Going into the Red Sox offseason the word most used around the organization was “disciplined.” There would be no wild spending, and no long-term contracts. This would be easier said than done while rebuilding a team that finished in last place in the American League East last season.
Despite some temptations with coveted free agents, the Red Sox have stuck to their plan and stayed very disciplined with their decisions on building their team for the future, instead of just winning now.
The Red Sox signed catcher David Ross to a two-year, $6.2 million contract back in mid-November.
The team was quiet until the Winter Meetings where they made their first splash of the off-season when they reportedly agreed on a three-year $39 million contract with first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli. That deal still hasn’t become official as the two sides are still reportedly working out medical terms on the contact. There has been no comment on the situation from either side.
Also at the Winter Meetings the team signed outfielder Shane Victorino to a three-year, $39 million deal. Then, late last week the Red Sox signed free agent pitcher Ryan Dempster to a two-year, $26.5 million deal.
What all these signings have in common is that they are value contracts, not breaking the bank and not for any more than three years. All of these players are not superstars by any means, but all have been known to be “clubhouse guys,” which has been a concern for the organization in the past few years.
There were superstar free agents available in outfielder Josh Hamilton and right-hander Zack Greinke. Hamilton signed with the Angels for five years and $125 million, while Greinke inked a deal with the Dodgers for six years and $158 million. Boston passed on both these guys, something it may not have done in the past.
With the Red Sox sticking to their disciplined mentality, they are looking to win in the future, not just now. They realize they have promising prospects in center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., pitcher Matt Barnes and shortstop Xander Bogaerts who will play key roles a few years down the road.
While the Red Sox may not be World Series favorites in 2013, staying disciplined has set them up to be contenders for many years to come, while also being competitive now.