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I'd Rather Pay a PENNY

By: Lena Finnerty


The Red Sox failed to make a splash this off-season, caught in the ripple of the Yankees’ 400 million-dollar wake. Although the Sox didn’t make any flashy moves this winter, they made smart ones. If history has shown us anything, low-risk, high-reward contracts have worked for the Red Sox in the past.

Let’s rewind to the 2002-03 off-season.

Theo Epstein and Co. have made several high-impact signings, for example… the Red Sox signed third baseman Bill Mueller just before the start of the season for $4.2 million. Mueller batted .326 and won the batting title that year. David Ortiz, a virtual unknown, was released by the Twins and picked up by the Sox for the bargain price of $1 Million a year. We all know what happened after that… Big Papi became a folk-hero in Beantown, making 5 All-Star appearances, and holds the Sox record for single season homers at 54. Don’t forget ‘cowboy up’ first baseman Kevin Millar, who had 96 RBI’s after signing with the Sox. Theo and crew have adopted Billy Bean’s mentality, signing players who are low-risk, high-reward. In 2003 the Sox went to game 7 of the ALCS, and in 2004 they won it all. The Yanks may take all of the headlines, but we’re taking home the championships.

Fast-forward to this past off-season.

This winter the Red Sox added some guys that most said were down and out, but there’s an upside… If CC Sabathia and Burnett win 35 games for the Yankees, then it was worth the $243.5 million. But if not… Yanks fans will spark radio waves across 66 WFAN, asking the question, were they really worth it? Now say Brad Penny and John Smoltz win 27 games in Red Sox uniforms… then the loud mouths on WEEI 850 will be singing their praises! Once again Theo Epstein will look like a genius, saving dough on both older players and an older ballpark... as opposed to the Yankees, which Sox CEO Larry Lucchino said, “have spent like the U.S. Congress.”

So what if the Sox missed out on CC Sabathia? Since 2006, he’s pitched close to 700 innings, which is more than any other Major Leaguer. He’s struggled with his weight from the start of his career, and could break down at any time! Brad Penny on the other hand, got two All-Star nods with LA in ’06 & ’07 and won 32 games, which was more than both Sabathia and Burnett. Penny is doing all of the right things, and if his shoulder heals, and he makes it onto the Sox rotation, then he could do big things.

Maybe the Red Sox will get dominated by Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixeira over the next few years, or…maybe the Yankees will regret their long-term commitments, if not in 2009, then after. But…I’d rather pay a penny, and roll the dice.

2 comments:

  1. I agree nice article I enjoyed
    Catman

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice article. Hopefully the past will hold true through this season, Go Sox!

    ReplyDelete