Monday, August 27, 2012

'Back To The Future' For Re-Tooling Red Sox

A year ago today, your Boston Red Sox were riding high—31 games over .500 (82-51 and in first place in the American League East). On this sunny Monday morning a year later, we are 6 games under .500. However, you could make the case that the state of the franchise is better today than 365 days ago. The Quarter-Billion Dollar Trade engineered by Ben Cherington has had a cleansing effect on the culture and finances of the Carmine Hose. Magic Johnson has stepped forward and taken a ton of bad salary obligations off our back—allowing BenCher to re-calibrate the Red Sox as prudent spenders going forward. Make no mistake about it, they will still have to be spenders—big spenders as early as this off-season. But the not-so-subtle message being sent by this deal is that the Late Theo Period knee-jerk spending (for spending's sake) has ended. Plucking a Carl Crawford off the shelf just because you can is no longer the modus operandi at Yawkey Way.

Look for the Red Sox to scan the rosters of small and middle market teams and identify those players who are in-line for big salary jumps. Boston can be the 'White Knight' for these franchises by trading for their younger talented players (who have already proven their worth) and pay them more than their existing teams can. Call it Moneyball 2.0. It will be fun this off-season to guess where the Sox might prowl for this kind of talent—and also which "prudent" free agent signings they can pull off. It will be an off-season unburdened by the heavy weight of $250 million gone west. Bring it on.