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When Ryan Dempster announced that he would be stepping away for the 2014 season, the Red Sox suddenly found themselves with an extra $13.25 million to spend. They quickly resigned Chris Capuano to an incentive-laden deal to replace the pitching depth lost with Dempster’s absence. Despite the addition of Capuano, the Red Sox still have about $10 million plus to play with for this coming season. With all that extra money the question is, what will they do with it?
The story of the Red Sox re-signing Drew will continue to happen until he is no longer on the market. The money saved from Dempster’s deal would certainly help with bringing Drew into the fold and still be under the salary tax line. Unfortunately for Drew, the fact that they did not sign him right away when Dempster made his announcement is an ominous one. The longer Spring Training continues and Drew remains unsigned, the less likely he is to return to Boston. It would be unfair to have Bogaerts prepare for shortstop all spring, only to be switched to third base right before the season. Not to mention signing Drew would bring ramifications for Middlebrooks’ playing time and position with the team as well. While Drew made sense for the Red Sox at the beginning of the offseason, a reunion is becoming less and less likely.
This seems to be the more likely for the Red Sox. With the surplus cash, Ben Cherington will have more flexibility when it comes to adding during the season. Perhaps the pitching depth breaks down and a deal for a pitcher (Cliff Lee?) needs to be made? Maybe Middlebrooks struggles and a third baseman is needed. Regardless of the situation, if the Red Sox are in contention come July they will be adding to their roster and the surplus cash helps them be more creative.
The Red Sox clearly feel comfortable with how their roster currently stands to open the season. There is no need for them to bring in more players at the moment and is smarter to stand pat until a need arises.