turned down more money from at least two teams -– he had a four-year offer early in free agency and then a three-year deal for roughly the same annual value as the deal the Red Sox offered -– but he chose Boston with an eye on having a big year for a contender and then hitting the market again next year.This could be yet another case of a Boras "mystery team(s)" with sacks of money to burn, but I'm sure Boston's was not the only offer Beltre received. Either way, he should be extremely motivated to have a strong year -- he's rolling the dice on doing well and hitting the market again next winter.
Bottom line Theo has found the best way to balance short term and long term interests of the club. There looks to be a clearly defined overhaul coming after 2011, with Drew, Cameron, Scutaro and possibly Beltre moving on after 2011 as well as 60 million or so coming off the books after this season. They have tremendous flexibility over the next 2 offseasons to add an impact bat, extend Beckett and VMart, and to add in young players like Iglesias, Reddick and Kelly.
They also have the farm fully intact to pull the trigger on a major deal if it arises in July, and 4 picks in the Top 50 this June to bolster the farm even further. Just tremendous flexibility in all respects....I'm a huge fan of this offseason. He found a way to make us very competitive during a transition period for the club.
Re our lineup: the downgrade in left should be offset by an entire season of Martinez behind the plate and having Scutaro over Green/Seabass at shortstop. I plugged in a possible 2010 lineup:
into Baseball Musings' Lineup Analysis. This lineup -- if they repeated their 2009 OBP and SLG -- would be expected to score about 5.85 runs per game, almost one-half run per game more than the 2009 Red Sox scored (5.38).Ellsbury
The best lineup the Red Sox could trot out (for 5.91 R/G) with those numbers is:
Ellsbury does not bat either #1 or #2 in any of the top 30 lineups.Martinez
I'm also extremely curious how the front office's emphasis on strong fielding/run prevention (I expect to hear it called "the new Moneyball") will pay off.