I have been called a homer in the past. Mostly on baseball forums. I do not think I am a homer, but no one really does. I am a fan. I try not to be overly critical of my team to other people. That does not mean that I love everything they do. The Red Sox have made some ridiculous moves in the past. Obviously the big ones are the Ruth sale and the Bagwell trade. Both of those occurred before I was a fan. The Bagwell trade occurred just one year prior.
In this post I want to show that I do sometimes disagree with Boston's moves. These are moves I disliked at the time, not with hindsight. Some moves may have worked out. Other moves that I did like may not have worked. These are moves I disliked when they happened.
RED SOX TRADE JEFF REARDON TO BRAVES
I was a big fan of Jeff Reardon. I have always liked closers and Reardon was the first one I watched. It helped that he had just broken the career saves record. Obviously he was expendable. He was set to be a free agent and he was older. Boston was in last place and had no real need for a good closer, but they definitely did not have an adequate replacement. It also did not help that the players the Red Sox got, Sean Ross and Nate Minchey, never really did anything for the Red Sox.
WADE BOGGS SIGNS WITH YANKEES AS FREE AGENT
Boggs was my favorite player. He had a bad year and Scott Cooper was ready to take over, but Cooper was never going to be an adequate replacement. He just was not projected to be a star. Boggs was a Hall of Famer.
PHIL PLANTIER TO PADRES FOR JOSE MELENDEZ
Just one year prior, Plantier was untouchable. But then his numbers dropped in 1992 and suddenly Boston could not get rid of him fast enough. For them to trade a previously untouchable player for a middle reliever was particularly frustrating. He was still just 24 years old. Right field was a black hole for the Red Sox in 1993, and Plantier hit 34 home runs with 108 RBIs for the Padres. Melendez pitched in 19 games over the two years he spent with Boston. Plantier never did as well again, but he would have been a big help in 1993.
SCOTT COOPER TO CARDINALS FOR MARK WHITEN AND RHEAL CORMIER
This one actually worked out but not for the reasons that it should have. Cormier had the best year of the three players involved. But I liked Cooper. I was still a young fan at the time so I did not like it when Boston gave up players I liked. Cooper was not a great player, or even really a very good one, but I liked him. I did try to think positively about it though. Whiten was supposed to be a decent player and they also got Cormier.
FRANK RODRIGUEZ TO TWINS FOR RICK AGUILERA
It reminded me of the Bagwell trade. Rodriguez was Boston's top prospect. For a few years I had heard about what a great pitcher he was going to be. Then he was traded when Boston found it could not contend without a good closer. Suddenly their top prospect was gone. This one was okay as Rodriguez was never a very good pitcher. But I had no idea at the time.
MARK WHITEN TO PHILLIES FOR DAVE HOLLINS
Whiten was terrible for Boston and he was personally miserable. But it just felt like they were giving up on him. It seems like they do that every few years or so. Whiten of course went on to play well for the Phillies. Hollins played five games for the Red Sox.
JAMIE MOYER TO THE MARINERS FOR DARREN BRAGG
Darren Bragg really? That's all they could get for Jamie Moyer? Moyer was not quite the well-reputed pitcher at that time that he was years later. But he was 7-1 and he was left-handed. Bragg was an acceptable player, but even then it did not seem like enough for Boston's best pitcher to that point.
ROGER CLEMENS SIGNS WITH BLUE JAYS AS FREE AGENT
BOSTON SIGNS STEVE AVERY, BRET SABERHAGEN, AND ROBINSON CHECO
The Red Sox let Clemens go. Clemens had not pitched great in a few years, but he did lead the league in strikeouts in 1996, a sign that the old Clemens was on his way back. Of course now we know that he had some help. But Boston did not really have a pitcher ready to take his place. They signed two reclamation projects and an unknown quantity. Saberhagen was recovering from a major injury and would barely pitch that year but would be decent in 1998 and 1999. Avery was terrible in his two years with Boston. Checo never developed.
JIM LEYRITZ TO PADRES FOR MANDY ROMERO, DARIO VERAS, AND CARLOS REYES
Leyritz was unhappy with his lack of playing time. He was originally brought in to spend time at catcher, first base, and designated hitter, but the development of Jason Varitek meant that he was not needed at catcher. He was very productive to that point so it was a bit of a loss. Eventually he was replaced by Mike Stanley who served the same capacity.
ORLANDO MERCED RELEASED
I always liked Merced with the Pirates and Blue Jays. I was excited when he was acquired along with Greg Swindell, but Boston never had much use for him and he was released after 12 hitless plate appearances. They would do the same thing with Gary Gaetti and Jose Cruz Jr. later on.
MO VAUGHN SIGNS WITH ANGELS AS FREE AGENT
BOSTON SIGNS JOSE OFFERMAN
I would have no problem with Offerman as a complementary piece. He had a nice year in 1999. But as a replacement for Vaughn? No. You cannot replace a power-hitting first baseman with a light-hitting second baseman. It just does not work. Vaughn was another favorite that Boston let leave as a free agent.
BOSTON SIGNS MARK PORTUGAL AND PAT RAPP
This never seemed like it would work. And it didn't. Both pitchers were bad in 1999 and played a big role in Boston having to settle for a Wild Card. They could have been better.
FRYE, ROSE, AND WASDIN TO ROCKIES FOR ARROJO, LANSING, AND CROUSHORE
Brian Rose was supposed to be a top prospect but that is not the issue that I had. I did not understand getting Mike Lansing. I guess they really wanted Rolando Arrojo and taking on Lansing's terrible contract meant that they did not have to give up any major parts. But Boston was already overloaded on bad contracts with Valentin, O'Leary, Lewis, and Offerman. If they had not gotten Lansing's contract, maybe they would have been able to bring in Mike Mussina to go along with Manny Ramirez in 2001.
TOMO OHKA AND RICH RUNDLES TO EXPOS FOR UGUETH URBINA
SUN WOO KIM AND SEUNG JUN SONG TO EXPOS FOR CLIFF FLOYD
Boston tried to find a hidden well of talent in Asia in the late 1990's. Ohka, Kim, and Song were the most talented players they found. Ohka and Kim showed flashes of that talent on occasion and Song was Boston's top prospect at the time. None of them made big impacts in the majors and Urbina and Floyd were both successful in their short stints in Boston, but after years of hearing about the Asian scouting, it was proving to be all for naught.
HIDEO NOMO SIGNS WITH DODGERS
Nomo had a good year in 2002. He lead the AL in strikeouts and pitched a no hitter. Plus he was fun to watch. He seemed like the perfect pitcher to re-sign and make a good number two starter. With him in the rotation along with Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe, Boston could have made it to the World Series in 2003.
FREDDY SANCHEZ TO PIRATES FOR JEFF SUPPAN
There were more parts to this. The full trade was Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez for Jeff Suppan, Anastacio Martinez, and Brandon Lyon. The reason for the trade was to make up for an earlier trade in which Boston got Gonzalez and Scott Sauerbeck for Lyon and Martinez. Lyon was hurt apparently. Suppan was terrible in his first stint with Boston and was not much better the second time around. Sanchez could have solved Boston's long-standing problems at second base.
THE CLOSER BY COMMITTEE
I get the idea. It is better to use your best relievers when the game is on the line and anyone can finish the game. But baseball players are human and prefer to have defined roles. So maybe it could work in some situations, but only if you have the 1990 Reds bullpen. Mike Timlin, Alan Embree, Chad Fox, Ramiro Mendoza, and Brandon Lyon are not an adequate group to pull off the closer by committee. None of them had much closing experience. The results were awful right away and lead to the trade of Shea Hillenbrand for Byung Hyun Kim.
NOMAR GARCIAPARRA TO CUBS
It worked out in the end, but Garciaparra was again a favorite player. He was the franchise player. And Boston got Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz in the trade. It never seemed like enough.
PEDRO MARTINEZ SIGNS WITH METS
DEREK LOWE SIGNS WITH DODGERS
BOSTON SIGNS DAVID WELLS, MATT CLEMENT, AND WADE MILLER
Two of the World Champion team's top three pitchers left town and they signed Wells, Clement, and Miller to replace them. Miller was a reclamation project, Wells was old and had never been successful at Fenway Park, and Clement had never pitched in the AL. Wells was okay and Clement was good for the first half of the first year, but none of the pitchers had long term success.
HANLEY RAMIREZ TO MARLINS FOR JOSH BECKETT AND MIKE LOWELL
This one worked out for both teams as Ramirez was a great player for a few years. Beckett and Lowell helped Boston to the 2007 World Championship. But once again, a top prospect that I had been waiting for over the previous several years was gone. I liked that Boston got Beckett and Lowell, but hated that Ramirez had to go.
JOHNNY DAMON SIGNS WITH YANKEES
I hate it when a beloved player goes to play for the Yankees. Boston traded for Coco Crisp to replace him, which of course never really worked out as well as it should have.
BRONSON ARROYO TO REDS FOR WILY MO PENA
Arroyo had just signed a team-friendly contract and had a decent year in 2005. But there was a supposed pitching surplus and Boston needed some more power. So Arroyo was shipped away for Pena, who was a terrible defensive player which meant that he did not make it into the lineup much. He did have power, but that was it.
JOSH BARD AND CLA MEREDITH TO PADRES FOR DOUG MIRABELLI
I liked Doug Mirabelli and was disappointed when they traded him away for Mark Loretta, but that turned out to be a decent trade. Unfortunately Boston could not find someone to catch Tim Wakefield's knuckleball and they had to make a desperate trade to get Mirabelli back. That meant that Meredith, a promising reliever, had to be sacrificed.
JUSTIN MASTERSON TO INDIANS FOR VICTOR MARTINEZ
I liked that they picked up Martinez, but giving up on Masterson seemed premature. I liked Masterson and thought that he had a decent future with the Red Sox. Martinez was necessary as catcher was proving to be a black hole, but it was disappointing to lose Masterson.
ADRIAN BELTRE SIGNS WITH RANGERS
I still think they should have re-signed Beltre, who had a great year in 2010, and kept Youkilis at first. I liked the Adrian Gonzalez trade, but I wanted Beltre to stay.
ERIK BEDARD TRADE
I never had a lot of hope for Bedard to pitch well for Boston and they gave up a lot of minor leaguers to get him. Tim Federoicz, Stephen Fife, Juan Rodriguez, and Chih Hsien Chiang were all let go in the trade and Boston just did not get much out of it.
THE DODGERS TRADE
This was bittersweet for me. I wanted Carl Crawford to be the player he was with the Rays when he completely flustered Boston catchers. I wanted Adrian Gonzalez to be the 40 home run threat he was with the Padres. Boston did not get either of those things. James Loney was just going to be a stopgap and Jerry Sands and Ivan DeJesus were never expected to do all that much.
JOEL HANRAHAN TRADE
I am concerned about this one. Boston traded Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick last year in trades for potential closers. Both players had good years and the closers, Mark Melancon and Andrew Bailey, were both disappointing. Now they are trading for another closer and gave up Melancon, Sands, Stolmy Pimentel, and DeJesus to get him. Will Sands be the next Reddick? It's possible.
BOSTON SIGNS STEPHEN DREW
I like watching Jose Iglesias. Drew stands in his way.