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The Red Sox didn't exactly replace Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett with star players.
The Red Sox likely won’t lose 93 games again in 2013.
However, on paper, its roster may be worse than it was at the start of 2012.
The Red Sox did not replace Crawford with a stud, but a similar type of player who will cost $8 million less per year.
Victorino had arguably the worst season of his career in 2012 and is in decline, and Gomes also played just 99 games last season. Crawford struggled and was frequently injured the last two seasons with the Red Sox, but he’s one of the best outfielders in the league when he’s healthy.
The Red Sox did not replace Beckett with a potential ace, but with a No. 3 starter who costs almost $4 million less and struggled in his short tenure in the AL in 2012.
Dempster thrived as an NL pitcher with the Cubs, but wasn’t so great with the contending Rangers. Beckett is three years younger and just $3.5 million more expensive than the new addition.
But, he still shows flashes of being an ace. After leaving the Red Sox, he posted a 2.93 ERA and a 2.65 ERA in September with the Dodgers. Beckett is also just one year removed from posting a 2.89 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and .211 BAA in 2011.
And, the Red Sox did not replace Gonzalez with a star slugger, for the free-agent class was thin on first basemen, but Napoli, who costs $8 million less and will also pepper the Green Monster.
Gonzalez is a Gold Glove fielder and one of the best hitters in the league when healthy (and not amidst a Red Sox collapse).
The three new additions save the team almost $20 million, but the Red Sox filled half of that difference by adding shortstop Drew for $9.5 million. Drew struggled in 2012 and will cost the team $8 million more than Aviles did. Aviles had a greater average and slugging percentage than Drew did in 2012.
On top of that, Gomes is replacing Ross for $2 million more. Ross crushed the ball at Fenway Park and played 31 more games and hit better against lefties than Gomes did in 2012.
You can make the argument either way, but for now, the Red Sox will try to contend with its new players, which are inferior to last year's.
That is, if they can contend.