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Red Sox moving cautiously so far ... remain calm

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  December 23, 2011 11:38 AM

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A reader e-mailed today furious that the Red Sox "lost out" on Carlos Beltran, who signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Cardinals yesterday.

I wrote back saying that the Red Sox were never really involved with Beltran and that spending $13 million for more offense in 2012 really didn't make a lot of sense.

Other fans are angry that Ben Cherington didn't get Gio Gonzalez yesterday. Oakland received four prospects from Washington, three who are considered among their top 10. The Athletics extracted a high price and the Red Sox weren't willing to go that far.

Would Gio Gonzalez be worth a top catcher, two top pitchers and another pitching prospect? That would be Ryan Lavarnway, Anthony Ranaudo, Brandon Workman and somebody else. That seems like a lot for somebody would be their No. 4 starter.

That also would come a year after giving up Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Rey Fuentes to get Adrian Gonzalez. At some point, you can't get rid of your best prospects every December.

As somebody who covers the team, I wish the Red Sox were making more news, too. I'm also of the opinion that they need to add at least one quality starting pitcher to their rotation. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are not enough.

But after doing this job for a while, you realize that teams like the Red Sox sometimes get dragged into hot stove stories when they don't really belong.

Agents routinely say the Red Sox are Yankees are interested in their players to try and create the illusion of a market. Media outlets do the same because the Red Sox are usually involved with every player to some degree.

Sure the Red Sox made a few calls about Beltran. But they weren't in a bidding war with the Cardinals. Once they retained David Ortiz, they weren't going to spend big on right field.

We all want big headlines and new players to break down. But Cherington has been true to be word since he took the job. He said this team needs only fine-tuning, not a major overhaul. He predicted his search for pitching could last deep into the offseason. He cautioned against expecting any big splashes.

All true so far. Whether that is the right approach or not remain to be seen. But it's kind of pointless to criticize what the team looks like on Dec. 23 when the season opens on April 5.

It's easy to get riled up when another team gets a player you think would help the Red Sox. But let's give Cherington the time he said he would take and see what the team looks like then.

Are you OK with the pace so far? We welcome your feedback in the comments section.

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