Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

‘Tis the offseason

Posted by bdowd625 on December 14, 2009

The Red Sox finally made a splash today, livening up a boring offseason by signing starting pitcher John Lackey and versatile outfielder Mike Cameron to five- and two-year deals, respectively. I know Boston fans were getting a little antsy, so this should feed the monster for a little while. Now to break down the moves.

Let’s start first with Lackey. Here are his career stats. Lackey burst onto the scene in 2002, when, as a rookie, he helped the Angels beat the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. In his eight-year career he has compiled 102 wins and a 3.81 ERA. There’s no denying the guy has good stuff and will bolster the Sox’ rotation, which is now one of the best in baseball. But he’s also battled through injuries of late and has an ERA over five in his career at Fenway Park. Plus the guy flat out said he hated playing there after the 2008 playoffs, when the Sox bitched the Angels around for the 57th time since the turn of the century. This signing could go either way. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pitch well for the first few years and then break down toward the back end of the contract. Again, though, this move makes Boston’s rotation arguably the best in baseball. And all it cost them was money.

Now to Cameron. Here are his stats. The Cameron signing is intriguing to me. Personally, I like the guy. From all accounts he plays his ass off and is generally a good guy. But by losing Jason Bay – which is pretty much a mortal lock now – the Sox are saying goodbye to some serious offensive production. Not to say that Cameron is a slouch with the bat – he hit 24 homers and drove in 70 runs last season – but this move, in addition to signing Lackey, shows that the Sox are going to be about pitching and defense. That philosophy works in the playoffs, but Boston is going to have to score runs first to get there. Either that or win a lot of 2-1 games in 2010.

As for the remaining moves the Sox could make, Clay Buchholz could be packaged with a few other top prospects to pick up the power bat they so desperately need. Maybe Miguel Cabrera or Adrian Gonzalez. Should the Sox go the Gonzalez route, they’ll have to give up quite a bit to get him. Jed Hoyer, former assistant GM for the Sox and current Padres GM, simply won’t throw away his best player without getting something big in return. He knows Boston’s farm system inside and out and he won’t allow the Sox to pull off a major heist like that on his watch.

Today’s signings went a long way in getting everyone in New England excited about baseball again. But make no mistake about it, the Red Sox aren’t done yet. And if they are, the product on the field won’t be nearly as explosive as in years past.

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2 Responses to “‘Tis the offseason”

  1. Buff1 said

    Cameron, an ex-Met plays hard. He is a good clubhouse guy and not a bad hitter – seems to hit a lot of solo HRs as his RBIs generally lag what you would expect from homers.
    One vivid memory is Beltran and Cameron colliding. He woulld seem to be wasted defensively in Fenway left field – he is fabulous fielder with great range.
    He may hit even better at Fenway as he is pull hitter

  2. Uncle Dan said

    250 avg. 20hrs. 70 rbi. strikes out a lot. NOT a big bat good defense definately not top notch. Platoon player at best, I suspect sox not done by any means.

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