The Red Sox are becoming quite insufferable with their ability to accrue big bats and spend large amounts of money. You don’t have to like John Henry and his wallet in Merseyside, Boston, or online shopping kiosks, but you have no choice but to respect the way he flaunts it when he buys something (or someone) he doesn’t need.
By Peter Zampa – Lead MLB Writer – @pzamp
Boston had a massive offseason on the offensive side of the game, signing postseason monster Pablo Sandoval to fill their needs at third base and superstar shortstop-turned-left fielder Hanley Ramirez to fuel a lineup that struggled much of last year. However, it is possible to do too much in one area and neglect another, and that is what the Sox have done by signing Yoan Moncada.
Whatever you know about the teenager’s play in Cuba, it doesn’t matter, because he looks like your classic, Latino muscleman, born to tear the cover off baseballs and probably living the life of a hunter-gatherer because he trusts no one but himself to cook the finest meat. That’s off-topic but I like where I was going with that.
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Anyway, the point of the Red Sox signing the most highly-touted Cuban prospect of right now (tomorrow there will be another from Havana with the same build and potential who crushes the baseball and proceeds to go home, eat steak, lift more weights, all while stealing your girlfriend) is that they just don’t need him. I like the “Yankee attitude” of buying everyone from this country and the next because they want to build a formidable lineup like never before and also because they can. But the Red Sox, right now, do not have a postseason pitching rotation – arguably the only thing you need to win a championship.
Do I think the Red Sox are done buying players at will? No. Cole Hamels has expressed interest and the Sox have done so in him. But the point is, the bats keep coming, and the arms are nowhere to be seen. The bullpen is putrid; the starting rotation is full of arms that would fit fine in a third-to-fifth spot in any rotation. They simply do not have the arm that will take them to the promise land. Rick Porcello slated to be the number one pitcher is not a solution to a horrific 2014 campaign, and I do believe that Henry and co. will address that glaring issue.
But for right now, Henry is spending money like he’s rich or something, and that is fine. Just so long as he starts spending on the right players, and knows that the combination of a star-studded lineup and extraordinarily mediocre pitching will lead to winning a struggling division and a first-round playoff exit.
You can’t win the big ones without pitching – even if you’re international bon vivant John Henry.