By Jeremy Weiner
The Red Sox 2010 season ended with disappointment. Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, and half of the team were plagued with injuries. Fans wouldn’t even bother watching the games anymore. The Yankees elimination in the second round of the playoffs was very appetizing for Red Sox nation.
When free agency came around, teams were making moves every day. The Red Sox signed Jason Varitek for a one-year deal, and they lost Victor Martinez in free agency as he signed with the Detroit Tigers. The Nation was feeling restless, angry, and fed up. “[Red Sox owner] John Henry can spend millions of dollars on a soccer team, but not on Type A free agents,” my dad told me. I couldn’t help but agree.
Little did we know, General Manager Theo Epstein was working hard this whole time. Last month, the Boston Red Sox announced a trade that would send three of our prospects to San Diego in exchange for All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. I went nuts when I heard the news. I’m always unsure about trading away prospects, but Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Raymond Feuntes – I could deal.
Right away, this meant the Red Sox won’t bother resigning Adrian Beltre, since Youkilis will move to third base and Adrian Gonzalez will play first. Red Sox nation was in an uproar, and even more so when it looked like the deal would fall through. Finally, though, the Red Sox and Adrian Gonzalez came to an agreement. It was official.
Gonzalez’s renewed contract read: eight years for $161 million. That’s a lot of money, but completely worth it. Gonzalez is 28 years old, and not even in his prime yet. He is worth every penny of that contract and all of the prospects that were given away. With a powerful opposite-field swing, the lefty will make a lot of dents in the Green Monster. During his press conference, while getting introduced to the team, he stated, “I’m ready to beat the Yankees.” He fits in perfectly. The Yankees should start moving that short right-field fence back, because he’ll be bombing pitches into the upper decks at Yankee Stadium.
Our outfield was still desperate for help, but Boston was about to be blindsided by another monster signing as Carl Crawford signed a seven-year deal with the Red Sox. I screamed when I heard the news, and throughout the night I could hear people rejoicing. Carl Crawford is a 29-year-old All Star outfielder. Last year he batted .307 with 19 home runs and 90 runs batted in. Oh, and did I mention he steals about 50 bases a year?
The Red Sox have completely transformed their team. One baseball writer has called them “the new Evil Empire.” The only slots the Red Sox need to fill are relievers and a catcher.
So Theo Epstein and the Red Sox front office have done their job, so far. Red Sox Nation is satisfied and ready for a monster 2011 season. We were supposedly going through a “bridge” year, but the bridge has been taken down.
Here’s what the potential Red Sox lineup will look like on Opening Day:
- Dustin Pedroia (2B)
- Carl Crawford (LF)
- Kevin Youkilis (3B)
- Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
- David Ortiz (DH)
- J.D. Drew (RF)
- Marco Scutaro (SS)
- Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)