Boston Red Sox: 15 Worst Personnel Decisions in Recent History
There have been plenty of bad decisions made by the Red Sox in their franchise's history through long, high-paying contracts or uneven trades. Hopefully Ben Cherington can make some good decisions and get this team back in the playoff race.
Here's a look at some of Boston's worst personnel decisions.
Babe Ruth Sold to New York Yankees
Boston Receives: CASH
New York Receives: Babe Ruth
So I know this trade is nowhere near recent, but it has played a huge role in this franchise's history. If Harry Frazee knew what would end up happening in Boston after he traded the Babe to New York, would he still have tried to fund that play? I would hope not. This trade created enormous turmoil for decades before winning their first World Series since 1918 in 2004.
Jeff Bagwell Traded to Houston
Boston Receives: Larry Anderson
Houston Receives: Jeff Bagwell
In 1990, the Red Sox traded their young first baseman for bullpen help. Anderson only threw 22 innings for Boston, while Bagwell went on to have a Hall of Fame career in Houston. Bagwell finished his career with 449 home runs and nearly every award he could be considered for.
Matt Clement Signed
Contract: three years/ $25 million
Matt Clement started his career in Boston with a 13-6 season which earned him a spot on the American League All-Star team. From there on, it was all downhill. Clement was hit in the temple with a come-backer during a game which virtually ended his career. He missed most of the 2006 season and all of 2007. Clement finished his three years in Boston with a 18-11 record and an ERA of 5.09.
David Wells Signed
Contract: two years/ $8 million
Spending $8 million on an old, fat pitcher may not seem like the worst thing in the world, but it wasn't that fun to watch. Surprisingly, Wells had a 17-10 record, but his ERA was well over 4.00 in his two seasons in Boston. I wouldn't be surprised if the start of beer in the clubhouse stories started when Boomer came to the Red Sox in 2005.
Julio Lugo Signed
Contract: four years/ $36 million
Boston has played the shortstop merry-go-round for a few seasons now but keeps making the same mistake by giving these average guys huge contracts. In his three seasons in Boston, Lugo only hit .251/.319/.346 while also committing 42 errors. Lugo was then traded to St. Louis after a poor 2009 season. He did help Boston to a 2007 World Series—but not by much.
Edgar Renteria Signed
Contract: four years/ $40 million
Boston apparently needed only one season to realize that it overpaid for this shortstop. In 2005, Renteria hit .276 with 36 doubles and 100 strikeouts—not to mention, he committed 30—yes, 30—errors at shortstop. After that, they shipped him off to Atlanta for Andy Marte, who also never played a big role in Boston. Of course Renteria picked up his game the next season and was selected to the All-Star Game.
Mike Cameron Signed
Contract: two years/ $15.5 million
Mike Cameron was "interesting" in Boston, as it seemed like he was always hurt or just not coming through when we needed him to. The signing of Cameron forced Jacoby Ellsbury to play left field, which later caused him to injure his ribs and cost him a season. Cameron was old and didn't deserve the respectful contract he received. He played in 81 games over the course of two seasons in Boston while hitting an abysmal .219.
Billy Wagner Traded to Boston
Boston Receives: Billy Wagner
New York Receives: Chris Carter and Eddie Lora
I'm calling this a bad decision because I felt that at the time, Chris Carter was a great prospect that just never got a shot in the majors and we didn't need some former hot-shot coming in to try and be an everyday reliever. He only pitched in 15 games for the Red Sox. Wagner didn't record a save but did have an ERA under 2.00 in 13.2 innings.
Eric Gagne Traded to Boston
Boston Receives: Eric Gagne
Texas Receives: David Murphy, Kason Gabbard and Engel Beltre
If Theo Epstein could redo one trade, it would be this one by far. Eric Gagne was awful. Awful. He only pitched in 18.2 innings and had an ERA of almost 7.00. He allowed 14 runs and walked nine batters in his short time in Boston and always seemed to crumble under pressure. Looking at it now, David Murphy is a star in Texas and would be a perfect fit as the right fielder of the Red Sox. If anything, this trade just hurt.
John Lackey Signed
Contract: five years/ $82.5 million
This is definitely a painful contract to think about. It's pretty sad when a guy with this bad of a contract will miss an entire season, and that makes you happy. I'm not sure what's worse—his pitching or his attitude. Lackey is right in the middle of the beer scandal but will miss all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In just two seasons in Boston, Lackey is 26-23 with a 4.10 ERA and has had several encounters with Terry Francona on the mound after poor performances. Hopefully, he can either go back to what he was in Anaheim or he will be traded.
Daisuke Matsuzaka Signed
Rights: $51 million
Contract: six years/ $52 million
Here's another: at the time, Boston wanted to finally take a guy away from the Yankees and no one really knew what he would be capable of. His 2007 and 2008 seasons were very deceiving of what was next to come. In his first two years he was 33-15; since he is 16-15 and missed most of 2011 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He doesn't give off a lot of emotion on the field and I think the fans think that he doesn't care much about the team. It should be interesting to see how he pitches when he comes back at some point during 2012.
JD Drew Signed
Contract: five years/ $70 million
$70 million is a lot of money for a guy for who plays a slightly above-average right field and only hits .264 in five seasons in Boston. Injuries have plagued Drew as of late, and his "weak"injuries have given him the nickname "Nancy Drew." I don't know of many other male athletes with female nicknames—that says enough right there. His contract has finally expired, and Boston will finally get a new guy to play next to Pesky's Pole, but Nancy Drew will be a name that lives in Boston forever.
Erik Bedard Traded to Boston
Boston Receives: Erik Bedard and Josh Fields
Seattle Receives: Trayvon Robinson and Chih-Hsien Chiang
Los Angeles Receives: Tim Federowicz and Stephen Fife
This is another case of "why did we give up so much talent for a guy who was never that good in the past?" All of the prospects that Boston gave up could've helped in the future but now they will do just that with their new teams. Bedard could not pitch in Boston; just couldn't do it. In eight starts he was 1-2 with an ERA of just over four. He never seemed comfortable at Fenway, and it just didn't work out for him.
Carl Crawford Signed
Contract: seven years/ $152 million
Now I am one of the people who are not just looking at this as a one-year contract and going nuts. We still have six more seasons of watching Carl Crawford try to find where his Tampa talent went. There is no way he is going to do as poorly as he did in 2011 again. He will find his groove in Boston and be more than fine hitting in that powerful lineup. Now this could turn into disaster if he doesn't live up to the big expectations in the next few seasons; then we can call it a terrible contract. As for now, let's just wait and see what happens.
Nomar Garciaparra Traded
Boston Receives: Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera
Montreal Receives: Alex Gonzalez, Francis Beltran, Brendan Harris
Minnesota Receives: Justin Jones
Chicago Receives: Nomar Garciaparra and Matt Murton
Let this be said; Nomar Garciaparra was one of the greatest Red Sox of all-time. Sure, he got injured and that affected his play but there was no need to trade him at that point of his career. I understand that Mientkiewicz and Cabrera played huge roles in winning the World Series in 2004. but I will never forgive the Red Sox for trading Nomar. He was an icon. and they sent him away. There is no doubt in my mind that Boston still could've won a World Series with him at shortstop. It's a shame that his career didn't end the way that it started, but he will forever be in the hearts of Red Sox Nation.