In response to moonslav59's comment:
I am astounded by all the talk about Stanton because to me Cherington is absolutely not interested in those long term acquisitions while giving up multiple good players.
Every GM in MLB is interested in a guy like Stanton.
Instead, he dumped three of them in mid 2012. He made no real effort to hang onto Ellsbury (with which we all agree--Yankees paid too much). He probably had some role in letting Pap go to Philly on a long term contract. He kept Pedroia long term because Pedroia wanted to stay and went for smaller dollars. He is probably going to keep Lester the same way. He made no effort to keep Drew after a pretty good year.
He offered Drew $14.1M/1. I'd call that an "effort". It will likely be about what Drew gets for 2 years, if he signs before June.
Salty, gone (for a longer term deal with Miami)--and good riddance in my view.
Salty is not gone because of his 3 year deal.
Someone please set me straight. Give me an example of Cherington seriously going after a big bat. Just one.
Rumor had it that he made offers to Ellsbury, Choo (?) and Beltran, but even if he had not made any serious offer for a "big bat", does not mean he never will... if the right one comes along.
Ben hasn't been the GM long enough to be absolutely sure about his willingness to pull the trigger on a blockbuster of the opposite sort from the Dodger deal.
You are far more expert than I, and I agree "absolutely" was a little over the top. I also agree that we are still early enough in Cherington's tenure we can't be definitive about what he will do.
That said, I think your rebuttals were pretty thin. Cherington was pretty sure Drew would not accept the $14.1 M offer if only because Boras is his agent and had already been making big talk about Drew's options for a multi-year contract, and he has made no serious offer since. Rumors of offers don't count, sorry.
I agree that they expected and even hoped Drew would turn down the offer, but the fact is, he made a substantial offer to Drew.
I'm intrigued by your comment on Salty. I thought the Sox made no offer at all because Farrell and his pitching coach, no doubt having also talked to the pitchers, decided Salty's hitting wasn't good enough to compensate his CERA or whatever. I thought the handwriting was on the wall in October when Ross was the starting catcher for all four WS wins.
I don't disagree, and when Salty was benched during the WS, I said he was as good as gone. My point was that not offering Salty a deal had nothing to do with some "no longterm deal" strategy by Ben, rather it was about what he perceived Salty's value to be.
I say again, to date Cherington has shown no interest in big bucks long term contracts and every interest in letting other GMs do that. But, you're right, it's still early innings with Ben. As for Stanton, I guess a deal might make sense that doesn't involved Bogaerts.
Stanton is not a big bucks contract, and even if we extended him, his over all deal, which would include the first 3 years at very a reasonable cost, would be cost-effective.
I do think Ben would consider a longterm deal for the right player, but none of those guys seem to make it to free agency anymore. The ones that do are too old, fragile or flawed in some ways.
My point is that we cannot judge over Ben's small sample size that he has been, still is, or never will be "interested in big bucks longterm contract" for a big bat. The last two years of free agency lacked any Manny Ramirezes or under 30 studs. Just because he did not make a serious offer to Hamilton doesn't prove he never will make an offer to the right guy. I'm glad he didn't offer Hamilton a big bucks deal.
I agree, I don't consider the $39M/3 year deals offered to Victorino and Napoli do not count as longterm deals, and Ben would clearly prefer these kinds of deals to high risk 5+ year deals to aging stars, but I am near positive he would make a huge 8 year offer to Bryce Harper, if he was a FA right now.
The Dodger deal was out of neccesity, and should not be viewed as a longterm strategy. I do think Ben is looking for mid-level guys to sign short-term, while hoping the gain value and can be QO free egnts that net us draft picks when they walk. It's a great strategy, but it is not the only method he considers to improve this team. He did trade a very good young pitcher, in Melancon along with other prospects for Hanrahan, so he's not all one-way with his dealings. He is as balanced as he can be, IMO.