Despite the hysteria of talk radio yelping about Theo Epstein's comments from last week about this being a "bridge year" and the team wanting to remain competitive with an eye towards the future, I had a feeling that he was using a little misdirection. Theo's a smart guy and knows how to work the media. He never says anything that won't ultimately be to his benefit.
That is why I'm not surprised about the agreements to contracts with John Lackey and Mike Cameron. I'm extremely pleased about both signings. Cameron is a great defensive outfielder and has some pop in his bat. Lackey is a solid #2 starter. The Red Sox starting rotation now looks like this: Lester, Beckett, Lackey, Matsuzaka, and Buchholz, with Tim Wakefield still in the picture.
The Cameron signing means that the Red Sox are now probably out of the Jason Bay picture and will mostly go with a platoon of Jeremy Hermida and Cameron in LF. However, considering J.D. Drew's injury history, there will be plenty of AB's for both players.
I still believe the Sox need another bat, and the Lackey signing allows them to consider moving Buchholz. I'd like to see the team keep him, because he showed during the second half of last year that he can be a good big league pitcher. Every year, it looks like the team has enough pitching depth, but guys get hurt or don't pitch to their expectation level, and all of a sudden the rotation looks thin.
If the Red Sox go after a big time bat (Adrian Gonzalez), I'd rather have them trade Casey Kelly. Kelly dominated Single A, but he's years away from Boston, and needs to prove himself at higher levels of the minor league organization. I'd be willing to take that chance for Gonzalez.