Good point on Kuroda. If Ben had signed Kuroda and NYY had not, how different would things have looked on August 27th?
Problem is, Ben looks ready to do more of the same...sign cheap recovery project (a la Cook, Prior, Padilla, almost Oswalt) instead of possibly over pay for an established guy. Didn't work this year, didn't work with Smoltz and Penny. What's the definition of insanity?
The Sox need to (over)pay Sanchez and Peavy, the two best youngish pitchers available, and maybe work a trade for Masterson, and go into the season with at least 6, maybe 7 bonafide starters. Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Peavy, Sanchez, Doubront, Masterson and Morales might just be enough. Tazawa, Bailey, Miller, Hill, Atchison, Melancon, Breslow, Bard, Padilla and Mortenson provide enough bullpen and trade bait to add some needed pieces in other areas. But the Sox are not going to get a good enough starting rotation to compete without either overpaying in salary or overpaying in prospects.
The Sox, for once, have a much better financial position--meaning they are in a much better position to overpay in salary than they are in prospects. This is especially the case for a team that is rebuilding. But they seem itent on learning the lesson of not paying for high priced free agents. What they seem to have missed is that the right free agents ARE worth the money. Sabbathia and Teixeira WERE worth it to the Yankees, as was Kuroda.