As the country sat down for turkey and then went shopping, the Red Sox shopped around a bit, but only bought one item.
We're another week into the offseason, and things remain mostly quiet in Boston. This has some folks anxious, but it's not like the rest of the league has been on fire. It appears we may be in for one of those offseasons where the market doesn't really figure itself out until we're within sight of the winter meetings, at which point everything will start falling into place with terrifying speed. Until then, we're left to hang about speculating on what might wind up happening.
It's not all speculation, though, as the Red Sox did make one move, signing free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes to a two-year, $10 million contract. Gomes is a reasonable pickup for the team, sort of a Cody Ross Lite. He mashes lefties (important for a team that faces CC Sabathia and David Price ten times a year) and he has well-known magical clubhouse leadership abilities (lacking in Boston lately). He's not Mike Trout, but hey, who is.
If Gomes isn't quite exciting enough for you, there were plenty of other targets hanging out on the Sox' radar. Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo would be a great pickup for Boston, although it's reported that Cleveland wants front-line pitching back for him. Good luck with that, guys. Shane Victorino's been a quietly productive player for much of his career, Marc took a look at whether his next stop ought to be Boston. Turning away from the outfield, the Sox are in need of a thumper at first base. Rumors appeared this week that they might be trying to lure Lance Berkman out of retirement for the spot, which carries some risk but potentially high reward. More likely is a signing of Mike Napoli, although that may be complicated by Napoli's apparent desire for a four-year deal.
It's not as though the roster's entirely bare, though. With their first move of the offseason, Boston acquired catcher David Ross, who's even better than he seems at first glance, once you analyze his defensive skills a bit. The infield is still anchored by Dustin Pedroia, who remains an elite second baseman. As Matt Sullivan covered this week, it's not unlikely that he'll remain so for a while yet. In addition, Boston sports a strong farm system which, although perhaps light on big names and potential superstars, should produce a number of productive major-league regulars relatively soon. As Matt Kory points out, that's actually a really valuable farm.
Several of the products of that farm have come up in the last year and produced pretty solid results for the team already. With that in mind, Bill James released his projections for player performance, and the Boston kids look like they'll be pretty good, with Will Middlebrooks projected for 29 home runs and Felix Doubront projected to make the leap to fully productive starter. With the starting pitching market suddenly looking a bit more expensive (thanks, Kansas City!) that sort of result from Doubront could be incredibly useful.
On the lighter end of things, Matt Sullivan continued the time-twisting tale of the 1912 Red Sox squad. On the not-so-light end of things, I looked at the respective merits of the Punto Trade and the Marlins Megatrade, and came away unimpressed with the Marlins.
No Pats game this weekend, but I think that Mark Sanchez fumble will keep us going for a while yet. Hopefully the Sox will sign someone soon so that we can all start overanalyzing the details of the contract. Happy weekend, all.