Change is important. The prospect of change is what led to Barack Obama becoming our 44th president. And when it came to the off-season for the Boston Red Sox, change was very good.
I love the improvements that Theo Epstein made to his lineup. Say goodbye to Jason Bay, Billy Wagner, Takashi Saito, and Alex Gonzalez. Au revoir to seeing Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek as everyday players. It’s time to say hello to the new guys that are going to lead the Red Sox to the 2010 World Series.
The best available pitcher on the market is now locked up for five years in Boston. Lackey is a bulldog that will give the Sox another #1 pitcher that will win 15+ games and throw 200 innings. A trio of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and John Lackey has to scare the crap out of the New York Yankees. Great move.
Here’s a guy that defends his position well, hits for average, steals a few bases, and solidifies the shortstop position until Jose Iglesias is ready, hopefully in two years.
37-year-old centerfielders aren’t usually my cup of tea, but the word around MLB is that Cameron is a great clubhouse guy, plays Gold Glove defense, and has a swing tailor-made for smacking doubles off the Green Monster. He’ll be another bridge for the Sox young outfielders.
This guy didn’t hit his weight last year, fractured one of his testicles (doesn’t wear a cup), and was rumored to be asking for a 5-year, $65 million free-agent contract. Boston landed him on a 1-year, $10 million deal. He’ll be a huge improvement defensively over the aging Mike Lowell. He plays a sick 3rd base and has a laser-rocket arm. I think he’ll hit 25 homeruns, bat .270 and win the Gold Glove.
The great thing about these moves is that it didn’t cost Boston any of its prospects. If these moves falter, Theo Epstein still has the resources to make a significant deal at the trade deadline.
Pitching and defense wins championships. Boston is poised to win another one.