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Red Sox Chairman: maybe we shoulda signed Nelson Cruz

Jul 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

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I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted that Nelson Cruz would go off this year like he has. And the Red Sox’ plan heading into the season looked solid enough that a great number of people, including this writer, thought that they’d be the favorites in the AL East and a pretty decent bet to repeat as far as such bets go.

But when you’re struggling like the Red Sox have struggled thus far, the second-guessers come out of the woodwork. It’s natural and understandable. Usually the guys who run the team being second-guessed stick to their guns and deny that they might have done something differently. But Red Sox chairman Tom Werner offered a good bit of candor in his interview with the Boston Globe over the weekend when he was asked about the Sox’ offseason moves:

“Obviously we made some mistakes and we cop to them. But we didn’t expect Shane Victorino to be on the disabled list for as long as he has been. We knew that Jackie Bradley had the potential to be a superstar but his season hasn’t been as robust as we all imagined. We’re still very confident about his potential and his defense has been fantastic. But should we have gone after Nelson Cruz? I guess so.”

That’s not an insane statement and it doesn’t represent Werner repudiating the offseason plan or anything like that. But it’s rare to see someone in his position acknowledge that, hey, maybe we could’ve done something else. Pretty refreshing to see someone like him operate in the reality all fans do when it comes to these things rather than stick to some script.

All in all: a good interview that all Sox fans should check out if they haven’t already.

  1. southpaw2k - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Kinda makes me wonder how John Lackey would have felt about playing alongside Cruz had the Red Sox signed him.

    • stex52 - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      He would have loved it because Cruz would have been hitting them for his team.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Same way he feels about Ortiz DHing for him.

      Then again, try to find something that doesn’t sit like Ben-Gay in his jock. That dude is perpetually perturbed.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        Lackey must be another candidate for some of Jeter’s junk supporters.

    • yankeefan1950 - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      He already plays alongside of David Ortiz, A.K.A the Big Whiney, and he has no problem with that.

  2. stex52 - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    And just a gentle reminder that you can buy all the Baseball Prospectus products, follow on line commentaries, make your own projections, etc. etc. etc. And the game still has to be played on the field. Would we have it any other way?

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      It’s interesting that he regrets not chasing Cruz, but has no regrets signing Stephen Drew from the Borass Baseball Academy. Of course, the Twins don’t publicly regret signing Kendrys Molasses, either.

  3. El Bravo - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    They coulda tried harder to get that Jose Abreu guy, but thankfully they didn’t, and now he is right here in the South Side of the Chi.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      Yeah, it’s interesting he didn’t name that as a regret. I understand that the Red Sox pursued him, but offered $5 million less.

  4. chip56 - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    My guess is that there are lots of other teams that also feel like they should have signed Nelson Cruz. Though if that many teams had been in Nelson Cruz then the O’s wouldn’t have gotten him for the bargain basement price that they did on a 1 year deal and, while Nelson Cruz is having a great year, remember that his original asking price was in the 3 or 4 year range.

    So I guess the question is: Are you confident enough that Nelson Cruz will be this good next year or the year after to feel like you gacked by not signing him this year?

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      I do know this. Cruz is gonna get PAID in the off-season.

      • chip56 - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        Depends on two things:
        1) his second half
        2) what he’s looking for. He’s going to be 35 next year. If he wants a 3 or 4 year deal I’m not sure he gets that regardless of how well this season plays out.

        I could see something like two years $22 million with a third year option.

      • amaninwhite - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        Definitely, because he won’t have that draft pick tied to him anymore. Which is the reason that no one else signed him this year in the first place. It’s one thing for Werner to say he’d like to have Cruz, but if Cruz had that pick tied to him again this winter, I wonder how sincere in saying that he’d actually be.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        Your next Yankees SS?

  5. zackd2 - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Buck Showalter is going to flip out in 3…2…1…

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      What for? Paying our player a compliment? A team saying they made a mistake our team did not duplicate?

  6. scoobies05 - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    John Lackey’s comments if that had happened. “Nelson is a great guy and a great teammate. the past is the past and we are happy he’s here”

    • nbjays - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      “…and that effin Chris Davis is on the ‘roids”

  7. hep3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Another great example of 20-20 hindsight. It also proves that if you produce, all past sins will be forgiven.

  8. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Nah, nah, nee boo boo!

    Signed Baltimore

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Let’s see: the whole roster overperformed expectations last season, then the team lost their starting catcher, leadoff hitter, shortstop and a starting pitcher. AThey decided to replace all of these guys with nothing, and are now acting surprised that things are not going well.

    Meanwhile, the team seems to be demanding “hometown” discounts from their current stars, seemingly unwilling to pay market price for performance despite playing in a great media market to 100% sellout crowds.

    Great franchise there.

  10. ahrmon - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    But…The Red Sox are self-appointed baseball’s moral arbiters. So I guess they would have to throw at their own player?

    • nbjays - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      It would make for interesting batting practice.

  11. bobsnygiants - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Tom should be change

  12. itsacurse - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Wait…they thought Jackie Bradley could be a SUPERSTAR? SUPERstar! Wow.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      No, they never thought that. No one ever thought that.

      They thought Jackie Bradley, Jr., would field amazingly (which he has) and bat well enough to justify his presence in the lineup. No one ever thought he’d replace Ellsbury. They did think he’s offer 80% of Ellsbury’s value at 5 percent of the cost. And they weren’t that far off.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2014&month=0&season1=2014&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

  13. tmc602014 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Is Nelson Cruz an everyday outfielder? Not anymore. Did the Red Sox need an everyday outfielder? Yes. Did the Red Sox need a new DH since the old one is just about done for (Imagine it’s Halloween, 2013)? No. Do the Red Sox have a perception problem, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses?

    • 18thstreet - Jul 14, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      He could have played left, but the Red Sox thought they had a good platoon of Nava and Gomes out there. Nava had a terrible start to the year, which blew up that plan.

      And, honestly, my hunch is that we’re going to discover that defense is more important, not less important, than we currently believe it to be, and that a guy like Cruz — an atrocious defender — has very little value as a result.

      In other words, I’m not disappointed that they didn’t go after him. Everyone makes plans. Sometimes, they don’t work out. Last year, the plans worked, so I’m not even a little annoyed.

  14. gloccamorra - Jul 14, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Tom Werner? He’s the guy who owned the Padres and let Roseanne Barr sing! If you want to know anything about the Red Sox, get your information from John Henry or Larry Lucchino.

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