Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Red Sox Sign Shane Victorino... Why?

The Red Sox continue to spend money, this time signing Shane Victorino to a 3 year deal worth $39 million. $13 million per season seems like a lot for a 32 year old who has never hit 20 homeruns in a season and had an OBP of .321 last year, and slugged .383.

He's a decent fielder, but who cares? He steals bases, and again, who cares? He doesn't hit for power, he doesn't get on base, and he'll be paid $13 million next year. Why? It just baffles me.

For 2013 the Sox have committed $31 million to Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, and Shane Victorino. That's a significant chunk of cash for a backup outfielder, a decent first-baseman, and a glorified Carl Crawford.

It seems weird to give Shane Victorino so much money yet be so stingy with Cody Ross.

Do these seem like wise spending decisions? Thankfully, all of these deals are short-term.

Here's what I think the Red Sox are trying to do: They want the 2013 and 2014 Red Sox to finish above .500, and at least seem close to contending during the summer. That will keep fans interested, keep Fenway's seats full (at least keep tickets "distributed"), and create the illusion of improvement.

To actually fix the problems with this team will take 3 or 4 years. I think the Sox know this. What they're doing is overpaying for marginal temporary improvements while the long-term solutions are being addressed. It's like overpaying for a condo while your house is being built. Because the alternative is being left out in the rain.

Once again, PR and ticket sales seem to be steering this team's decision-making.

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