The Red Sox were active in this baseball’s winter meetings this year, signing Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino. Each signed for $39 million over three years. The moves might be a sign that Cherington was being truthful when he said Boston would have one of the highest payrolls in baseball when the offseason is all said and done. But is this the right move? The answer has to be yes.
The Sox should be competing each and every year with the payroll they can command. New York never stops spending, and neither should Boston. The AL East is too good for the Sox not to be competitive this offseason. That being said, they need to make the right moves, and they’ve already done so with Napoli and Victorino.
Napoli brings power and run production to the lineup and a good presence in the clubhouse. Yes, he had a down year last year, but he’s played well historically at Fenway Park, hitting .306 with seven home runs over the course of 19 games. Napoli can thrive at the plate with the Monster in left field and will add depth to the lineup.
Victorino adds a different dimension to the Red Sox. He brings with him three gold gloves to the outfield and the threat of speed to the top of the lineup. He too had a down year last year as well but still stole a career high 39 bases. He’s proven he can perform well in a high-pressure baseball city before.
Even with the moves this offseason thus far, the Red Sox still have committed less than $100 million in player salaries next season. Their biggest concern now should be to bolster the pitching staff, and they’ve begun to do so with the signing of Koji Uehara, a right-handed reliever from the Rangers.