You didn’t really think that the Boston Red Sox would just sit there and let another offseason pass by with little activity from their front office especially after what happened last year right?
The trade for former Padres first baseman and former #1 draft pick Adrian Gonzalez comes off as nothing more than a formality, especially since its been talked about since the 09 season.
The Red Sox coveted Gonzalez as a power hitting left handed bat in their lineup who could replace the numbers left behind by former slugger Manny Ramirez, and who could also be of great use in Yankee Stadium when he visits due to that infamous short porch in right field. The deal itself helps to improve an offense that needs improvement desperately.
Sure it wasn’t the Red Sox fault that Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis were both out for the majority of last season, but it was their fault for the approach that they took before the season began. Theo Epstein and company decided that they were going to try the old defense and pitching approach when adding righty John Lackey from Anaheim and obtaining Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro to play defense behind what they thought was a stout pitching staff.
Yeah… about that.
With Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matzusaka both missing most of the year with injuries and a less than stellar bullpen, the plan backfired. Scutaro and Cameron were busts, and with the injuries to their two best offensive players the Sox were out of the division race by June even with an August push. Their inability to score and produce runs without Youk and Pedroia was seen when Darnell McDonald and J.D. Drew were asked to come through with key hits in key situations. Yep that J.D. Drew. Now with Gonzalez in the fold the Sox have the most potent lineup in baseball next to the Yankees and Phillies. Potentially their lineup could have Jacoby Ellsbury in the leadoff slot (if he’s still there before the beginning of the season) followed by Pedroia, Youk, Gonzalez and David Ortiz who showed signs of the old Big Papi last year in the five hole.
It would be hard to argue against that being the best lineup in the business no matter who you put behind them (including Drew).
The question now is will that be enough for Boston or do they want to add another piece to the puzzle like a Carl Crawford? They missed out on Jayson Werth who signed a ridiculous contract with the Washington Nationals of all team and really do need to address their need of offensive outfield production. Also will they just let Beltre walk away after the great season he had at Fenway? Beltre’s bat and glove did great work for the sox last year and letting him walk would be a huge mistake even if Youkilis can play third base.
Whatever they do decide to do the Gonzalez deal is a great start. After watching last year go down the tubes in a heartbeat the Red Sox are making sure it won’t happen again and are strengthening their team for the future with 28 year-old left-handed bat of Gonzalez. You knew the Sox wouldn’t be down for too long and you know they’re not done yet. It’ll be interesting to see how and if their favorite rivals the Yankees respond.