Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner speaks out on the state of the team.
The Boston Red Sox have done their Phoenix thing and risen from the ashes in the past to win a World Series and then sink to the bottom of the American League East. Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner recently spoke to Chris Cotillo of Mass Live regarding the future of the team. I imagine an updated version of three great lies: I’ll respect you in the morning, the check is in the mail, and we’ll be competitive next year.
Werner stated it was “a very disappointing season” which may be a first prize winner in baseball executives understatements of the year. That is right up with “Aside from that, how did you enjoy the show, Mrs. Lincoln?”
Werner was certainly far more refrained than most Red Sox fans in evaluating the product put out for embarrassment.
"“We’ve got a lot of assets and, as everybody knows, we spend and we’re not a small-market team,” said Werner."
There is also a possible hint at the Red Sox spending based on the reset of the luxury tax. As usual, it is not how much you spend but how you spend it. With Chaim Bloom now running the show, my assumption is the Red Sox will not be Daddy Warbucks but more Scrooge McDuck. We already see Bloom’s former tight-fisted Rays on top of the AL heap. I’ll hold off on free-wheeling spending in the near future.
"“There’s no secret to the fact that pitching wins pennants for you….It’s going to start with pitching,” said Werner."
Werner, in a moment of brilliant executive insight, recognized the value of pitching as a key ingredient to success. A truly philosophical moment for me. But many of the pitching eggs are in the left hands of Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez. Sale is probably on the return list by the end of May and at 32-years-old it is not a guarantee it will be the Sale we remember so fondly. Will the Red Sox really go out on the pitching limb and get Trevor Bauer?
Rodriguez is the other quite large question mark looming in the near future. E-Rod is on the sidelines for 2020 with a heart ailment related to COVID-19. Just what will be E-Rod’s status when the bell rings? What’s left is Nathan Eovaldi who blows hot and cold and the no doubt frustrated Martin Perez who is perpetually victimized by a bullpen. Ah that bullpen!
Just how will that be addressed? Is that where money will be allocated? Maybe a nice trade or two for a Carson Smith or Tyler Thornburg type? Hopefully, the astute Bloom has something up his sleeves besides a deuce. This team’s pitching does not need a tweak but a bulldozer and the bullpen should be a prime target.
"“We don’t want this to be a long rebuilding process….We’ve got a lot of assets and, as everybody knows.” said Werner."
Werner does not want a long rebuilding process but how is long defined? A year? A decade? Werner is actually holding out for next year and my astute guess is the is that old baseball axiom of “Wait until next year.”
The real key, according to Werner, is assets that are probably quite limited to a small coterie of players that someone would actually want. Are they going to be building blocks or trade bait? Everyone was mentioned during the trading scrum even Alex Verdugo, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Christian Vazquez.
I will give Werner credit in that he is presenting hope where I see little that exists. The key is as Werner professed – pitching – and the Red Sox simply do not have it. Maybe Tanner Houck is the real deal and will get 15 wins? Possibly Bloom has a gem hidden somewhere that will shine? Maybe the Red Sox will go back to their old ways of spending their way out of doom and gloom?