The Boston Red Sox went on a bit of a spending spree this week, signing two of the two biggest bats in this baseball offseason: Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.

What’s intriguing about these moves is how it fits into Boston’s overall management strategy.

The Red Sox president and chief executive officer, Larry Lucchino, likes to tout that his team and the rival New York Yankees are “very different animals,” but in throwing long-term lucrative deals at two big-name free agents, the Red Sox appear to be taking a page out of the Yankees’ playbook.

In signing Ramirez and Sandoval, the Red Sox will lose two draft picks and still haven’t addressed their biggest issue in starting pitching.

But it’s a long winter and these moves give Boston a significant advantage over New York: options.

The Red Sox have many pieces in the outfield that could now be on the trading block, including Yoenis Cespedes, Shane Victorino, Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, Allen Craig, Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr.

Boston reportedly is looking at Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, who has said he would waive his no-trade clause if the Red Sox were willing to pick up his $20 million option.

And the need for the team to sign Jon Lester has never been more apparent. The Red Sox reportedly offered him a six-year deal in the $120-million range before signing Ramirez and Sandoval, and likely would need to up the offer with the Cubs and Giants in hot pursuit.

In some parts of the Boston media, there’s the feeling the Red Sox brass is straying too much from its game plan, engaging in high-roller tactics when it suits them while denouncing those of their competitors, leaving us to wonder exactly where they stand.

But it’s rather naive to expect a big-market team such as the Red Sox not to start throwing money around when things go awry. As Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan puts it, that’s simply the way you do business in baseball, no matter what outgoing commissioner Bud Selig will tell you about competitive balance. There is far more parity in baseball than the league gets credit for, but the conditions are still ripe for a rich team to come out guns a-blazin’ in the free-agent market to avoid another embarrassing season.

At the same time, the small-market disadvantage is often greatly exaggerated by owners to excuse their spendthrift ways.

Giancarlo Stanton might have just signed the biggest contract in sports history with the Miami Marlins, but it’s heavily backloaded, meaning he’s still working for less than his full value for the first few years.

Stanton will make $6.5 million in 2015, $9 million, in 2016,and $14.5 million in 2017; the big annual paydays won’t start coming until 2018, when he’s set to receive $25 million.

There are two ways to read this: Either the Marlins have given themselves the flexibility to spend money now on other pieces to try to build a winning team for the present. Or knowing owner Jeffrey Loria’s tendency to feign poverty and cut payroll in the interest of profits, there is something more familiar at work.

Media members have poked holes in the narrative proclaiming the Stanton signing as a “new day” for Marlins baseball, noting that once the big money kicks in, it’ll be “business as usual,” which with the Marlins means another fire-sale to shed payroll, talent and any glimmer of hopes that their fan base had left.

So if you’re a Red Sox fan complaining that your team is spending foolishly, just be glad that it’s spending at all, and that baseball is structured so that your team can likely withstand the financial hit if Ramirez and Sandoval don’t live up to expectations.

If you’re one of the surprising number of Giants fans petulantly complaining that your beloved Panda is disloyal and greedy, just be glad that you got seven years of cheap production from him, and ask yourself under what conditions you’d be willing to take a pay cut.

And if you’re one of the (too many to link) Yankees fans trolling Red Sox fans for overpaying injury-prone players, just try to get your house in order first.