Red Sox in money to burn mode


The ownership has answered all about spending for talent with the recent additions of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. The next in line at the Yawkey Way cash register will be (hopefully) Jon Lester at the express lane cashing in 120M or so. Maybe another free agent pitcher? Maybe a massive trade? The money will be paid.

The Red Sox have answered what to do with Yoenis Cespedes. He’s gone faster than I can devour Butter Pecan ice cream. Looking for a right-hand bat with a year left? Try area code 617.

The fact is Hanley signed on for what Cespedes would cost. Both have some intriguing personal issue so that is not really an issue with Boston. What appears to be the defining condition is if Cespedes really would sign and the fact Hanley may offer a bit more versatility.

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The two on the losing side of this wheeling and dealing are Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli. Both have a year left for a joint 27M or so – hey, what is a few million when discussing baseball payroll. Both will be off the books after 2015. Both could be shipped off.

The Red Sox still have Daniel Nava, Allen Craig and a few others wandering around with the possibility of trades and mix and match situations. I am sure some teams in need of a bat will come calling.

The Will Middlebrooks situation is also fairly resolved as it is just a matter of time. Jackie Bradley may also be skating on very thin ice. The value of both are quite low but in the world of baseball GM’s you never know.

Ramirez should have a few prime years left as he approaches age thirty-one – baseball middle age. Panda is gearing up for his (again – hopefully) best years. So I can certainly see the logic of adding both even with real or perceived flaws.

Now comes the rest of the dominoes and that will be the enjoyment of watching how the Red Sox finalized their next great need and that is pitching. Trade for Cole Hamels? Johnny Cueto? Toss some more money at Max Scherzer and/or Ervin Santana? Maybe there is enough left in the small change pocket to get Andrew Miller?

With the two new additions the Red Sox have certainly firmed up their sour offense. Now if they can only keep Mookie Betts – who may just thrive in this new reformatted team. On the surface the offense has some nice power and some interesting offensive metrics. Defense may be another issue with the potential of Ramirez shuffling off the perimeter of the field. However, he does have “athleticism,” which is baseball code for “we don’t have a clue how this will turn out.”

What the recent moves spell out is the ownership is aggressively pursuing a return to baseball relevancy. They actually appear to have a plan in place and this is just the beginning. Management went offense first and can now work on the pitching. So much for a Red Sox off season gotterdammerung.