Obviously, Theo Epstein and the Red Sox had a huge offseason. However, I still wonder if Theo made the right moves.
I will not criticize Theo for his bullpen moves, as the bullpen is unpredictable. However, I will criticize him on the four main moves he made. He:
1: Let Victor Martinez go,
2: Let Adrian Beltre go,
3: Signed speedster Carl Crawford to a 7 year, 142 million dollar deal to snag him from LAA, and
4: Traded Eric Patterson, Reymond Fuentes, Anthony Rizzo, and Casey Kelly to San Diego for slugger Adrian Gonzalez.
I will decide whether the move was good or not based only on before this season, so I don't have an advantage over Theo. Also, if the move was not good, I will decide what he should have done instead, again, not based on hindsight.
1: Theo let Victor Martinez sign with the Detroit Tigers for 4 years and 50 million dollars.
Theo's first move of the offseason was also his worst. If Theo had signed Martinez to a 4 year deal, he would have had him at ages 32, 33, 34, and 35. Those seasons are the start of most players' decline, but hitters as good as Martinez would still be productive at age 35. As for Martinez not being a good defender, if Posada can catch at age 38, why can't Martinez catch at age 35? Also, even with the season Papi is having, it is unlikely that Boston signs him to a 3 year deal at seasons' end, so at some point, Boston could just convert Martinez into the DH. Yes, you lose the 19th overall draft pick by keeping Martinez, but another move I would change makes up for it. Also, Martinez kills lefties.
Did Theo make the right choice? No.
What should he have done? Sign V-Mart to a 4 year, 60 million deal.
2: Theo traded Eric Patterson, Reymond Fuentes, Anthony Rizzo, and Casey Kelly to San Diego for slugger Adrian Gonzalez, and signed him to a 7 year, 154 million deal after the season started to lock him up through 2018, his age 36 season.
They say "First is the worst, second is the best, and third is the one with the treasure chest!" So far for Theo, first is the worst and second is the best, as getting AGon was the best move of the offseason for Boston. It was a no-brainer, because anyone would take a 29 year old slugging 1st baseman who has a great glove over a 32 year old 3rd baseman who bats .270 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI with a great glove. His career year so far makes it sweeter, but it was a great move anyways.
Did Theo make the right choice? Yes.
3: Theo signed speedster Carl Crawford to a 7 year deal for 142 million, snagging him from LAA and making him the highest paid outfielder ever in the process.
This was simply a bad move. Many people were hoping that the Red Sox would sign Jason Werth, but he quickly signed with Washington for 10 times his werth (pun intended). This set the market for Crawford, so signing him was a bad idea. Once Werth signed, the Red Sox should have gone the route of trade. Also, they would get their draft pick back from Tampa Bay, so the Red Sox would be able to re-sign V-Mart wiwthout any huge consecuences compared to the draft we just had.
Did Theo make the right choice? No way, Jose.
What should he have done? This is a little complicated.
He should have traded for Justin Upton. Still only 23, Upton has all the tools his brother has without the Manny-esque ego. He can hit for average, hit for power, run, has a cannon for an arm, and isn't quite as erratic as his brother in the field. If they did get Upton, he would convert to left field, as Drew has mastered Dewey's corner. They would trade Josh Reddick, (Kalish can take over RF when Drew leaves) Yamicco Navarro (Iggy can take over short when Scutaro leaves) Salty (V-Mart would occupy catcher for a few years) Larvenway (Ditto with Salty) and maybe throw in a player to be named later. All of the guys I named have potential, so the trade isn't unrealistic, especially with the way Towers was marketing him. Upton becomes a superstar, and a of the players I name become very good players. Not a bad trade for Arizona, but a great one for Boston.
4: Theo let Adrian Beltre sign with Texas for 6 years and 96 million dollars.
This was a no brainer. The Red Sox had just acquired a star first baseman, and moved their former first baseman to third. They already have a good DH. They get 2 draft picks. Who doesn't let Beltre go?
Did Theo make the right choice? Of course!
The numbers say Theo failed, but he didn't. I don't have a view of all the things Theo uses to build a roster, as I can only see the numbers. However, from a fan's point of view, he could have done a much better job. Despite this, our team is great.
I took over a hour to write this.