Will 2011 Be Worse For The Red Sox Than 2010?

ST. PETERSBURG - AUGUST 29: Outfielder Daniel Nava #60 of the Boston Red Sox catches this fly ball against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on August 29 2010 in St. Petersburg Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

I posted last night recent thoughts from Globe columnist Tony Massarotti regarding the current state of the Red Sox. Mazz, like always, wrote a column that could incite a comment even from a casual Red Sox fan, whether that be good or bad. Here's what really stuck out in my head though:

Remember: there is precedent for this sort of thing, thanks largely to the disclosures of "Feeding the Monster," the Seth Mnookin book that gave us a clear look inside the operating system of the Red Sox. In a meeting prior to the 2005 season, Theo Epstein warned team business personnel that 2005 and 2006 were likely to be transitional years for the franchise. That is something we should remember now. At the moment, 2011 projects to be worse than 2010, and something suggests that Red Sox officials know it.

Now what exactly does he mean by that? You know, considering he doesn't exactly back up his statement.

Is it because in 2011 every player will be one year older? Because that's the only thing I can really think of that is even halfway feasible.

To clarify, yes, there are some downsides heading into 2011 at this point, but that happens with every season. Adrian Beltre, the Red Sox's best player this season, will be a free agent. Questions surrounding the longterm contracts of two ineffective pitchers (do I need to mention the names Josh Beckett and John Lackey?) will weigh heavy. Questions if prospects are ready to contribute in 2011 will arise early and often.

But that is your typical offseason.

At this point, the positives far outweight the negatives. The Red Sox will have a lot of money flexibility with a few big contracts (namely David Ortiz and Mike Lowell) coming off the books. Flexibility, really, is the key to any good offseason and the Red Sox will have that. Not to mention, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz should only get better after another year in the bigs.

Considering we don't know how 2010 will finish and we really do not have a good read on 2011, is Mazz right? Is 2011 going down the same sink hole as 2010 is going down? Or are bright skies ahead?

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