sox, but he doesn't wanna dirty up that career ERA cushioned by weak NL competition for 10+ years.

Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:25 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

Always hated soccer....the game just sucks, now I have reason to hate it even more.

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:17 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

it doesn't matter if the red sox had a pitching rotation or not or whether they had a shortstop or not.  what matters is that their manager is a complete idiot and will bury them in the basement...

Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:15 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

as was posted before, we also sold a lot of players. i assume you don't know much about this issue -_-

Since: Nov 20, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:03 pm

Lots of holes in cost-conscious Red Sox

The pitching rotation should actually be improved from last year;  additon by subtraction.  They still need to replace some pitchers, but the only real loss was Bedard (24 starts, 3.62 ERA).  Five other starters from last year (Wakefield, Dice-K, Weiland, Lackey, and Miller) combined for 75 starts with an ERA of 5.85.
Bard should help and so should a healthy Buchholz.  They could still land Oswalt and they still have some sort of compensation from the Epstein deal.    

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