Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Little Wintertime Baseball

To break up the monotony of hockey posts going on around here lately (give us a break, it's all we've got here), I thought I would lay down a little baseball for you all. If you are a Red Sox fan, feel free to keep reading. If you aren't (cough Tiger cough), you might as well just stop here...

Unless you've been living under a rock this week, you know that baseball's winter meetings have been going on. In reality, it's just a bunch of free agent signings disguised as GM meetings. Anyways, in a rare showing of spending money, the Red Sox have landed two of the biggest deals of this off-season thus far. No, I'm not talking about Cliff Lee (who's going to the Yankees, just accept it now). I'm talking about the signing of Carl Crawford and the trade for Adrian Gonzalez. The Crawford signing came as a shock to a lot of people in baseball, especially since it was widely assumed that he would be heading to Anaheim to play with his buddy Torii Hunter. Instead, Crawford inked a huge deal late last night that will lock him up in the AL East for 7 more years. The 29 year old will be making about $20.28 million per year for those seven years, bringing this near-record contract to a total worth of $142 million. While with the Devil Rays last season, Crawford batted .307 with 19 homers, 90 rbi's, and 47 stolen bases. Carl raped the Red Sox on the base paths all year last year, so you've got to be happy that he will no longer be playing against us and instead by tormenting opposing pitchers for us. Smart move by Epstein, taking a page right out of Belichick's playbook (grabbing Welker from the Dolphins after he threaded our defense).

The Gonzalez deal is equally monumental for the Sox. While they had to give up few top prospects - Casey Kelly being the big one - you have to be happy with acquiring an All Star caliber first basemen in the prime of his career. While no long term deal has been established the Gonzo yet, the expectations are that he will sign a deal similar in length and amount to Crawford's. The 28 year old lefty batted .298 last year, with 31 homers and 101 rbi's. It's not unreasonable to expect that his numbers will increase this season, especially with the short porch in right field.

So there you go. One week, two deals, ballgame. The Red Sox have to be considered pre-season World Series contenders at this point, even if they don't sign anybody else for the rest of the offseason. As of now, this is probably what the opening day line up would look like:

1. Carl Crawford, LF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. JD Drew, RF
7. Jason Varitek/Jared Salt., C
8. Marco Scutaro, SS
9. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF

Are you kidding me? That's at least 4 All Stars right there - Crawford, Pedroia, Gonzalez, Youkilis. Do everybody a favor and just hand us the World Series now. We'll save you the embarrassment of mauling you later.

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