It seemed like there used to be a time that whenever the New York Yankees would make a move the Boston Red Sox would press the panic button and counteract. Usually those moves would blow up in Boston’s face as they would go after any and all big names available. Jack Clark and Andre Dawson are fine players, but they were washed up by the time they got to Boston. And we all know how well Carl Crawford worked out in a Red Sox uniform. Well, this week the Yankees became the proud winners of the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes, signing him to a seven-year, $155 million contract. But as the Yankees are dishing out a lot of money, it has been pretty quiet in Red Sox Nation. The Yankees made a big splash, but should the Red Sox do the same thing to keep up?
There is nothing wrong with a team trying to sign the best available players. However, Boston tried that method and it flat out didn’t work. They now seem to be going about business the right and economical way by building a really strong farm system and then going from there. While New York does have a very strong rotation at this point, Boston’s rotation may be just as deep, and they now have the nice problem of having prospects such as Brandon Workman, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Henry Owens knocking on the door looking for a chance. That’s a lot of depth especially if there is an injury to any of the starters.
Tanaka is without question a top, front of the rotation starter and should certainly make New York better. However, Jon Lester, a healthy Clay Buchholz and a rejuvenated John Lackey can hold their own with any top three in MLB and could certainly give Tanaka, C.C Sabathia and Hideki Kuroda a run for their money.
It seems like the two teams are switching philosophies. As I mentioned before, I remember when the Red Sox were out there getting any free agent they could while New York had a great farm system which produced players like Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and of course, Derek Jeter. All of those guys came up at around the same time and made huge impacts within that organization. Now their biggest homegrown star is across the country with the Seattle Mariners. They have one pitcher, Ivan Nova, who came up through their system. They have a lot of talent, but what will some of those contracts look like towards the end?
So should the Red Sox counteract the Tanaka move? Maybe give Johan Santana a call, dragging his left shoulder in Fort Myers? Absolutely not. Keep on developing quality pitchers and players within the farm system. Maybe Boston will have its own version of the Core Four sometime soon.