This is Theo's team now
More than in any offseason, Theo Epstein has put his official stamp on the upcoming Red Sox edition.
He has stuck his neck out and paid big money for both J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo — moves that the public don’t seem completely sold on — at least not yet. Obviously there was the $51.1 million bid for Matsuzaka and who knows how big the contract will be.
This is the first time, I believe, since he made the Nomar trade that Theo has completely put his cards on the table and said, "If this works, great, If not, I’m going to get carved up."
There is both high risk and high reward and it the result could be World Series or bust. I’m fascinated to see the way it all comes together.
It looks like Manny is staying, and I think that’s a good thing for J.D. Drew’s sake. He’s a strong No. 5 hitter. That would be way too much pressure for him to have to replace Man-Ram. Obviously the Red Sox are confident enough that Manny will be OK with staying. At this hour, I’d really be shocked if he isn’t in Fort Myers in February.
The one place the Red Sox are short right now is in the closer’s role. Will it be Eric Gagne? Only if the price comes down. RIght now, Gagne and agent Scott Boras are asking an awful lot (probably $6 or 7 million over one year) for a guy who has thrown 15 innings in two years.
Anyway, Theo has put his cards on the table. Let’s see if he gets black jack.