If Ellsbury and Victorino represent two-thirds of the 2013 starting OF, and if the FO feels they can throw 4/60 at someone who isn't worth that kind of coin, I'd rather sign Edwin Jackson and live with Nava/Gomes in LF than sign Swisher and live with Morales in the rotation.
I think I'd have to agree. If the choice is one of these two or a pitcher, go with the pitcher.
Barring an angle in play that's simply impossible for us to see atm, none of this is really adding up all that well on the surface, imo. Leaving me feeling less then confident in Ben's overall ability to construct a well rounded roster, while not doing much to help erase the memory of his self proclaimed support behind the Crawford signing either for that matter.
I disagree. I think what Cherington is showing is a balance between cobbling together a competitive roster now and preserving the farm/future. The team is clearly determined to hold onto their best prospects to give them a chance to finish developing and to see which ones are actually going to pan out. Doing that and finding a way to compete in 2013 is a difficult task and I think he's doing a decent job of it. Right now, the roster breaks down like this with fWAR and rWAR.
Ross (1.5/0.8), Napoli (2.0/1.4), Pedroia (4.5/4.7), Iglesias (0.3/0.2), Middlebrooks (2.1/1.1), Gomes (2.1/1.6), Ellsbury (1.5/0.8), Victorino (3.3/1.1), Ortiz (3.0/2.9)
Lavarnway (-1.3/-1.8), Kalish (-1.5/-0.8), Nava (1.1/0.3), Ciriaco (0.9/1.1)
Lester (3.3/0.4), Buchholz (1.9/0.8), Lackey (N/A), Doubront (2.1/0.0), Morales (0.7/0.5)
Bailey (N/A), Uehara (0.9/1.5), Tazawa (1.3/1.7), Melancon (0.0/-0.6), Miller (0.7/0.7), Aceves (0.4/-1.1), Breslow (0.8/0.4)
So, taking last year's numbers without any context, we have a pretty shitty baseline to start with. But let's look at some of the things that contribute to those numbers. First, Napoli was dealing with an ankle injury that lingered all year after being hurt in the 2011 World Series. If he's healthier this season and puts up a more typical season we can probably add anywhere from .5 to .9 to his total. Let's split the difference and add .7
Pedroia, likewise, was banged up last year. He's usually a 5 to 6 win player at baseball-reference and similar at fangraphs. Conservatively, we can probably add 1 WAR to his totals. Middlebrooks compiled his totals over just under 300 PAs so we can probably double his numbers and Lester is almost always a 4 win pitcher at both sites, but there was a discrepancy last year with him at 3.3 on fangraphs and 0.4 at b-r. We're looking at at least a 4 WAR improvement at b-r if he gets back to even 2011 levels, but only a jump of about 0.4 at fangraphs. We'll split the difference and bump him up by 2.
John Lackey is where it gets really tricky. He isn't likely to get back to the 5 and 6 fWAR and 4 to 6 rWAR pitcher he was in LA, but he'll probably be better than the 1.5 he provided in 2011 when his elbow was shredded for most of the year. A 3 WAR season doesn't seem all that crazy to hope for. Then we have Bailey who was dominant in Oakland before breaking his thumb here. fWAR had him at 4.3 over his three seasons in Oakland and rWAR had him at 6.2. Splitting the difference has him at 5.1 or so over 3 years which breaks down to 1.7 per season so we'll go with that as a rough estimate and then regress it for coming out of Oakland and into Fenway. 1.4 seems fair.
Making these adjustments we're looking at adding 8.1 to the totals above before we even consider what to expect from Ellsbury. I doubt anyone here expects another 2011, but he's clearly better than his 2012. Would anyone be shocked by 4 wins above replacement? That would be roughly a 3 win improvement.
So now we're at 11.1 WAR added to the totals above which gives us 42.7 fWAR and 28.8 rWAR. This is a down and dirty rough estimate and yes it's just guesswork, but I don't think anything I'm assuming here is unfair. If my guesses are near correct, the current roster is right in line with what the Rays and Yankees are expecting for fWAR (before the Youk signing) which I broke down in this thread
As a quick glance at where the teams stand, it seems like fWAR thinks they're all in similar shape with rWAR thinking the Sox are a little behind the other two. I haven't done this for the Jays yet, but I imagine they'll fall in somewhere in this range as well and there's a lot of off season left, so I probably won't do a proper spread sheet for the whole division until February or so, when the rosters are closer to set. At that point I can lay all the teams out with their totals from last year to see how the current roster stack up without my assumptions about improvements or regressions from last season.
That said, if the Sox add either an outfielder like Hamilton or Swisher or a pitcher like Jackson or Sanchez, their totals will go up accordingly. Judging by the paltry WAR numbers coming out of this year's rotation from last season, I think I'd like to see a pitcher more than another outfielder.