Catching up with the Red Sox on a Patriots Sunday
It’s been a quietly busy offseason for GM Ben Cherington and the Red Sox. Boston won the Hot Stove League last year with the additions of Carl Crawford through free agency and Adrian Gonzalez via trade. Unfortunately for the 2011 Red Sox, the real hardware isn’t handed out until late October. This winter lacks the glitz and glamor of yesteryear, but Cherington is working under starkly different conditions than former GM Theo Epstein. Cherington is in his first year as General Manager, whereas Epstein had firmly cemented his position as one of the game’s best executives. More importantly, Cherington is working under a relatively tight budget. If Epstein was given $100 by John Henry in 2011, Cherington’s allowance is $10 this year. So far, I have nothing but quality reviews for the first year GM. He has orchestrated two trades that brought the Red Sox quality, low cost arms in Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon. Both players will work to fill vacancies in the bullpen left by Jonathan Papelbon and, presumably, Daniel Bard. Cherington’s latest move is the trade of starting shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Rockies for a pitcher who will likely be in Pawtucket to begin the year. You don’t need to be Peter Gammons to know that this move was purely a salary dump. There has to be another card up Cherington’s sleeve. It would be like Danny Ainge trading for Ray Allen in 2007 and not getting Kevin Garnett. I’m not expecting baseball’s version of the Big Ticket coming to the Red Sox, but I’ll take Roy Oswalt.
- Talks with Oswalt aren’t as hot as first reported. Nevertheless, you can bet the Sox will be in the thick of things for the righty.
- Right now, who is better defensively on the left side of the infield: The Red Sox or the Yankees?
- The Red Sox and Bard have successfully avoided arbitration, according to Mike Axisa of mlbtraderumors.com. Bard will make $1.6125MM in 2012. Good things.
- I wish John Danks, who was recently extended by the White Sox, was a trade candidate, rather than Gavin Floyd
I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday as the Patriots shoot for another Super Bowl bid. Meaningful football being played in New England late in January serves as a hell of a distraction during the Red Sox offseason.