Red Sox willing to add payroll to improve pitching

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Red Sox willing to add payroll to improve pitching

After Andrew Bailey went down with a thumb injury, the Red Sox bullpen doesn't look quite as strong as it should be as the 2012 season begins.

The Red Sox pitching shuffle has found Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront in the rotation and Alfredo Aceves closing out games for the team.

If these moves don't work out for the Red Sox, they could have an option to fall back on. According to the Boston Globe, Larry Lucchino revealed that the team would be willing to increase the team's payroll to improve the pitching staff.

Our goal is to field a team with more homegrown players, fewer free agents, and to have a more manageable payroll down the road." said Lucchino. "But if youre asking about this year, we understand that each year has to be taken on its own and this year our payroll is going to be, Id hate to make a guess, but itll be well over the 178 million dollar threshold.

Its important to us to get under the threshold when we can, depending on when the circumstances will allow us to do so, Lucchino added. Our first and fundamental obligation to our fans, the first and fundamental obligation of ownership, is to field a team thats worthy of the fans support. I think our track record over the past 10 years demonstrates that we honor that obligation and we will continue to honor that obligation.

If the Red Sox were to add some pitching depth one name that comes to mind is starter Roy Oswalt, whom the Red Sox were connected to during the offseason. The veteran right hander is eyeing a midseason return, and his signing would also bolster the bullpen as Bard or Doubront would lose their spot in the rotation.

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

NEW ORLEANS -- There will be a significant faction of Celtics Nation who will see DeMarcus Cousins’ trade to New Orleans as a lost opportunity for the C's, who could have offered a much more enticing trade package than the one the Sacramento Kings accepted.
 
The Kings received nothing even remotely close to a king’s ransom for Cousins, acquiring him in exchange for rookie Buddy Hield, journeyman Langston Galloway and ex-Pelican Tyreke Evans (who has never been the same since his Rookie of the Year season in 2010), along with a protected first-round pick and a future second-round selection.

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While the knee-jerk reaction is to focus on why Boston decided to not pursue a trade for Cousins, more important is what the non-decision means for the moment and going forward.
 
Think about what the Celtics have done in the last three-plus seasons.
 
They went from being a lottery team to one that has the second-best record in the East. They're holding the potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft; at worst, the pick will be in the top four or five. They have three of the most team-friendly contracts (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder) in the NBA. They have promising prospects overseas as well as in the D-League. And they're led by a coach who has improved his coaching acumen -- and the team’s win total -- every year he's been on the job.
 
And it's all enveloped by a culture with a high level of selflessness, which has created a locker-room environment that has been more about fighting for each other than fighting one another or others off the court.
 
Do you really think Cousins’ talent would have trumped the baggage he'd be bringing to the Celtics if they'd acquired him?
 
For him to have fit in with this team would have required him to make the kind of changes that, frankly, I just don’t see him being capable of making at this point.
 
On more than one occasion, “not fitting in” with the Celtics culture was given to me as the reason why a Cousins-to-Boston trade never gained any traction with the team’s brass. Or coaching staff, for that matter.
 
While there's no denying that he's arguably the best center in the NBA, Cousins is a high-risk, high-reward talent that makes sense to pursue if you're a franchise which has nothing to lose by adding him to the mix. Like, say, New Orleans.
 
The Pelicans are 11th in the Western Conference despite having Anthony Davis, who has been asked to carry the weight of a franchise that has yet to figure out the best combination of talent to surround him with and find success.
 
The addition of Cousins not only provides Davis some major help, but serves as a reminder of just how desperate the Pelicans are.
 
While there are mixed reports on whether the package of assets the Kings agreed to was the best they could have received for Cousins, there was no way they were going to get anything close to comparable talent in exchange for him.
 
And that was solely due to the risk that any team was willing to take on in order to acquire him.
 
At some point, the Celtics need to take advantage of an opportunity to go all-in for a superstar player. But this was not that time, or that player.