I guess the new slogan for the Sox should be, “If you can’t beat them, become them.”
Sox fans complained when the Yankees spent more than a quarter billion dollars to bring Mark Teixeira (8 years, $180 million), CC Sabathia (7 years, $161 million), and AJ Burnett (5 years, $82.5 million) to New York in 2009. Of course this was after spending $275 on Alex Rodriguez the previous off-season. That’s $698.5 million for four guys. It got them a Championship in 2009 and a playoff trip in 2010.
Last year’s Sox off-season wasn’t that memorable. They started off limping into the free agent pool agreeing to terms with Fabio Castro on a one-year contract. Um, don’t think he even made the team. They followed that up with claiming Ramon Ramirez (the other one) off waivers from Tampa Bay. I think he lasted a half a season. They made a trade for Boof Bonser from Minnesota who was released very early on. Then after nickle and diming Jason Bay they offered Matt Holiday a five year contract and when he turned it down they gave the same contract to John Lackey who accepted. Their outfield solution, Mike Cameron, was hurt almost all year.
So my blog started pleading to the Sox front office to actually spend the money they’re making hand over fist down at Yawkey Way.
They got Adrian Gonzalez to start out the off-season via trade from San Diego. He’s expected to sign an extension for seven years at $154 million. That’s $22 million a season. But many writers, including myself, said the Sox still had $40 million or so to play with.
Well news came out late yesterday (after I went to bed late) that the Sox had reached a deal with free agent outfielder Carl Crawford. Seven years $142 million. That fills the void from Jason Bay leaving two years ago. It adds speed in the outfield and makes the Sox lineup very dangerous.
Your potential lineup:
Carl Crawford, lf
Dustin Pedroia, 2b
Adrian Gonzalez, 1b
Kevin Youkilis, 3b
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew rf
Jason Varitek, c
Marco Scutaro, ss
Jacoby Ellsbury, cf
Now rumor is that Crawford doesn’t want to be a lead off hitter and you could easily swap out Saltalamacchia for Varitek and Lowrie for Scutaro. But you have to think that the lineup is much better looking that it was last year.
Now if they can grab some middle relief help you’ll be talking about a contender this coming season.
So for all that we hated the Yankees who went out and got any player they wanted, the Sox have become the Yankees. Trading home grown talent for established players (Gonzalez) as well as paying for the elite free agents (Crawford).
Like I said, if you can’t beat them, become them.