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The Red Sox loading for what passes for bear in 2011

Dec 1, 2009, 4:00 PM EDT

Could the Red Sox be biding their time this offseason and waiting to score big in the 2010-2011 offseason? MLB.com’s Ian Browne — and payroll math — suggests so.  After noting the blah free agent class this year, Browne writes:

. . . if you fast forward to next year at this time, general manager Theo
Epstein and his crew of assistants will be in a far more enviable spot,
one that could land them major stars who may have the impact that the
Yankees felt from CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett en route
to a 2009 World Series championship . . . When you add up the 2010 salaries of David Ortiz ($12.5 million), Mike
Lowell ($12 million), Josh Beckett ($12 million), Victor Martinez ($7
million), Jason Varitek ($3 million) and Julio Lugo (the Red Sox owe
their former shortstop $9 million in ’10), that leaves a potential $55
million that will come off the books.

So who’s available next year? Joe Mauer, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Lance Berkman, Carlos Pena,
Carl Crawford, Halladay, Brandon Webb, Jayson Werth and Cliff Lee.

Um, well, that’s no Teixeira and Sabathia, is it?  I mean, Mauer is probably going to sign in Minnesota, right?  Jeter and Rivera are old and would never go to Boston anyway. Berkman ain’t young. Pena is not an impact player for a team like Boston. Crawford is nice but has likely peaked, as have Werth and Cliff Lee, in all likelihood. Halladay, maybe. Webb, maybe, if he recovers from injury. But none of those guys are game changers.

Nice theory, I guess. And of course, payroll flexibility is always a good thing. But it strikes me that if the Sox are going to make a splash, it’s going to be via trades, not signings.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Dec 1, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    Thanks for dis-assembling any great moves the Sox have in mind for the next couple of years.
    On the “salary cap” post, anything John Henry proposes will probably help the Universe more than the Nation.

  2. JudyJ - Dec 1, 2009 at 4:42 PM

    It would really be something if Rivera went to Boston – what would Pappelbon do then? All kidding aside, they can’t wait until the following year. They need to use a patch kit this offseason. Just think they got a share of the Playoff Pot – for finishing second and staying home. The list above is made up of players who in the Yankees minds go: got it, got it, will get it, will get it and don’t need it – and not in any particular order. GO YANKEES!! WORLD CHAMPIONS!!

  3. Simon DelMonte - Dec 1, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    Maybe they’re clearing cap money for LeBron?

  4. Jberardi - Dec 1, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    Does $55 million buy you a Roy Halladay extension, a Matt Holliday signing, and a Joe Mauer signing the next year? That’d work just fine, I think…

  5. Josh in DC - Dec 1, 2009 at 5:33 PM

    Carl Crawford is past his prime?
    http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs/1201_OF_season_mini_8_20091006.png
    They’ll also be able to spend a billion dollars to get Mauer, if he’s available.

  6. HolyCrapYankeeFansAre Dumb - Dec 1, 2009 at 8:34 PM

    Judy, Len (and the author of this piece) prove that intelligence has gone down GREATLY in this country.
    Even Yankee fans I know talk about next year’s free agent class as being great. Only Craig, that authored this above post, has suggested otherwise.
    BTW – Yankee fans sure are proud of going 9 years and 2 billion U.S. dollars between championships. Only Cashman could screw up that badly.

  7. HolyCrapJudy - Dec 1, 2009 at 8:39 PM

    “The list above is made up of players who in the Yankees minds go: got it, got it, will get it, will get it and don’t need it – and not in any particular order. GO YANKEES!! WORLD CHAMPIONS!!”
    I blame your mother for being your mother.
    You are beyond retarded.
    BTW – Your post is why a salary cap is needed. God Bless football!!!!!!

  8. Cru11 - Dec 1, 2009 at 9:22 PM

    Believe me, Cliff Lee has not peaked. He averages 212 IP a year. Lets say in the worst case scenario that he does start to deteriorate, he can still probably give you 175 solid innings. Hes one of the most dominant forces out there and if he does indeed stay in the NL long term…scary.

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