EVERY free agent signing has to go through the "John Q Public" criticism. These are people who are simply jealous because they will never see the amount of money the average MLB player makes now a days. A player cannot sign a free agent contract without some jackass saying "the team overpaid" simply because they do not understand the concept of money in professional sports. To them (which includes most people that follow the game from afar), any team that spends a lot of money in payroll is dooming itself. This is just wishful thinking from their prospective.
On to the Boston Red Sox, who most will forget faced the same criticism after their 2012 off season moves. There was little doubt the team did the right thing by bringing multiple players to address multiple needs, however, there was a lot of doubt over some of the moves that were made. Shane Victorino was washed up, having come off his worst MLB season with Philadelphia and Los Angeles in 2012. His 3 year, $39 million contract was heavily criticized. Ryan Dempster signed a 2 year deal for $26.5 million. Mike Napoli had a 3 year deal voided and reworked to a 1 year, $13 million. Stephen Drew signed a 1 year, $9.5 million contract when some determined he was finished. The team also signed Koji Uehara, Johnny Gomes and David Ross and traded for Joel Hanrahan.
The Red Sox won the American League Pennant because they were the best team in the AL. We have all come to that simple conclusion because they reversed their 93 loss 2012 season with a AL East title and a ALCS victory over the Detroit Tigers. Because of that fact, the team automatically made the best, most savvy and wisest moves of any team in the AL. All those who criticized the signing of Victorino call him the "gritty veteran" the team needed to add. All of the sudden, they forget what they said in February.
I have no problem saying the Boston Red Sox had an outstanding season and may at this moment have the best team in all of baseball. The moves they made worked and that is as far as I go with that. Every team plans an off season to put the best team on the field. Nobody knows how the new mixture of talent and incumbent players will mesh together. If it didn't work out, the same people would criticize the Victorino, Napoli, Dempster, Drew and Gomes signings as well as the Hanrahan trade. Now other MLB teams are said to want to "follow the model" of the Boston Red Sox and their 2012 off season. The bottom line is that they took a chance of Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli. No different than another team taking a chance on Michael Bourn, Yoennis Cespedes or any other similar player.
The reason the Red Sox get credit is the fact their moves worked. And that is fine. But does that mean for a similar team to give Curtis Granderson a long contract because the Red Sox signed Victorino? Is Carlos Beltran the answer for a team in that spot? There may be no answer, but the bottom line is all the critics were wrong when they said the Victorino deal was a bad contact. All because the Red Sox won. Which is fine. These contracts are judged by whether the signing team wins, plain and simple. The Red Sox won, so the Victorino signing was a great one. It also proves that some of the know it alls should probably hold off on their opinion until a player plays a game for their new team. MLB is all about winning and losing. Winning teams made all great moves and losing teams made all bad moves. I hope you can feel the sarcasm in my words.