Larry Lucchino: Red Sox 'a very different animal' than 'inimitable, old-fashioned Yankees'

February 21, 2014 - 9:50 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino suggested that his organization and the Yankees are operating in markedly different fashion. Over the last two offseasons, the Sox have signed just one free agent to a deal of as many as three years (Shane Victorino, who is entering the second season of his three-year, $39 million contract). By contrast, the Yankees added four players this offseason -- Masahiro Tanaka (7 years, $155 million, plus a $20 million posting fee), Jacoby Ellsbury (7 years, $153 million), Brian McCann (5 years, $85 million) and Carlos Beltran (3 years, $45 million) -- to deals that have exceeded anything the Sox have given out during that stretch. Lucchino's take? "We're very different animals. I'm proud of that difference," said Lucchino. "I always cringe when people lump us together. Other baseball teams sometimes do that. They are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankees style of high-priced, long-term free agents. And, uh, I can't say that I wish them well, but I think that we've taken a different approach. ... If you compare what we did last year in the offseason to what they did this year, there's quite a contrast there." That said, Lucchino suggested that just because the Sox have steered clear of such commitments, they won't rule out the possibility of a major free agent splash. "We do keep open the prospect of having, signing a long-term deal with a free agent paying a sizable amount of money to attract a star in his prime. We haven't ruled that out," said Lucchino. "There's just a rebuttable presumption against doing that, but you can rebut it. The circumstances can allow for you to go ahead and do it. The Yankees do it more often, it seems to me that they do it more often as a matter of course. And for us it would be more the exception than the rule."