This off-season offers a lot of opportunity for the Boston Red Sox to pick up some very good players that could help them get back to the top of the American League East. However, given GM Theo Epstein's continued effort to reaching for free agents, it is also an opportunity to fall flat on their face.
Here are 10 players that the Red Sox should avoid at all costs.
This guy will always be #1 on my list on guys to avoid.
Justin Duchscherer - Every off-season I see this guy mentioned as a potential Red Sox addition. Don't ask me why.....Duchscherer was injured again last year after going 2-2. His career spans a total of 32 total starts. Yes, lets slot him for the #5 spot if the Dice-K for Kosuke Fukudome rumor is true.
Thats' another pitch going by Buck
Ah, yes - John Buck. You can slot him for 115 games a year and that many strikeouts per year and have a OBP less than .300. He could be this years' version of Marco Scutaro with more members of the Blue Jays coming to Boston so that the Sox can compete on a 4th place level. Other than that, lets note that he had his one career year last year after hitting 20 HR's and driving in 66 runs.
Then the Sox can sign this guy - John Buck Part Deux
Miggy Olivo - the other member of the Toronto Blue Jays catching free agent class. Olivo has had a star-studded career with the White Sox, Mariners, Padres, Marlins, Royals, Rockies and is a "member" of the Blue Jays roster, but in name only.
Olivo never lived up to his potential. Sub .300 OBP. Career .246 batting average. Nice speed though.
Sheets knows that his career is on the brink of being over.
Ben Sheets was one of the best pitching prospects in the National League back in the day with the Milwaukee Brewers. However, his 90-92 career just shows that Sheets was never the big free-agent prospect that he and his agent thought he was after going 12-5 and 13-9 in 2007 and 2008. Then, Sheets missed the 2009 campaign and went 4-9 last year with the Oakland Athletics. Athletics is a oxymoron considering that they think that guys like Justin Duchscherer and Sheets are a part of this team and guys like Carlos Gonzalez and Matt Holiday are no longer not a part of this team.
Does this look like a guy who is healthy?
Brandon Webb is truly a sad story. After 5 years of going 200 plus innings between 2004 and 2008, Webb has missed the last two seasons. He was one of the best pitchers in the game during those five seasons and had he been able to duplicate that for another 7, he would have already been a borderline Cy Young candidate, in the same mold of Pedro Martinez. However, he has been hurt and anyone even considering taking this guy on cannot depend on him to make a showing in 2011. Pass.....
Kerry Wood's Elbow - Made in Titanium
Kerry Wood is now a set-up man. He is not a closer and definitely no longer considered to make spot starts. He is rumored to have an interest in going back to the Cubs and let 'em have at it. They know his history. The Red Sox should go after a more dependable arm and he has not been it for a couple of years.
Young - 36 starts in the last 3 years
Chris Young was a 6' 7" starting pitcher that a lot of scouts thought was going to be the next big thing. High strikeout ratios. Big Frame. Unfortunately, bad elbow. At age 31, he is 48-34 and has not pitched a full season since 2007. Someone is going to take a flier on this guy. Hopefully, it is not the Boston Red Sox.
A.J. Pierzynski - Mr. Personality
If the Sox are not going to keep Victor Martinez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia is not their guy, would the Sox possibly think about bringing this guy in? If they do, they are only helping their opponents as he is renown for not being a positive clubhouse guy never mind the fact that he is a 10 HR - 55 RBI - .275 BA with no speed and no defensive skills whatsoever.
Jhonny Peralta - Asdrubel Cabrera cost him his job. 'Nuff said.
A lack of mobility cost Jhonny Peralta his job as starting shortstop with the Cleveland Indians. Then, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers and was a third baseman. This is a guy that averages, at best, 15 HR's - 75 RBI - .270 batting average.
I would rather start Lars Anderson at first base and move Youkilis over to 3rd base.
Carlos - Maybe that should be your batting stance....
Dear Carlos - We had you in 2006 and at the time - I thought that the Sox did not give you a chance. From 2007 to 2009, you hit 116 home runs over three years. Of course, your batting average went from .282 to .227 over those three years. Last year, as you were entering free agency, you hit .196 and while collecting 28 home runs and driving 84 runs. As a former Northeastern University student, I am saying that you were the best of the best of the Northeastern University baseball program. However, I think that we missed the boat in 2007 and I don't see how we could possibly sign you when you don't hit for average. Good luck.....