Hmmm...let's see here. What do these three signings have in common?
-Two weeks ago, the Red Sox signed SP Brad Penny to a one-year contract. Penny was largely ineffective in 2008 and missed lots of time because of shoulder tendinitis and other ailments. But IF Penny is healthy in 2009, he could give the Red Sox a major boost in the rotation.
-Tonight, the Red Sox reportedly came to terms with local boy OF Rocco Baldelli on a contract. Baldelli has been dealing with a rare mitochondrial disease over the past few seasons, which has prevented him from getting on the field. But, IF Baldelli is healthy, he could provide a boost off the bench for the Red Sox and add depth to an already deep team.
-Also tonight, the Red Sox appear to be close to signing former CY Young award winner John Smoltz to a one year contract. The 41-year-old Smoltz missed most of 2008 because of shoulder surgery that threatened to end his tremendous career.
But IF Smoltz is healthy in 2009, he could be an invaluable asset to an already strong Red Sox pitching staff in either the rotation or the bullpen.
Folks, that's a lot of ifs. We do not know the final terms, but the Red Sox likely spent between $12-$18 million bucks up front on these question marks.
You have to like these moves because each is a low risk, high reward move that could pay off big time for the Red Sox in the future. At the same time, it's impossible to know exactly what kind of contribution the Sox will get from any of these guys. The Sox need to assume that they will get nothing out of these guys and think of whatever production they get as a bonus.
It's funny to watch the Yankees spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the best free agents while the Red Sox scour the injured to find someone who could potentially help them in 2009.
Gotta love the question marks!