I just don't see the logic in letting go of Crawford and Gonzalez for $40 million per year so that you can sign Victorino and Napoli at $26 million per year. The talent downgrade and possible upside of these players having good seasons is massive.
I don't care what the current free agent market is, Victorino and Napoli do not deserve money equaling anything more than $5-6 million a year and any GM and team that pays them more than that are idiots. IMHO.
It's all about the YEARS.
Victorino and Napoli are locked up for 3 years.
Crawford and Gonzalez were locked up for another 6-7 years.
Just because the Red Sox were able to move a huge portion of their contracts out this year and make their long term payroll liability much much less, doesn't make these signings any less bad. They might not hurt them but it doesn't mean they were smart signings fiscally.
People around here were lamenting the 5 year $70 million contract that J D Drew got since the moment he signed that contract and now just a couple years later Two $13 million a year contracts for three years are considered not being able to hurt the team?
I disagree whole heartedly. Massively overpaying players is bad business and it doesn't matter if that player is Carl Crawford, John Lackey, J D Drew or Shane Victorino or Mike Napoli. Its bad business and will eventually come back to bite you in the butt.
You're forgetting that baseball, like basketball is a business first and foremost.
Sure, the Red Sox could forego spending money on free agents period, in which case they'd put a low cost team on the field that would be lucky to win 75 games, and even worse, be incredibly boring (a bunch of .250 hitters barely ever knocking it out of the field).
If they did that, though, they'd destroy what remaining good will they had with the fan base. They need to put a product on the field that is reasonably entertaining while they transition to the next championship caliber core. They can't just punt for three years. Not in this market.