Cue the predictable outrage.
Boy Wonder … Another bridge year … John Henry cares more about his soccer team … They’re never going to win again …
Victor Martinez decided to sign with the Tigers, taking a four-year deal worth $8 million more than the Red Sox offered. On Nov. 23, it sure looks pretty awful. The Sox lost lost their run-producing switch-hitting catcher and right now plan to replace him with a guy with a long name and a lot of injuries.
Victor Martinez was a great fit for the Sox and we wrote many times here that keeping him should have been a priority.
But the season starts April 1 in Texas, not Nov. 24 in the front office. Theo Epstein has 127 days to put together his roster. That’s a little more than four months. Just a hunch, but the guess is they plan to improve the team.
It could be wise for all of us to wait and see what the actual roster looks like before judging it.
Two things to consider:
• Jorge Posada was 36 when the Yankees signed him to a four-year, $52.4 million deal in 2007. He has hit .267/.361/.474 since and started only 194 of a possible 486 games behind the plate, 40 percent.
Posada was older when he got his deal. But he did not become a full-time catcher with the Yankees until he was 28. Martinez has been an everyday catcher since he was 25.
At some point soon, Martinez will start to decline as a hitter as all those innings behind the plate take a toll. He can play first base or DH but he won’t be an elite hitter at those positions, which is the case when he catches.
The Tigers were willing to invest more in that decline than the Red Sox were. You can debate the merits of that, but that’s what it came down to. In 2011, the Tigers may look pretty smart. But its worth noting that the Yankees recently met with Posada to tell him he’s their DH.
The Red Sox didn’t just do this on a whim. They know their own player better than anybody else.
• The other thing to keep in mind is that the Seattle Mariners were considered the big winners last offseason. GM Jack Zduriencik traded for Cliff Lee, signed Chone Figgins and made other moves that had everybody singing his praises. How did that work out?
It’s a futile exercise to judge a baseball team in November. Let’s wait and see what the lineup is against Texas on Opening Day before declaring the season over.