So how’s your off-season been?
Today the Red Sox are introducing their newest acquisitions OF Mike Cameron, and P John Lackey. Signing the elderly Cameron to a short-term deal wasn’t terribly surprising. He’s a little worse a hitter than Jason Bay, but a much better defender, and far cheaper than either Bay or Holliday. It’s a classic Theo signing. The Lackey deal on the other hand, did catch me off guard.
One of the criticisms of Theo Epstein following the magical 2004 season was that he let too many of the “core” players leave, especially Orlando Cabrera since that move initiated the black hole of suck that has defined the SS position ever since. With that in mind I came across the following three tidbits just now.
Orlando Cabrera granted Free Agency – (LAAoA) 4/32 – Pick recieved netted Ellsbury
Derek Lowe granted Free Agency. – (LA) 4/36 – Pick recieved netted Craig Hansen
Pedro Martinez granted Free Agency. – (NYM) 4/52.5 – Pick received netted Clay Buchholz
So in that light I think Theo was justified in letting those three players leave. It only resulted in the team’s starting centerfielder/leadoff hitter who was a vital cog in the 2007 title, one of the better young pitchers in the game who seems to have finally figured things out, and a mostly failed reliever who they threw in to make the Manny trade happen. Really the only one of those that hurts even in the slightest was Lowe, simply because he was an effective pitcher for the entire term of his contract, and Hansen did nothing.
The moral of this story? Simple, in Theo I trust. His moves more often than not work out in the long term.
Given Mark Teixeira’s recent decision to sign with the Yankees I don’t have the heart to even flip over to SportsCenter. It’s going to be wall to wall coverage on the Yankees and that will just make me sick. I’ve felt all offseason that the Yankees were the most logical destination for Teixeira — they needed a 1B and an in-his-prime masher — but I really, really, really wanted to see him in Boston. The Red Sox still have a good team even without Teixeira, but I’m incredibly nervous about the health of both Mike Lowell and David Ortiz. If either of those two performs like they did last year…the Sox are in a world of hurt. Obviously now is not the time for Theo to panic, but if they don’t make some kind of move to really bolster the team I will be very uneasy going into the 2009 season.