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The Catastrophic Off Season Scenario

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One of my favorite non-Red Sox blogs is certainly Baseball Time in Arlington: I think Joey Matches and his crew provide some of the best Texas Rangers analysis out there. Anyway, 2 days ago I came across this story by Josh Garoon. It was, in the author's words, "a speculative, cynical, and entirely tongue-in-cheek look ahead" and it left me thinking "What would be the equivalent for my beloved club?".

We'll find out after the jump.

November 27, 2010: Billy Beane and the A's hold a press conference to introduce their new third baseman Adrian Beltre. "Moving back to the West Coast was a priority for me and my family" declared the defensive wizard. Sure, and having a 5-year contract worth $ 64.5 million dollars doesn't hurt either.

November 29, 2010: Grant Balfour accepts salary arbitration offer from the Rays.

December 2, 2010: The Baltimore Orioles win the rights to negotiate with Japanese Shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who was posted by the Chiba Lotte Marines. The Red Sox sign Type A Free Agent reliever Scott Downs to a 3 years contract worth $ 21 millions.

December 6-9, 2010: Baseball's Winter Meetings begin in Orlando, Florida. The New York Yankees trade Manny Banuelos, Phil Hughes and Eduardo Nunez to the Marlins for Josh Johnson. "We're not done yet" declared an enthusiastic Brian Cashman to the media. The Rays send Grant Balfour, Jake McGee and Kelly Shoppach to the Angels in exchange of Mike Napoli. "We had pretty good production out of the RF position in 2009 by platooning Kapler/Gross, we feel like doing it again at the catcher position. Mike will also see sometime at First base and the DH spot. We're obviously thrilled to have him"  declared Andrew Friedman to The St. Petersburg Times. The Red Sox trade Marco Scutaro to the San Diego Padres in exchange of RP Tim Stauffer and a PTBNL.

December 12, 2010: The Orioles signs Derek Lee to a 1 year/ $9 Million deal two days after reaching an agreement with Nishioka on a 4 years contract.

December 14, 2010: Ken Rosenthal tweets

Cliff Lee, Yankees close to an agreement #mlb #Yankees #Rangers

1 hour later:
Both parties reach an agreement: 5 years/ $125 Million pending medicals #mlb #Yankees
December 15, 2010: Dan Shaughnessy writes a column in the Boston Globe in which he claims that the Henry Group is more focused on Liverpool soccer club, have given up on the season already and the fans should "punish" them  in return by ending the sold out streak.

December  17, 2010: T.R Sullivan is reporting that the Texas Rangers have reached a 4 years/ $ 52 millions with free agent catcher Victor Martinez. Experts view this signing as a reaction to the Lee signing and a strong message from Nolan and his group to their fanbase that they're committed to compete for a title.

December 19, 2010: Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein in the Dale & Holley show "We have the resources to sign one or two of the big names on FA market and we're still talking with many of them". In response to the trade rumors about the Red Sox looking for a right handed hitting catcher "We're talking to other teams about some trade proposals that I can't obviously discuss in public".

December 21, 2010: MLB Fanhouse reports that the Braves and the Red Sox negotiations about catcher David Ross were inconclusive. The Tampa Bay Rays trade Jason Bartlett to the Cincinnati Reds for Nick Masset.

December 22, 2010: Red Sox sign J. Varitek to a one year/ $1.2 million contract. "Saltalamacchia will be our primary catcher. Tucky [catching instructor Gary Tuck] REALLY loves him" Terry Francona tells reporters in a conference call.

December 27, 2010: Boston Red Sox sign Carl Crawford to 7 years/$120 million deal. When asked if the team have any concerns about Crawford's knees after playing 8 years on turf, Theo Epstein says " Dr Gill and his staff are very confident that this will be a non-issue". In response to the reporters questions about who's going to play third base, the Red Sox GM's answer is Kevin Youkilis. "We feel like Lars Anderson is ready to handle first base at the major league level". When asked if this Crawford signing represent the organization last significant move for the off season, Epstein answer is "Yes, we're very happy with the roster we've assembled, and we feel we'll be competitive once again this season".

February 13, 2011: Pitchers and catchers report.

The point of this post is that we play in the most competitive division in baseball: All the teams playing in the AL East have deep farm systems and competent front offices who are not shy of making trades and being creative with the use of their resources. Misreading the market or not pulling the trigger when a good opportunity presents it self could have catastrophic consequences.