Red Sox free agent success and failure
By Rick McNair
Apr 4, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) reacts after receiving his 2013 World Series ring before the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The free agent season is with us and names will surface regarding whom the Red Sox should dump untold riches upon. Contracts that simply have an inordinate about of zeros to the right of any number between one and nine. The high profile ones such as David Price could receive upwards to $200,000,000 million.
The Red Sox have long invested in purchasing talent and that was well before free agency existed. Tom Yawkey pilfered as many stars as possible during the depression from clubs that were existing week to week. Yawkey, arguably one of the ten wealthiest Americans, brought Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove to Boston. Even Joe Cronin arrived after being sold off by his father-in-law, Clark Griffith.
Yawkey continued in the spirit of overpaying during the bonus baby era of the 1950s, when young prospects – most notably high school phenoms – were handed enormous contracts. Few surfaced in Boston for even a pedestrian career.
When free agency was being a distinct possibility Yawkey jumped into the fray by attempting to purchase several players from the Oakland Athletics. When that was prevented by the commissioner it became a matter of waiting for the real free agent market conditions to exist. The Red Sox have been consistent players since then.
With the contract comes a risk and some have been such dogs you would need a kennel the size of Texas to house them. But there are also gems and some are real low-end signings such as Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz – Ortiz was actually a non-tendered. However, my focus is on the public ones that get the real press notice. These are but a few that I remember and in 2016 a few may be signed that will be included somewhere.
I will leave out current players (except two) and international signings.