I have to say that I'm very disappointed with the decisions by the Red Sox front office so far this offseason. Especially with what happened yesterday December 2nd. I have posted my opinion on most of these moves allready but i feel like summarizing them. Lets look at the decisions one by one:
Picking up the 12.5M $ option on David Ortiz
David Ortiz had very slow starts in back to back season. He came back strong though and finished with impressive numbers. 12.5M is certainly quite some money for an aging DH these days (compare him to Vlad, who had close numbers) but overall that was a reasonable decision by the Sox, since its just a one year commitment and Ortiz means more to the Sox than just the numbers.
Verdict: Good Move
Letting Victor Martinez walk for 4 Years and 50M $
This comes down to how long V-mart can catch. He basically has to acumulate 11 WAR to be worth his contract. 2.5 years catching should put him close to 10 WAR so i think it might be possible. The money was on the lower side of what we expected V-Mart to sign for. The judgement of that moves depends on the next one. So:
Resign Jason Varitek to 1 Year 2M $
This is simply by any means horrible, horrible, horrible. Cant phrase it any other way. That automatically makes not signing V-Mart to 4/50 bad for me, but let me explain. I believe that Tek wil be the backup with Salty starting. Salty has no options left, so he has to pass waivers to play AAA and he will never get through waivers. There might be a slim chance of the Sox trading Salty, but i doubt it. Too big of a mancrush by Theo. So the Red Sox with a 170M $ payroll will have a catching tandem that will have a hard time breaking 1 WAR. The Red Sox will therefore lose up to 2.5-4 WAR at the catcher position alone. Thats the reason why i dislike not signing V-Mart the dropoff at the position is HUGE.
Verdict Martinez: Bad Move
Verdict Varitek: Horrible Move
Tendering a contract to Papelbon
Another in my eyes a very bad move. Paps will make roughly 11M give or take a million. His steady decline will make a rebound unlikely. Without him rebounding, offering him arbitration next year to get draftpicks is extremly risky, since it will basically guarantee him 12M in arbitration a number so far above market, if he doesnt improve, that he will simply accept arbitration. So if he leaves the Sox will most likely get no draftpicks. That makes him extremly overpaid this year, since he wont generate picks very often and they are worth roughly 5M $. With this good relief free agent market spending that money on other, better and even cheaper players would have been the smarter move in my eyes.
Verdict Papelbon: Very Bad Move
The offseason is clearly not over yet but the Tek/Sal and Papelbon decisions really make me mad because I honestly believe that those severly lower our chances of making the postseason in 2011 and while I dont wanna jeopardize the future for 2011, I still believe that signing Vmart would have been better overall decision.