The Red Sox have been keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to spending, but they have also received some contributions from the products of their farm system this season. (They hope that the recent infusion of homegrown talent is the beginning of a long-term trend.) They've built a powerful offense that finished third in the league in runs scored and second in on-base percentage, a pitching staff that led the league in ERA (including a 3.14 ERA from their relievers that led the league by a substantial margin) and one of the majors' best defensive clubs. Boston's roster is a balanced one with a long list of strengths and no glaring weaknesses.
The Red Sox spent a substantial amount of money in the offseason, but no single expense was bigger than the cost to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka, including more than $50 million for the rights to negotiate with him. The idea was to build a rotation around three potential No. 1 starters -- Matsuzaka, Josh Beckett, and Curt Schilling -- with Tim Wakefield providing good performance and bulk innings in the fourth spot.