Sep 7, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton (32) and center fielder Mike Trout (27) high five first baseman Mark Trumbo (44) after a 2 run home run the first inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes the best deals are the ones not made

Sometimes the best deals are the ones not made.

After The Trade the Boston Red Sox were flush with cash. 300M to spend either with a rashness that would give any Congress Critter a smile or to practice restraint – a unique concept for the Red Sox.

May 6, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

May 6, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Star power sells. Just reading the book “Francona” shows that some decisions were made to get that “sexy” player that would drive branding, ticket sales and, most importantly, NESN ratings. After all, the team owned 80% of NESN and advertising dollars fluctuate based on ratings.

A super star was available – Josh Hamilton. His story of rise and fall and rise again is well documented. Hamilton’s numbers are impressive. This is The Big Catch in the free agency market place and the Red Sox are notorious high end shoppers. Hamilton was the bling some prophesied they needed.

Hamilton was coming off a monster season. A .285 average with legit power – 43 home runs and 128 RBI. But to some of the metrics geeks there were warning signs. Average sinking. Contact shrinking. Age creeping up. Caveat Emptor. The Sox passed and the Angels went 5/125M. Ouch!

Ben Cherington ignored the local blogs, talk shows and media GM’s who pontificated for the signing. I’m sure Ben did kick the tires and look under the hood. Bottom line – he passed on Hamilton and the rest is history.

The Sox used their newly acquired wealth to shop diligently. Backed off of Tiffney’s and checked out Target for lower cost items of interest. The pocket book conservatism also allowed what amounts to a lifetime contract for perpetual team MVP Dustin Pedroia. The extra cash allowed the fiscal flexibility to take on the contract of Jake Peavy.

When the plus and minus of the Cherington regime is finally totaled, the passing on Hamilton will squarely be in the plus column.

Sometimes the best deals are the ones not made.

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Tags: Ben Cherington Boston Red Sox Josh Hamilton

  • John Fahrer

    I’m so glad they passed on Hamilton AND Adam LaRoche (who had a career year in 2012 at age 32). Cafardo wanted both of those guys bad. Thank God he’s not the GM.

    Out of the qualifying offer free agents, Swisher is the one I would’ve taken a flier on. Given his numbers this year, I’m glad they passed on him as well.

    Since he announced he’s retiring after the season over the weekend, I recall another deal that fell through for the better: the potential Sox acquisition of Todd Helton in the 06-07 offseason. Mike Lowell would’ve been included. Lowell wound up being a huge part of the 07 championship club. Didn’t end up being too bad for the Rox either. Though they lost the series to the Sox and Helton continued to regress, they at least got to experience a WS with their franchise icon.