Despite the negative connotations regarding the title of this post, this is not a Red Sox-bashing article (well, maybe I’ll try to sneak in a little). The Sox have recently added the like of John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Takashi Saito, and Rocco Baldelli (who I earlier said the Yankees should go after). All of those players are high risk – high reward signings due to health concerns.
The Red Sox actually dropped a good amount of cash considering the risk, but it’s still a good investment for them. Once the Red Sox lost out on Teixiera, they really had no options left. The only real reliable (and I’m stretching the word a bit in this case) impact player left on the open market is Manny Ramirez – and there’s no way Boston is going down that road again.
The players who were left – Abreu, Dunn, Lowe, Perez, etc – all presented good probability, as in they would likely perform to expectations, but simply weren’t good enough to really represent a huge improvement in the Red Sox considering their cost. So instead, the Red Sox invested in players who have a higher ceiling but lower probability. Maybe only one or two of the 4 actually pan out, but if they do pan out, they have the potential to be an upgrade over what the Red Sox currently have.
The Red Sox might cry poverty when they lose Tex by $4 million, but the bottom line is they have the financial resources to pay for many different risks, increasing their odds they find one that will better the team.
I’m sure the Yankees would have done more of this had they not landed Teixiera – though rumor has it they may sign Freddie Garcia to a minor league deal, which is even more of a longshot to work out than the Red Sox’s moves, but it follows similar logic.