Look, their organizational philosophy is proprietary. They may communicate certain things to the media/fan-base but they have no upside in sharing what their strategy is with a broader audience. Based on what we know, they are interested in signing players that fill needs to shorter (less than three year) contracts and not surrendering draft picks. Beyond that, all of it is speculation.
Escobar makes sense because they have a need at his position and a division rival who is interested in acquiring him. But if you are looking for them to unveil their grand plan to everyone, I suspect your frustration will only increase as time goes on.
I would amend that only slightly, while agreeing with all of it. What we also see in public is that a certain kind of player is worth their money: all three of these guys are dirt dogs, grinders, balls-out baggers. They seem to me to be willing to pay premium for that quality.
I take that to mean two things. First, no matter how competitive they are over the next few years, what they want is to instill in the younger players coming up just this kind of attitude. It is an abrupt adjustment at the big league level on a number of fronts, but an underrated one is going to the post everyday, to win. In their development, these guys hear (but hopefully don't internalize) an opposite message: that refining individual skills is more important than game results. They get to the show to discover that winning comes first, and sometimes (Ellsbury being a case in point, if Tito's constant adminishments are recalled) have trouble with that.
Two: and something so far as I have seen no one has much mentioned. These signings are a damning if silent criticism of last year's Sox club. To my reading, it appears that the FO thought last year's club was soft, entitled, unprofessional. Some of that, of course, can be inferred by the trade, but not much is being said now, and certainly nothing is being said in opposition to the line that came out soon after Valentine's dismissal, that the players liked one another, got along, and came to the park everyday to play together. Ross even mentioned in one of his interviews that Ben told him the Sox would be seeking guys who payed the game right -- that everyone knew the guys in the game with a reputation for bailing or for selfishness. So this clubhouse culture thing might be more serious than any of us has really grasped.
Edited by someoneanywhere, 05 December 2012 - 08:42 AM.