Thursday, December 9, 2010

Red Sox show they really mean business

Missing the playoffs apparently did not sit well with the Boston Red Sox, who are showing they mean business by making a big splash in the baseball offseason.

The Red Sox had to watch helplessly as the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays advanced to the postseason in 2010. They seem intent on doing everything they can to ensure that doesn't happen again, spearheading a major trade and a new contract with two of the best young stars in the game.

The Saux have pulled off some pretty good trades in the last decade – Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett – and their deal for Adrian Gonzalez looks like another one. The youngster already has 168 career homers and 525 ribbies, most of which came while playing half his games in pitcher-friendly Petco Park for the San Diego Padres. Imagine the damage Gonzalez is going to do at Fenway Park.

Taking a page right out of the Yankees playbook, the Saux then threw tremendous stacks of cash at one of the top free agents on the market in Carl Crawford. It's a fantastic move for them, giving them speed at the front of their lineup as he brings his 765 runs and more than 400 stolen bases to Fenway. Signing Crawford also seriously weakens the Rays – not that they had any chance to keep him with the dollars he wanted and deserved – and limits the Yankee options in the rest of the free-agent class, something I'm sure the Boston front office is well aware of and practically giddy about.

Will it be enough to topple the Yankees? Hopefully not if Cliff Lee takes all the dollars the Yankees are going to throw at him. It might be enough to pass the Rays, who lost two key cogs in their lineup this week in Crawford and Carlos Pena although they still have their young pitching studs who could keep them in competition with their division rivals. But the moves should satisfy all the naysayers who didn’t like what the wild card did to the American League East this year by assuring a fight to the finish in 2011. Makes me wish spring training was already here.

Thanks to Keith Allison and Djh57 via Wikipedia for the photos.

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