New signings show Theo Epstein’s strategy

With the signing of outfielder Rocco Baldelli, and deals with starters Brad Penny and John Smoltz, as well as first baseman-outfielder Mark Kotsay close to being finalized, the Red Sox [team stats]’ offseason kicked into another gear yesterday.
Considering the Yankees already entered hyperspace with three high-profile signings at the end of last year, the Red Sox’ non-splashy entry, with catching still on the docket, puts the three-way American League East battle in 2009 with the Yankees and Rays into better focus.
“I think you’ll see us now as a team take chances on some players that have the potential for a significant upside gain,” general manager Theo Epstein said last night, right after the Baldelli press conference and before the 70th annual Boston Baseball Writers Dinner. “We’re going to have a deeper pitching staff and we’re going to have a dynamic bench.”