Ben Cherington Has Been Quite Busy This Off-Season.
If all the deals hold, your beloved Boston Red Sox will have spent around $175 million dollars this off-season just on free agents. The best part about that stat is that Larry, Ben and the boys are going to do everything they can to keep this team competitive. The worst part about that stat though, is that they spent 175 million dollars on players who have such little value.
Many people have said that the next few years are “bridge years” for the Red Sox and the recent signings have proved that. All of the deals sit in the 1-3 year range and that has to be a sign that our best prospects are 1-3 years away from being ready for the show. You can put guys like Jose Iglesias, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Bryce Brentz and Matt Barnes on the back burner and begin to focus on this year’s team. The guys who are worth $175 million or what I like to call “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.
The Good: The best free agent signing that Boston made this off season came on a one year deal worth 4.25 million. Koji Uehara is a back end bullpen guy who, in past years, has been outstanding for both Texas and Baltimore. Last year, Uehara finished the season with a 1.75 ERA, a .64 whip and he only walked 3 batters in 36 innings. Let me repeat that again, HE ONLY WALKED 3 BATTERS ALL YEAR! If there is one singing to be excited about for the Red Sox this year, Koji Uehara is the one.
The next good deal that the Sox made this summer hasn’t even been made official yet, but assuming all deals will hold the Mike Napoli deal is going to help the Red Sox in so many ways. Napoli can play first base, he can catch and if needed he can DH. Along with his versatility, what make the Napoli signing so appealing are his career numbers at Fenway Park. Although it may not be a large sample his .306 average, 7 home runs and 17 RBIs make fans like me hopeful that this team will compete with the other powerhouses in the AL East.
The Bad: Another 3 year/$39 million dollar deal was handed out this summer by Boston. The Shane Victorino signing was one of the first “major” moves made by the Sox and in general, it makes plenty of sense. Victorino is a great fielder who fills a hole in the Red Sox outfield and if Boston chooses to move Jacoby Ellsbury, we have someone who can play center field. The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” can also run and if John Farrell’s time in Toronto taught us anything, it’s that he loves to steal bases. So, what makes this a bad signing? Well, $39 million for a 32 year old who hit .255 last year doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Victorino is on the back nine in his career and this signing is one that proves that Boston is spending money on names, and not value.