The Red Sox were, as usual, big spenders last offseason. Dishing out around $120 million in contracts, they weren't quite at 2008-2009 Yankees levels, but they put on a nice performance.
The same can not be said for all their acquisitions.
MLB Trade Rumors took a look at the big free agent signings of the offseason. Here's how the Red Sox's graded out:
Mike Cameron, Red Sox: two years, $15.5MM. He played in only 48 games due to an abdominal strain that resulted in August surgery. The team probably regrets the contract.
OK, so no real argument there. I liked the Cameron signing initially. Obviously, at 38, he was something of a gamble, but Cameron had played in over 550 games the past four years at a high level. If there was one player who was going to be able to keep it up at 38, it was going to be Cameron. Too bad that it wasn't.
Marco Scutaro, Red Sox: two years, $12.5MM. He stayed healthy and did a decent job on offense and defense, so the Sox are probably OK with the contract.
Scoot gets a little bit of a bad rap from Red Sox fans. This is probably because he couldn't repeat his numbers from 2009. But then again, the Red Sox weren't really paying him to be that level of player-one of the best shortstops in the league. They played him to be solid, and solid he was. Extra credit for doing it despite having an injury that he never got a chance to rest thanks to the lack of depth at the shortstop position. He might have been better if he'd had a few more days off.
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox: one year, $10MM. Beltre had an MVP-type season and was a huge bargain for Boston.
Theo went in looking to sign a great defensive player with good offensive upside as he escaped from Safeco field. What he got was a great defensive player who lived up to his upside and then some. One of the best signings in recent Red Sox history.
John Lackey, Red Sox: five years, $82.5MM. The Red Sox would probably undo this contract given the chance. Lackey shook off the health problems of 2008-09 by tossing 215 innings, but his performance dropped off in most aspects.
And then there's the big one. It seems obvious that the Red Sox would want to undo this deal if they could, but that question will only really be answered in the coming years. Did Lackey live up to his past performance with Boston? No, certainly not. But he didn't just suck all year. For what it's worth, Lackey improved throughout the season, to the point where he looked...kinda like the Lackey of old for the last two months of the year. If he can carry that momentum into 2011, the Sox might not feel so bad about spending all that money after all.
Of course, all those signings are in the rear-view mirror. With the stove about to heat up, we'll have plenty more to talk about in the near future.