Boston Red Sox 2012 Offseason Recap and Preview

As much as I feel dislike towards the Red Sox as a person who grew up as a Yankee fan, I know that they are people with feelings too and I know I am causing them enough damage by just showing this picture of game 162. So I won’t add any commentary, but I have to show the picture because it *was* the story of their 2011:

Grade: B

Notable Additions:

Andrew Bailey, Aaron Cook, Mark Melancon, Clayton Mortensen, Vincente Padilla, Nick Punto, Cody Ross, Kelly Shoppach, and Ryan Sweeney.

 

Notable Subtractions:

Jonathan Papelbon, J.D. Drew, Jed Lowrie, Hideki Okajima, Josh Reddick, Marco Scutaro, Kyle Weiland, and Dan Wheeler.

 

Why?: When you actually look at the talent changing hands, the Red Sox are probably more of a C+/B- type offseason. However, the Red Sox’s owner, John Henry, also owns the English Premier Legaue Football club, Liverpool. Over the past year, Liverpool has added players totaling a dollar amount that is comparable to the Red Sox’s total payroll (when converted from pounds to dollars). Due to this spending spree with Liverpool, and the spending spree last year with the Red Sox, it is understandable that Henry didn’t want any major additions to the payroll. Given this fact, I bumped the Red Sox’s grade up to a B, because they managed to add some key pieces without spending a lot. Let me tell you, they were REALLY close to being a B+, but I didn’t want to bump them up too much.

 

As odd as it may seem, I think the Sox may have actually upgraded at the closer position. Since Andrew Bailey has been closing out games for the small-market Oakland Athletics, he really isn’t as exposed to mainstream America as most closers, but I can tell you he is one of the best in the business. Sure, he played for the A’s, which were offensively anemic, and thus gave him more save opportunities, but I remind you that he *did* win the AL ROY a few years ago and has maintained this production since.

 

I guess you can argue that Cody Ross is a good signing with the Green Monster out in Left Field, but I really can’t think of many RHBs that wouldn’t benefit from having a wall 300 feet away from them while they’re at the plate. Seriously, can you think of more than ten hitters that wouldn’t be helped by that? The only names I’m coming up with are right handed slap hitters like Derek Jeter, but I have a feeling even he would be assisted by the wall.

 

Other than this, I really have nothing else to report on the subject that could be summed up in less than 500 words. The names on the lists suggest that the Red Sox probably deserve a higher grade, but I do have my reasons behind the grade.

 

Predicted Record Range: 90-95 wins A bunch of people didn’t do as well as they could’ve. Also, I never thought I would say this, but it might be a good thing that John Lackey is out for the season.

 

Next Up:

18 Comments

Ballpark in general, mostly at my hometown Triple-A team’s ballpark, the Buffalo Bisons.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Are you referring to a specific ballpark or is the “there” you mentioned just a Baseball park in general?

This year, I can’t wait to get out there and ballhawk.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

I actually can just because I can remember how stressed last baseball season made me, and this year will probably be even more compacted, which means I have to be even quicker/ more efficient in doing things than last year.

Yes it will. I can’t wait for baseball baby!
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

It definitely *will* be interesting, if nothing else.

Yes, it should come down to game 162 because there is going to be a big race this year.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

It may not live up to the game 162 of this year, but it should be very close since you have some “super teams” forming this offseason, it seems.

Yes, that is a very good observation. There would be a big battle for that last wild card spot if the MLB did that.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Personally, if MLB does adopt the two wild card system, there is a very good chance the last wild card spot will be a battle between an AL West team and an AL East team. There might be two AL East teams involved in the one-game playoff, chances are.

Yes, I guess you could look at it that way. I agree with you, I can see them maybe being a contender for a wild card spot.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

I guess so. Are you thinking of them like the Mets of a couple years ago where they couldn’t really close it at all during the strech and had a couple of these years in a row? I don’t see the Red Sox being in either of the first two spots in the division, but I do think that they will be in the Wild Card hunt, if that tells you anything.

They might do good this year, but the team just doesn’t have good chemistry. They were blaming each other, drinking in the clubhouse, etc. I think it was a good move to get a new GM, and field mangers because they just needed a change. Yes, they were on a good run until that happened, but as a team, they have to keep working and make it in to the playoffs.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- First of all, sorry your comment didn’t get through. For some reason, the spam filter caught your comment and held it there. As for the comment itself, you really don’t think that the Red Sox will do that well this year? I understand that both the Field and General Managers left, but they were on a spectacular pace before they hit their rut, and that was WITH all the underperforming players. In these entries a “B” means a pretty good improvement. A “C” is the team remaining the same. Anything above that would be improvin, anything below that would be worsening (in terms of talent that is. I could have a team with a C+ and have them doing worse than the previous year in terms of Wins or vice-versa).

Kristen- I do kind of see that. The only thing is that they also lost a couple of “clubhouse” guys,and we can only see how Vicente Padilla fits into that image. As I understand it, he is one to turn clubhouses against him. Then again, that could unite them. As for Lackey, I’m the same exact way. As you may know, I grew up a Yankee fan. Although I did try and give the Red Sox a chance, (I made them my third favorite team for about four years) I just can’t stand them for whatever reason. So I was scared what Lackey would do for that rotation, but now I’m ecstatic. The same was true for Daisuke, J.D. Drew, and Carl Crawford. I see how good the Red Sox are without these players performing and eating up salary. It’s scary to think what would happen if the Red Sox developed people like Pedroia and Youkillis and had some extra money to spend.

Jeff- Pitching definitely is a big question. I really don’t like how the Yankees’ and Red Sox’s (that *is* right isn’t it?) pitching rotations get overreacted to. I remember people saying at the beginning of last year that the Red Sox had the best rotation in MLB and Yankee fans though they were going nowhere with their rotation. I remeber people raving the year that Sabathia signed that the Yankees were hands-down the best rotation inthe Majors with Sabathia,Burnett, and Wang. I say, stop, pitching isn’t exactly a hallmark of the AL East. I’m not saying that the AL East can’t potentially be home to the best rotation in the league, but it seems like whichever pitcher is on the open-market is suddenly one of the top 5 pitchers in the league when the pitcher, in reality, isn’t even in the top 10. I personally have “wait and see” approach to Valetine. The reason being, I remeber his name being mentioned various times as the Mets’ manager, but I really don’t know anything about his style and don’t have even a mild grasp of how good of a manager he REALLY is compared to Francona. I think I’ll keep my eyes lower on the map when looking for drama, though.

Pitching is a question mark. I like Valentine at the helm though. This should be yet another good year of high flyin’ drama!
–Jeff

It seemed to me that the Red Sox went out of their way to sign good clubhouse guys with the few moves they did make. Will these intangibles prove greater than the sum of the signings’ more tangible skills? Won’t know until we play. And regarding Lackey, yeah, what a difference a team switch makes. I was so disappointed when the Angels weren’t able to re-sign him. Now I’m thrilled.
— Kristen

I’m personally a Red Sox fan, but I do not think they will do so good this year. I agree with your grade for the team.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

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