LOS ANGELES, March 11, 2013 — The Boston Red Sox had an interesting 2012 after starting the year on the heels of one of the worst collapses to end the 2011 season. Expectations were high going into 2012, but those were quickly dashed when the team continued to play poorly and eventually finished in last place with a 69-93 record.
The Red Sox were handed a gift from the Dodgers in August when Los Angeles agreed to take on most of their big contracts to underperforming players, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett. In return the Dodgers also gave them two very hard throwing pitching prospects in Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster. De La Rosa will be in the rotation after a few bad John Lackey starts.
Boston still has a lot of work to do to get back to where they were when they won two World Series titles in the first decade of the 2000s. They did add some offense to improve from last year, but will depend heavily on the health of David Ortiz and Mike Napoli.
The Boston rotation will look a lot better once John Lackey is out of there, but when you pay a guy $15 million, you kind of have to play him until he gets his ERA above 5.00 or injures himself. Both are possibilities, which could happen very quickly with Lackey.
Projected payroll: $154,415,500
Notable Players Out: RF Cody Ross, 1B James Loney, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP Aaron Cook
Notable Players In: 1B Mike Napoli, RH Shane Victorino, SS Stephen Drew, LF Jonny Gomes, RHP Ryan Dempster, RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Koji Uehara
Prospect Watch: SS/3B Xander Bogaerts and RHP Rubby De La Rosa
Highlight Hitter: DH David Ortiz (ZiPS 2013 Projections: .294/.389/.558 23 HR/56 R/62 RBI)
Highlight Pitcher: LHP Jon Lester (ZiPS Projections: 14-9, 3.97 ERA, 8.27 K/9, 188.3 IP)
Projected Lineup: C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B Mike Napoli, 2B Dustin Pedroia, 3B Will Middlebrooks, SS Stephen Drew, LF Jonny Gomes, CF Jacoby Ellsbury, RF Shane Victorino, DH David Ortiz
Projected Rotation: LHP Jon Lester, RHP Clay Bucholz, RHP Ryan Dempster, LHP Felix Doubront, RHP John Lackey
Projected Closer: RHP Joel Hanrahan
Manager: John Farrell
Projected 2013 Finish in AL West: 1. TBA 2. TBA 3. TBA 4. TBA 5. Boston Red Sox