EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

December 13, 2012

Cherington's neck on the line if these players don't produce

BOSTON — The moves Ben Cherington already has made and will continue to make this offseason will go a long way in defining his tenure as Red Sox GM for better or worse.

His neck is on the line. Unlike last offseason, he has been given the money to build his own team and now is his time to prove his worth.

In the coming years, Cherington will be judged by the performance of the players who he has hand-selected this offseason.

So how is he doing so far? He has added several players who will infuse strong character to a clubhouse that was in need of a culture change. But most all of his additions come with clear risk, too.

Cherington’s new right fielder, Shane Victorino, was introduced here at Fenway Park yesterday after the two sides agreed on a three-year, $39-million deal. Briefly after, the Red Sox signed starting pitcher Ryan Dempster to a two-year deal reportedly worth $26.5 million. Dempster’s deal is pending a physical.

Victorino is coming off a tough season in which he batted .255 with a .321 on-base percentage. The switch-hitter struggled especially from the left-side, batting .229 compared to .323 from the right side.

Struggling from the left side can be even more arduous at Fenway with a deep right-field fence.

“We looked at that,” Cherington said. “He’s had years where he’s hit righties well. We feel confident based on what we’ve looked at in the video and talking with Shane that he’s going to be a productive hitter from the left side. ... He doesn’t have to hit home runs at Fenway from the left side. He has the kind of power to do that but we’re looking at the overall game: What he can do defensively, on the bases, creating havoc in the lineup, covering ground in right field.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits Clay Travis On Mettenberger Punch & "Dumbest Fanbase" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Bowlsby talks cheating in NCAA Kluwe: How can Tony Dungy advocate felons, not Michael Sam SNC Minute: Phils lose; Lee set to return Eagles less than a week away from training camp Could Cliff Lee's health affect trade value? McCarthy and Stairs break down the Phillies' loss 105-year-old woman throws first pitch McIlroy wins British Open, Tiger finishes 69th Astros, Aiken fail to reach deal Could Rousey beat Mayweather? Can the Panthers replace Steve Smith? Will Bengals sign Dalton to long-term deal? Offseason Report: Biggest Question Marks in the AFC West Ole Miss facing increased expectations Derek Jeter Respect Ad Delivers Larry’s Notebook: Is Jimmie Johnson Behind the Curve?
Boston Sports
How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits Clay Travis On Mettenberger Punch & "Dumbest Fanbase" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Bowlsby talks cheating in NCAA Kluwe: How can Tony Dungy advocate felons, not Michael Sam Curran: Did the Patriots make a mistake by drafting Garoppolo? McAdam: Yankees pitching troubles bad news for Sox negotiations with Lester Curran: Will Pats struggle to find an identity on offense this season? Perry: Lester impressive again in Sox 6-0 win over the Royals 105-year-old woman throws first pitch McIlroy wins British Open, Tiger finishes 69th Astros, Aiken fail to reach deal Could Rousey beat Mayweather? Can the Panthers replace Steve Smith? Will Bengals sign Dalton to long-term deal? Offseason Report: Biggest Question Marks in the AFC West Ole Miss facing increased expectations Players to watch when training camp opens Bruins 1st round pick David Pastrnak signs entry level contract