Re: Nick Cafardo:It's time to blow up Red Sox roster
posted at 7/26/2012 9:38 PM EDT
A ridiculously vague article. Yes, of course there's a huge problem. Everyone knows that. BUt you don't just offer up "blow it up" without describing what you mean by that and offering potential solutions. The fact is, this team is stuck with enormous salarioes nobody wants. It's not possible to "blow it up," even if they wanted to.
This year you've had players like Lackey, Crawford, Youkillis, Matusaka, Beckett, Lester, Jenks, Bailey, Bard, and Lackey costing the team abut 130 million while they either perform horribly or sit on the sidelines on the diabled list. Think of that. 130 MILLION. That's more than the entire payroll for all but a few teams in the league.
These signings aren't just bad decisions, they are monumentally horrific decisions that would get any basebally people in the league fired. You obviously can't hit a homerun on every free agent signing or trade acquistion but when you spend 100 million on matusaka; 154 million on adrian gonzalez; 82.5 on lackey; and a 142 million on crawford and you can't even get one of them to have an average season, let alone get an all-star appearance out of ONE of them, you are pretty much sunk.
But now what? Cherington inherited these problems. What can he do? They got rid of Youkillis. They sent Jenks packing (nice waste of 12 mill). Matusaka is done after this year. The major problems are then Beckett; Lackey; Lester; Gonzales; and Crawford (bailey hopefully comes back healty and bard doesn't make enough money to really hurt them as he continues to struggle in the minors - the decision to start him a bad one from the beginning). Next year these five players will account for over 85 million in salary. The only tradeable players are Lester and Gonzales. Beckett, Crawford, and Lackey are probably not - unless any or all of them come back next year and are healthy and have good seasons or half seasons and then who knows? Lackey is a possibilty only because of the injury clause that potentially makes his salary more attractive to teams (basically it'll amount to like 15 million for two years). he comes out and starts next year, wins 10 or 12 games, he might be movable. You probably ride with Gonzo and hopoe his power numbers return. What else can you do? Regardless, we're looking at eating a lot of salary in the next three to four years for players who are likely not to come close to earning their money. You pay this much for players they better be winning postseason awards. Obviously, at this point, you get an opportunity to move someone like Beckett you do so - eat money if you have to, but right now doesn't look possible.
Also damaging were the choices not to sign players who had done well here like VMart and Beltre, and the idea of who they passed up to sign some of these dogs. That money alone fields entire teams in MLB.
The good news is the sox seem to consistently come up with players who surprise (morales/nava/miller/doubront/ciraco etc.), which makes these awful signings seem even more unecessary and ill advised.
In the end, they may not have a choice in terms of 'blowing up" the roster. guys like ortiz and ellsbury seem headed elsewhere. what else can they do? get another shortstop? bring in another starter or two? despite the problems of players like bailey, bard, and melancon (who were supposed to be the big guys out of the pen), the bullpen certainly hasn't been the issue. the so called "role players" have certanily come through. couldn't ask much more from the rag tag collection of starters like doubront, morales, and cook. bucholtz seems to have straightened out. middleboroks has emerged as a solid player. Pedrioa has had a down year offennsively, but he's in no way the problem. Cody Ross has been fine.
in the end, the lesson seems to be that you can't buy championships. But the real issue is the sox and their obsession with the fake sellouts and driving people to the park. the need to keep making a splash to please the masses is what led them to make some of these moves. instead of sitting tight and letting a few of the younger players develop and trusting their scouting and development and ability to make key trades. how much different would this team be at 100 million? I'd argue they'd likely be about where they are. one can only hope these disaters will alter their stretgy aned make them think long and hard before making these kinds of move sin the future. perhaps then they can concentrate on developing talent and keeping them here (ellbury/ortiz etc.).