The Boston Red Sox did well in unloading a number of veterans with hefty contracts at the trade deadline last season, freeing up a ton of money for them to make another run at a worst-to-first turnaround in 2015. The signings of both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval will make the starting lineup drastically better as they will join David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia to make that part of the order the most dangerous in the league. That was money well spent by Ben Cherrington to boost the starting lineup in anyway possible and help the promising young prospects develop at the same time.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the pitching staff. Most of us had hoped that Jon Lester was going to return to Boston, but the Red Sox once again offered him chump change and he ended up signing a major deal with the Chicago Cubs. The Red Sox didn’t even take a glance at Max Scherzer, but I honestly wouldn’t want to sign Scherzer to a large deal either because has anyone ever even heard of Max Scherzer until the past two seasons? I knew he was in the league, but I never viewed him as the star that he is today. That doesn’t matter anymore as he is now with the Washington Nationals. I’m very disappointed that Cherrington failed to sign James Shields because he is still a good quality pitcher and wouldn’t have costed the Sox more or even remotely close to how much Lester and Scherzer were signed to. Acquiring a good quality pitcher through free agency would be an ideal thing to do, but the Cherrington apparently works a strict budget and didn’t even look at who was available.
I won’t rant all day about the poor free agent decisions Cherrington has made because he has made some good trades this offseason on the contrary. Cherrington pulled off a good trade to get a starting pitcher regardless of free agency by dealing outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers for starting pitcher Rick Porcello. My personal favorite of the two trades was when Will Middlebrooks was traded to the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Ryan Hanigan. It worked out more ways than one because the Red Sox need a catcher to a least complement one of the rookies whether it’s Blake Swihart or Christian Vasquez.
It’s been an offseason to remember with all of these acquisitions and departures. I’m happy with this current roster except one major thing; an ace. If Cherrington just dug deeper in his pockets, I would have given them a better grade. My personal grade for this offseason is a B.