Boston Red Sox: 5 Free Agents They Should Avoid
The end of the World Series marked the beginning of the Major League Baseball offseason and free agency, the first one for Boston Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington.
With eight Red Sox filing for free agency, Cherington will have some personnel decisions to make in the upcoming weeks.
Former GM Theo Epstein made some mistakes in free agency in the past, i.e. Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey, something that Cherington will want to avoid in his first year on the job.
Now that CC Sabathia has a contract extension with the New York Yankees, CJ Wilson is the best pitcher on the market.
Although pitching is a big need for the Boston Red Sox, Cherington should avoid Wilson.
For one, he is going to want a huge contract, something that the Red Sox may not be able to take on, with big contracts handed out to Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and John Lackey in the past couple years.
Wilson also has yet to prove that he can pitch in the postseason.
When the ultimate goal of your team is to win the World Series, it does not make sense to sign someone who has a career 1-5 record with a 4.82 ERA in the postseason.
Yu Darvish is the hot commodity on the market from Japan, much like Daisuke Matsuzaka was back in the day when the Boston Red Sox signed him.
Other than Wilson, he may be the best pitcher available.
In four seasons in Japan, Darvish has never posted an ERA above 1.88.
But the talent level in Japan is not the same as it is in America, and it is unknown if his success would transfer over to MLB.
With too many unknowns, Cherington should not pursue Darvish. Not only would he have to hand out a pretty hefty contract to the young hurler, he would also have to post a fee just to have the right to negotiate with him.
Given the way the Matsuzaka signing turned out and the history of other Japanese pitchers, like Kei Igawa for the Yankees, the Red Sox would be wise to avoid Darvish.
Given the amount of injuries the Boston Red Sox have endured in the past two years, the last thing they should so is sign a player with injury concerns like Grady Sizemore.
If healthy, Sizemore would be a good addition to the Red Sox outfield with the departure of JD Drew, but Sizemore hasn't been healthy in over two years.
In the past two years combined, Sizemore has played just 104 games and his batting average has dropped significantly from his All-Star years in the early 2000's.
Cherington would also be wise to fill the vacant right field spot with a switch hitter or right handed batter, something Sizemore is not.
Carlos Beltran would have been an attractive option for the Boston Red Sox three or four years ago but now, at the age of 34, he would just be an overpaid, aging veteran.
Beltran has a history of injuries, playing 64 games in 2010 and 81 in 2009, something that does not bode well with the Red Sox recent history of injuries down the stretch.
More than likely, Beltran will want a multi-year deal, something teams should be wary about giving a guy who is 34 with an injury ridden past.
Cherington should pursue cheaper options in the outfield, such as Michael Cuddyer or Josh Willingham, not Beltran.
The $100 Million Dollar Guys
Ben Cherington should avoid handing out another $100 million contract this offseason.
With two coming onto the books last season, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, a third could be financially crippling.
This means Cherington has to avoid signing Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes or Prince Fielder.
Of course, signing any three of these guys would make the Red Sox a better team, but it just would not make sense financially.
Don't do it Ben, please don't do it.