After the August Mega-Trade that shipped their three largest contracts to Los Angeles, it appeared that the Red Sox philosophy on player acquisitions had shifted. Following their worst performance in over forty years, a season which left them out of the playoffs for a third consecutive year, it was clear that change was needed. A team that was originally built through a system of over-spending and prospect-pillaging, had abandoned their practices and seemed to settle on a process based in value and prospect development.
Simply put, it is starting to look like the Sox are finally making personnel decisions in the best interest of baseball, and not based on pink hats and sell-out streaks. However, as the New Year approaches, fan's faith in this ownership group is shaky at best, and results will be the only way to sway public opinion.
At 37, the Japanese Uehara established himself as the best set-up man in the game. In 37 appearances, he posted an ERA of 1.75, and a WHIP of 0.91.
So, it appears that the philosophy is to play it safe. They acquired several character guys, and made sure not to burden themselves with lengthy contracts. They finally realized that they have the resources to overpay on short-term deals, which essentially provide more flexibility and allow them to hedge poor signings. They have definitely improved this roster in many areas, but they still lack a few key pieces that could help them contend. However, as it stands today, they are no better than the fourth or fifth most talented roster in the AL East, so, I wouldn't start warming up the Duck Boats quite yet.
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