Check Out Last Year’s Off-Season Grades On Jays, Red Sox, Angels

One of our readers, Rob Aguilar, sent me a link to February’s Off-Season Report Cards by the Sporting News. His point, as he indicated in his email, was that nobody was gloating over the Red Sox model before this past season began. Anyway, it’s funny looking back and reading these three particular capsules in hindsight.


Toronto Blue Jays: A

When general manager Alex Anthopoulos finally made his move, he didn’t mess around. The impact was felt all the way to Las Vegas. When Anthopoulos convinced the Miami Marlins to make their salary dump in Canada, the Blue Jays became favorites to win the World Series.

What a dump it was, with the Blue Jays acquiring one of the game’s top shortstops in Jose Reyes, two proven starters in Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, and speedy second baseman Emilio Bonifacio. The deal was expensive—the Blue Jays took on nearly $150 million—but Rogers Communication can afford it.

Dealing for R.A. Dickey put the odds even more in the Blue Jays’ favor. I would have added a plus to their grade if Anthopoulos hadn’t given cheater Melky Cabrera a $10 million raise.

josh hamilton

Los Angeles Angels: A

Having a local TV deal that brings in $150 million a year sure is nice. It allowed owner Arte Moreno to nab the top player on the free-agent market for the second consecutive year. Josh Hamilton, armed with a five-year, $125 million contract, should fit nicely hitting cleanup behind Albert Pujols.

The Angels also brought in a new closer, Ryan Madson, and remade the bottom of their rotation by acquiring Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton and the underrated Jason Vargas.

stephen drew walkoff

Boston Red Sox: C

No team overpaid more free agents. The Red Sox overextended for a shortstop, Stephen Drew, one starter, Ryan Dempster, two outfielders, Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes, and a backup catcher, David Ross. Only the Mike Napoli signing looks reasonable, and they needed nearly all winter to complete that.

There is good news, though. The six signings combined will cost around $100 million, or about $40 million less than what they threw at Carl Crawford two offseasons ago. The Red Sox fared better on the trade front, acquiring All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pirates.

Based on what players are saying, Boston’s best move was hiring John Farrell to replace Bobby Valentine as manager. Of course, most players would have considered a statue an upgrade over Valentine.

About Joe D 8026 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.