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The 2013 Boston Red Sox: Worst to World Series

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How did they do it? What were the changes?

How does a team 'unload' most of it's talent and not really seem to acquire much more, yet, come out on top as it seems the Red Sox have done.

The 1991 Minnesota Twins went from 'worst to first'...as did the Atlanta Braves that year.

The 2012 Red Sox had:
Carl Crawford ($102.5M over the next 5 yrs)
Adrian Gonzalez ($127M over the next 6 yrs, Red Sox pay $3.9M/yr thru '15)
Marlon Byrd
Josh Beckett ($31.5M over the next 2 yrs)
Kevin Youkilis ($12M)
Aaron Cook
Saisuke Matsuzaka ($10M)
Cody Ross ($26M over next 3 yrs)
Mike Aviles ($6 over next 2 yrs)

Cook and Matsuzaka stunk. So they wouldn't have been back either way.

James Loney, acquired in the Dodgers trade, was let go. They only have one prospect (BA's #71 for 2013) in P Allen Webster to show for that trade.

The 2013 Red Sox acquired:
Stephen Drew (FA, 1yr/$9M, 3.1 WAR)
Johnny Gomes (FA, 2y/$10M, 1.2 WAR)
Mike Napoli (FA, 1y/$13M, 4.1 WAR)
Shane Victorino (FA, 3yr/$39M, 6.1 WAR)
Ryan Dempster (FA, 2yr/$26.5M, -1.7 WAR)
Koji Uehara (FA, 2yr/$9.25M, 3.6 WAR)
Mike Carp (Trade, 1yr/508K, 1.3 WAR)

Late season trade:
Jake Peavy (2yr/$29M, 0.6 WAR, 10g played)

The players who moved WAR contributions:
Adrian Gonzalez - 2012 ~ 3.5 WAR, 2013 ~ 3.9 WAR
Carl Crawford - 2012 ~ 0.5 WAR, 2013 ~ 1.7 WAR
Kevin Youkilis - 2012 ~ 1.6 WAR, 2013 ~ -0.2 WAR
Cody Ross - 2012 ~ 1.9 WAR, 2013 ~ 2.5 WAR
Mike Aviles - 2012 ~ 2.3 WAR, 2013 ~ 0.6 WAR
Josh Beckett - 2012 ~ 1.1 WAR, 2013 ~ -0.8 WAR

And they're in pretty good shape for 2014 with a lot of salary flexiblity in that Napoli, Drew, Ellsbury, Saltamacchia, Hanrahan, and Matt Thornton are all coming off the books. I'm sure they'll try to sign, in order, Ellsbury, Napoli, and Saltamacchia. That's $49.5M to still arrive at their $154M number for 2014. Jackie Bradley should provide some value as a 2nd year MLB prospect, who knows, maybe he'd have to replace Ellsbury if they don't sign him. Bogaerts should add value to 3B, if not win ROY as well.

The only thing better they could have done was keep Byrd or Ross instead of signing Johnny Gomes. And not sign Ryan Dempster.

But is it just me, or was that off-season not all that impressive? If anything, it would seem like they would have had another losing season as it seemed more talent went out the door than what came in the door.

What, if at all, would this look like in action on the Minnesota Twins?
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  1. Lonestar's Avatar
    There are huge differences.

    The Red Sox only had 8 starts by starters with an ERA as bad or worse than the Twins average starter ERA of 5.26. As you noted, the only starters the Red Sox added were Dempster (who had a 4.64 ERA pitching half of his games in Fenway) and Peavy. They got huge turnarounds from Bucholtz, Lester, and Lackey.

    The Red Sox already had in place Ortiz, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Saltalamachia and Nava (who was a surprise, at least to me). To that mix they added Victorino, Drew, Napoli, and Carp. They got above average production from every position but 3B.

    The Red Sox had many more piece in place than the Twins do. Some will say the difference between the Twins and BoSox will be payroll. But besides the number of pieces in place, the difference seems to me to be the willingness to maximize the roster.

    If you want to know what it would look like if the Twins this off-season like the BoSox did last year, read some of the threads on this site.
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