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After an ugly 2011-2012 season the Red Sox were quite active in the offseason but still a question remains; did the team improve with all their additions and subtractions. The team saw fan favorites Cody "The Boss" Ross and Mike Aviles both move on to different teams. The expensive experiment that was Diasuke Matsuzaka finally ended as the team parted ways with him. James Loney, who was acquired in the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers left the team and signed with the Tampa Bay Rays. The area where the team took the biggest hit was in the bullpen when Aaron Cook, Vicente Padilla, Scott Atchison and Mark Melancon all parted ways with the Red Sox.
While the Red Sox were letting players go the front office was busy signing replacements. These replacements include: Shane Victorino, Ryan Dempster, Mike Napoli, Joel Hanrahan, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomez, Koji Uehara and Brock Holt. Looking at these additions some of them look like quality replacements, while others look like average players that would be better to come off of the bench instead of being starters.
Shane Victorino will play Right Field in Fenway, the previous stomping grounds of Cody Ross. Victorino has played Center Field in the past and winning 3 Gold Glove awards. Defensively Victorino is better than Ross, he is quicker and because of this he can cover more of a very big right field. Ross is certainly better offensively, he has more power and had more RBI's then Victorino had last year. To determine which player is better is to argue defense or offense, simply put Victorino was a good replacement for Ross.
Stephen Drew is the replacement for Mike Aviles, yes I did say Stephen Drew and yes he is the brother of J.D. Drew. Lets not even discuss J.D. anymore, his time in Boston still makes me cringe when I think of it. Mike Aviles was a solid everyday shortstop and he had the ability to help with a smooth transition to future shortstop Jose Iglesias, Drew on the other hand is not the player to help teach Iglesias. It seems as if this signing was not to help Iglesias start in the coming 2 years but instead to send him back to Pawtucket and develop more for the next 3 years. Aviles was also a great defensive player who played in 136 games for the Sox last year while Drew played in 79 while with both the A's and Diamondbacks. I dont like this signing, it was a not an improvement for the Red Sox.
There is one change in the organization that hasnt been mentioned yet, the biggest and most important change that occurred. The firing of Bobby Valentine and then hiring of John Farrell is the best thing that happened to this team all offseason. Valentines year in Boston was abysmal, he had no control over the team and it showed with the record. Farrell has coached with this team in the past and has the respect of many players. The team will listen to him and he will have control in the clubhouse. The hiring of Farrell this offseason was the most important thing that the Red Sox did all season, but who am I kidding everyone would be happy if a bag of grass seed was managing the team after Bobby V.

Ryan MacLeod 1/27/2013 03:35:00 PM Edit
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