Wild, unabashed salary dumps usually get lousy press (hello, Jeffrey Loria!), but Boston’s successful attempt at saddling the Dodgers’ with Carl Craword and Josh Beckett’s salaries (and the latter’s personality) with Adrian Gonzalez’ less insane mega-pact as the carrot is being hailed far and wide as a defining move for Boston GM Ben Cherrington. It’s also evidence the Dodgers have completed a dramatic 360 degree turn from the days of Frank McCourt (and wouldn’t they just love to pick up Jason Bay? HINT HINT), but let’s keep the spotlight on the frontrunner for 2013 Executive Of The Year. Of Cherrington, SBN’s Steve Goldman warns, “it is far easier to tear down a team than to build one, and now the onus is on Cherington to take his new, relatively blank slate and construct another contender. ”
Even with Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster coming over from Los Angeles, the team is not deep in potential top starters. This lack of pitching depth is what doomed the Red Sox to their historic fall-off last fall and, having gone uncorrected this winter, doomed them again this year. Whatever the turmoil in Boston’s front office this winter, and there was a lot, if they could have bolstered their pitching depth, they would have; it’s not so easy. No team would have pinned its hope on Daniel Bard moving to the rotation if not desperate to begin with.
Cherington did an amazing thing last week in freeing the Red Sox from onerous obligations left behind by his predecessor. He took advantage of a historic moment of willing credulity on the part of the Dodgers’ new owners, who seem willing to do anything to win back their fans. But starting over is merely a beginning. The pieces are all back at “Go.” We’ve seen what Cherington can subtract. Now, with the Epstein alibi as gone as Dizzy Akers, he must show Red Sox fans what he can add.