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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Not so ‘Free’ Agency
I stole this link from Philly over on SOSH: This BA article, which measures how homegrown each playoff team is, includes a comparison of the Red Sox and Yankees free-agent signings. The results are… not pretty. The whole thing is worth reading, but the takeaway is: in 2011, the Red Sox $67 million for free agent players and got back 2 (2!) WAR. That number is particularly friendly in that a) it doesn’t count Dice-K (because he wasn’t a free agent, per se?) and b) it uses $14 mil. for Crawford’s salary rather than his AAV of $20 mil. If you look back in the years prior to to 2011, these numbers are certainly better, but they are still not good.
In trying to improve this team for 2012 and beyond, this should certainly be an area of great emphasis. Yes, a new voice in the clubhouse is probably a good idea. Yes, they need to look at conditioning and their methods for keeping players healthy. But finding a way to get something resembling value when signing free agents would make a tremendous difference for the Red Sox.
It’s these numbers that make unable to join Robothal and others in the teeth gnashing over the possibility of letting Theo Epstein go. The front office has done some great work in some areas, but they have not done a good job at all with free agents (or trades) over the past several years, which has really set back the overall results. Consequently, it’s not hard to imagine someone else being able to do as well or better.
(The SOSH thread is here. Some interesting stuff mixed in with a lot of “Hey, the Yankees got lucky with their pickups and we didn’t” type comments.)
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