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The Red Sox still have money to burn

Dec 5, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Shane Victorino AP

As we all rush to make jokes about the amount of money the Red Sox gave Shane Victorino, Alex Speier of WEEI makes a good point: the Red Sox may be spending money, but they are still considerably below the luxury tax threshold, which seems to be their bright line.  As such, they are not hamstringed or anything here. They could — just by way of example — sign or try to make a trade for expensive players like Cliff Lee or Josh Hamilton or whatever.

That’s something that’s easy to forget: a bad deal (and I think the Victorino deal is an overpay) is only truly bad if it prevents a team from doing other things it needs to do, either by pushing them past their budget or by filling up a roster spot. Neither the Mike Napoli deal (which I do like) or the Victorino deal do that, even if we don’t think they were the best deals in the world.

  1. hammyofdoom - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    I was not a huge fan of this deal when I first heard about it, but I’m coming around. Unless last year is a sign that he completely fell off the map, there have been many articles that I read that showed that Victorino could at least come close to living up to this contract in terms of WAR. If he provides gold glove defense in the toughest RF in baseball (or gets moved to CF if Ellsbury leaves) and provides some offense with his bat he will prove to be quite valuable. I think the best part of this is that it’s a 3 year deal, which does not risk the future of any of the potential stars coming up for the Red Sox. Plus, as stated, they still have the flexibility to go out and make a BIG splash if they truly want to. It took me a day or so but I’m warming up to this

  2. navyteach - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    You may end up being correct in your assumption but isn’t it a bit early to pass judgement on what is or isn’t a “bad deal”? Unfortunately, the market dictates what a guy can get on the open market. Afterall, Hunter set the market when Detroit paid him $26 million over two years. Torii has better overall stats but they aren’t that much better and he has 5+ years on Shane. Bottom line: It’s WAY too early to make proclamations on any deals signed before a guy plays a single inning in his new uniform.

    Then again, I suppose you have to talk about something…

  3. malvord13 - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Send elsbury for lee, trade lee or Lester for Myers. Move Shane to center and Myers to right.

  4. liamj55 - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    I think at this point, literally burning money might be a better option.

  5. gotampabay52 - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    They both will be on the IR by all star break………

    • shaggylocks - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      We call it the DL over here in baseball…

  6. crispybasil - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Heading into yesterday, the Red Sox needed a starting pitcher and a right fielder. Instead, they signed a 32 year-old center fielder coming off of a down season and a (perhaps minor) wrist injury to a three-year deal. This is exactly the type of signing that a team in Boston’s position should avoid.

  7. jaybird22seven - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Keep up the good work Boston. That gives the American East opponents even more wins !!!! Nice

  8. uyf1950 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    The red Sox may have “money to burn” but as was point out they like every oother MLB team have 25 active roster spots and only 25. Let’s look at who currently as of today will be taking those spots:
    Lackey
    Lester
    Buchholz
    Doubront
    Morales
    Ortiz
    Napoli
    Pedroia
    Iglesias
    Middlebrook
    Gomes
    Ellsbury
    Victorino
    Saltalamacchia
    David Ross
    Lavarnway
    Bailey
    Melancon
    Aceves
    Tazawa
    Mortensen
    Bard
    Miller
    I think that pretty much covers most everybody and that’s 23 bodies out of the 25 the MLB allows a team to carry on their active roster. And really as of right now the only 2 bench players on that list are both back up catchers (Lavarnway and Ross). So without removing someone from that list they have 2 more bodies to fill out that roster. At least one I would think would have to be a back up infielder. And please someone correct me if I’m showing a name that shouldn’t be on the list.

    So money may not be the issue for the Red Sox but roster spots very well could be.

    • mcsnide - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      Their roster is a mess. There’s no way they break camp with three catchers PLUS Napoli. You also didn’t mention Nava or Kalish. Assuming Ben actually has a plan (though nothing he’s done in the last year really has indicated that he does), one would expect to see Ellsbury traded for pitching, Victorino moved to CF, and Kalish installed in RF. Their SS situation is a mess that they absolutely will have to address. They will have to add starting pitching of some sort, as well.

      All that said, it’s Dec. 5. That roster will change dramatically by spring training, and even more by opening day. Remember how they won the 2011 World Series in December of 2010? No reason to get too excited about the roster right now.

      Hell, if I were you, I’d be more concerned about the Yankees sniffing around Nate Schierholtz. :-)

      • uyf1950 - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:38 PM

        Fortunately you’re not me. See I have confidence in Cashman and Company, he’s done very well getting the most out of low risk high reward signings. At least I’m pretty sure if they do ultimately sign him it won’t be for anywhere near the 2 years/$10MM the Sox signed Jonny Gomes for.

  9. fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    the Yankees are looking to move A-Rod, the Sox should call Cash.

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