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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Red Sox $300 Million on Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez Is Money Well Spent

The offseason after finishing 3rd in the division with an 89-73 record, the New York Yankees went on a massive spending spree. They signed pitcher CC Sabathia to a 7-year $161 million deal, first baseman Mark Teixeira to an 8-year $180 million deal, and A.J. Burnett to a 5-year $82.5 million contract. In one offseason the Yankees tied up $420 million but the moves paid off — they won the World Series in 2009.

Last season, the Boston Red Sox went 89-73 and finished 3rd in the AL East. Much like the ’08 Yankees, the ’10 Red Sox were crushed by injuries and fell below expectations. As a response, they went on a massive spending spree this winter, and there still is time for more moves to be made.

First, the Red Sox finally acquired Adrian Gonzalez, a player they long had coveted, in a trade with the Padres. Though Boston gave up Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes, they’re getting a slugger who bashed over 30 home runs in four straight seasons and has a lifetime OPS of .875 despite hitting in the spacious Petco Park. On top of his offense, Gonzalez is a fantastic fielder and said to be a great clubhouse leader. Boston reportedly will give him a 7-year $154 million extension and hope he’s recovered from shoulder surgery in time for the start of the season in April.

Their next splash came late Wednesday evening when it was reported that the Red Sox had agreed on a 7-year $142 million deal with Carl Crawford. The move was a surprise because the Angels were said to be closing in on an agreement with Crawford until Boston whipped out the checkbook. Crawford is 29 years old and will be making just over $20 million per season based on the deal that runs until he’s 36. Crawford is a four-time All-Star, lifetime .296 hitter, and speedster who steals 50 bags per year while slugging over .450.

Both Gonzalez and Crawford are young stars who should age well and seem to be complete players. Though Boston committed a ton of money this offseason, they seemed to have chosen their players quite well. They also immediately have put together one of the scariest lineups in the league. From top-to-bottom, here’s how they look:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Carl Crawford, LF
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
6. David Ortiz, DH
7. J.D. Drew, RF
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
9. Marco Scutaro, SS

I actually would bat Pedroia leadoff, Crawford second, Youk third, Gonzalez fourth, and move Ellsbury to 7th, but I don’t think that’s what they’ll do. Regardless, their lineup is absolutely stacked. Even with injuries they’ll still be darn good. Oh yeah, let’s also not forget how awesome thier rotation is between Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Dice-K, and Clay Buchholz is. It’s a good time to be a Boston fan.



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