It’s incredible to think that almost every offseason acquisition by the Boston Red Sox is no longer with the team. No, that’s not a typo. Literally, every addition except one, Edward Mujica, is no longer with them. Looking back at the 2014 offseason for the Red Sox, it’s easy to see that it was an absolute failure.
During the offseason, the Red Sox added Grady Sizemore, A.J. Pierzynski and Chris Capuano. For those three players, that cost the Red Sox $11.25 million dollars. Think about that for a minute, $11 million dollars for a 38-year-old catcher, a player who hasn’t played in a major league game in over four years, and a relief/starting pitcher who owns a career ERA of 4.28. Oh, let’s not forget that Nelson Cruz, who’s having a phenomenal year for the Baltimore Orioles, signed a one-year deal for $8 million dollars. My head hurts.
I will never understand the lack of interest in Cruz. The Red Sox were relying on an outfield that consisted of Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, and a platoon of Jackie Bradley Jr and Sizemore. How did they honestly think that would work out? Sure, you might catch lightning in a bottle with Sizemore, I was even on board after his great spring training. But other than that, you have Victorino who’s always injured, Gomes who really can’t hit, and Bradley Jr., who hasn’t shown he can hit at a major-league level. Signing Cruz, even for that one-year deal, could have not only helped their production in the outfield this season, but if they weren’t planning on keeping him, could have traded him at the deadline. Who wouldn’t want Cruz right now as he approaches 30 home runs before the All-Star break?
Pierzynski has been ridiculed all season and quite frankly, his reputation gives people that right. However, the anguish people have, saying they should have kept Jarrod Saltalamacchia doesn’t make much sense. Red Sox Nation is clamoring for a catcher who’s hitting .225 for the Miami Marlins? I’m sorry, where is the appeal here again? Saltalamacchia did sign a friendly contract, no doubt about that. But with Christian Vazquez ready to play in the majors, the Red Sox made the right move on that front. Yes, they wasted money on Pierzynski, but it isn’t as bad as everyone is making it out to be.
Capuano, I don’t really have any gripes about. He was clearly bullpen depth, which every team could use. I’m honestly surprised he was let go. He wasn’t horrible and he wasn’t great. He showed some flashes of brilliance during the season, but he certainly wasn’t even close to being the biggest issue with the Red Sox. If they end up trading starters during the trade deadline, Capuano could have been nice depth to slide into the rotation if needed.
All in all, the Red Sox never really seemed to have a set direction in which they were going this year. It’s clearly evident as they are basically out of the playoff race already, and we haven’t even reached the All-Star break. If history shows any patterns, we can expect a World Series victory for the Red Sox next year. I just wouldn’t hold my breath.
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