Fenway Park

There remains much the Red Sox must do

The following may not be fair, and in some minds may reside in a universe at least a million miles away from reality, but here goes:

The Red Sox have traded their best ballplayer for someone most of us have never seen so much as hold a baseball bat.

Xander Bogaerts for Masataka Yoshida. An accomplished big-league shortstop for a Nippon Professional Baseball outfielder.

As their prime competition in the American League East bulked up, the Red Sox nabbed a man whose accomplishments are borne from NPB.

At last check fans have not been spotted dancing on Jersey or Lansdowne Streets.

Anyone connected with the Red Sox would insist that these are two completely unrelated transactions. Indeed, that is inarguable.

But in assessing what a club does during the winter baseball bazaar of free agency and trades, Move A is always linked with Move B. The bottom line is whether the team demonstrably made itself better.

After reading assessments from near and far, no one has convinced at least one old baseball guy that the Red Sox achieved that objective.

They signed a decent closer, Kenley Jansen, patching one hole in the ragged inner tube they refer to as a pitching staff. Their lineup is as sketchy as there is.

So now they have added an outfielder who was a star in the Nippon Professional Baseball circuit.

Admittedly, I have never seen a NPB game. But it seems wholly unlikely that it is playing on the same plane as Major League Baseball.

Yoshida hit 326 and had 21 homers last summer. In his career, he owns a His premier attribute, according to folks who have seen him play, is his bat-to-ball capabilities.

In other words, he doesn’t swing and miss very often. It follows that he doesn’t strike out very often, either.

On those terms, is it too much of a stretch to suggest that the Red Sox snatched up Yoshida as much for what he doesn’t do as much as for he may do?

In the Red Sox’ collective minds, this adds up to a man worth $90 million spread over five seasons.

Their last offer to Bogaerts reportedly came in at a reported $160 million for six seasons.

The Padres signed him for 11 years and $280 million.

Once again, there is a lesson to be learned from this:

It isn’t how much money a club spends, it’s how they spend it.

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