Dealing Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford was a bold move by the Red Sox and Ben Cherington, and one that was borderline unthinkable when the Red Sox first brought that stable of superstars to town.
Even a year ago, when the Red Sox were looking like world-beaters through the middle portion of the season, the idea that the team would part ways with a handful of guys playing such a big role was never a topic of conversation. Then, last September happened, the Sox struggled through 2012 and the situation developed to the point that this weekend’s blockbuster was possible.
This photo was taken an hour after Adrian Gonzalez was introduced to the media at Fenway and came to Watertown to visit our NESN studios. On this day, I could not imagine Adrian gone during the 2012 season.
I think the Red Sox’ moves were outstanding, for countless
reasons. What do you think, Don?
— Michael Murphy
I think the moves were also very good. I very much enjoyed
watching Adrian Gonzalez hit and field and I liked him personally. I will not
forget Josh Beckett’s contributions and his competitive nature in the prime of
his time in Boston. However, I do think he found himself saying all the wrong
things at all the wrong times and never really “got it” while he was here. Josh
is one of those players who will understand more about why people disliked him
after he retires and steps away — and he’s not the first guy to do this, by the way. I
think in the end, this combination of players clearly was not going to go
anywhere this season and furthermore was likely going to cost another manager
his job. The old adage has always been you cannot fire 25 players so you fire
the manager. In this instance the firing or trading of players is a start.
Does this [trade] fast track any players up from the minors?
— James Marowski
Not entirely sure about that. I think Ben Cherington will likely
let players develop in their own time and slowly. I do not think players will
be rushed here before they are ready just because there are now many openings.
I do think there will be several September call-ups to sort of see what the
future holds and where they need to go outside the organization to fill out the
roster. I don’t think the house cleaning is fully over either. I think we are
already seeing some of the guys who were not here to begin the year and Pedro
Ciriaco is making the best of his opportunity as we speak.
Don, do you agree that Ben Cherington should be general manager
of the year?
— Rodriguez Pedro
First let me say I am a Ben Cherington fan and think he was a
very good choice to succeed Theo Epstein.
However, I think this award is based on wins and losses and not
bold moves. His move was indeed bold and maybe will lead to more wins in 2013
but for this year I do not think he fits the criteria. Now that he has cleared
himself of the long-term contracts left by Theo, he can shape the team to
his liking, rather than inheriting unmanageable contracts and
Do you think the Sox will look to James Loney to fill the
vacancy at first base or go in a different direction in the offseason? If they
go in a different direction, where do you think they look?
— Neil Axelrod
This is James Loney audition time for the next five weeks.
Offensively, there have been many questions about his power numbers, especially
for a corner infielder. That said, the market may not be best during the offseason in this category. I think his asking price will have to come down to
make himself more of possibility for the Red Sox to sign him to a multi-year
deal. So far so good, though.
Are the Sox going to sign any big players soon with all the
money they have now?
— Chris Gren
I don’t think they will soon, no. I think they will now evaluate
what they have the remainder of the season and then review what is available
and find the right fit for 2013. But, all of this will likely take place in the
winter months this offseason. I do not get the sense they are going to rush to
fill out the roster with new players for 2012, and Ben will likely chose carefully. I would not be surprised to see shorter-term contracts handed out and less
of the long term deals that they just got out underneath from.