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Red Sox Offseason Moves


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#1 LorfTVP

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 06:35 PM

Okay, it's never too early to start thinking about 2009. We've competed well this year despite injuries, as all teams have, but our guys are older and that's always worrisome. Also, we have no power anymore. The stats can say anything, but Papi, injury or not, is not going to be the same hitter without another power threat by his side. Wakefield has that 4 million dollar renewing option, but he's suffered injuries the past couple of years now. There's the Lowrie/Lugo situation at short and the Ellsbury/Crisp situation in center field. Oh, and those injury threats are Mike Lowell, JD Drew, David Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, and, because of the 60 extra innings this year, Jon Lester to a degree. Bench seriously needs an upgrade as well. As much as I like Casey, he's a slow singles hitter and can only play one position.

Okay, first things first, we get rid of Timlin, Cora, Casey, Byrd, and Kotsay. Byrd and Kotsay will want starting gigs elsewhere. What we do with Varitek is by far the toughest decision of the offseason. 2004 showed that the Sox are willing to let go of star guys but the fact that there is no viable replacement is worrisome. Varitek's agent is Boras, he's coming off of a four year 40 million dollar contract, and probably wants more years than we're comfortable giving. The Sox want one of the Rangers' Taylor Teagarden, Jarod Saltalamacchia, or Max Ramirez, and the cost is probably going to be young pitching. Rumors are also out that the Dodgers are shopping Russell Martin (because of makeup problems...which is shocking) but the price will probably be steep. Varitek did get divorced from his wife of 12 years this season, which has an effect, and I'd seriously like to see a study of how off the field incidents effect gameplay. Can't deny that his bat has slowed down considerably though.

We got through this season with Crisp and Ellsbury together but I don't think Crisp will like doing it again. He really pumped up his trade value at the end of the season including the postseason so he could help us get something we need. Ellsbury took some backwards strides but he was still a rookie. I don't know how confident the Sox are in just handing him the job though.

Lot's of people are talking about an upgrade for the rotation as well. The Sox are getting Manny's 20 million and Schilling's 8 million off the books but they still have Lugo for three more years at 9 million apiece.

I'd love Mark Teixeira because power's a problem but he's blocked at first and third by Youkilis and Lowell, who is still signed for two more years.

Okay, here's where we are now.

C - Jason Varitek - Would like to see him train someone but that might be tough.
1b - Kevin Youkilis - MVP Candidate
2b - Dustin Pedroia - MVP
SS - Lowrie/Lugo - Lugo is owed a crap ton, Lowrie dominates lefties but can't hit righties...although he can defend.
3b - Mike Lowell - Two more years on his 3 year 37.5 million dollar contract - Gonna be 35 to start the season.
LF - Jason Bay - Should be signed to a contract extension this offseason. Signed through next year for 7 million.
CF - Ellsbury/Crisp : Competition for this slot, one will most likely be trade bait even though both would help.
RF - JD Drew : Injury worries as well but he's been a solid player WHEN healthy.
DH - David Ortiz : Injury worries but he's gonna heal and gonna hit in the number three spot no matter what.
Bench - Cora is going to be replaced by a new super-utility type or the loser of the Lowrie/Lugo battle. We need a 1b/3b type guy who can hit and an outfielder because I don't see both Crisp and Ellsbury staying. Backup catcher is never a real problem.

SP - Josh Beckett : The oblique injury is worrisome but Beckett should be solid
SP - Jon Lester : Took amazing strides forward but I'm worried about his innings increase this year
SP - Daisuke Matsuzaka : Despite peripherals, a great season. Solid #3 but can he step up his game again?
SP - Tim Wakefield : If his option is picked up, and he's a great value, could be #4 or #5.
SP - Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, Derek Lowe? I don't see the Sox chasing Burnett, Sheets, or Sabathia.
CL - Jonathon Papelbon : Golden
MR - Hideki Okajima : Despite his trouble with inherited runners, a nearly identical line to last year
MR - Justin Masterson : I want him to stay in the bullpen though I'm worried it'd be a waste of his talent.
MR - Manny Delcarmen : Improved tremendously when Masterson joined the bullpen. Solid guy, more to learn.
MR - Javier Lopez : Trends corrected themselves, valuable platoon option.
LR - Dunno. Possibly Wakefield but doubtful since he needs a special catcher. This hole will probably be filled by someone new who can start if necessary.

Honestly, the bullpen is the least of our worries. We need to shake things up before we make any moves an the person we trade could always be the wrong one. On the FA market, I can see us going after Lowe, who already said that the Sox were at the top of his wish list, and maybe Teixeira but that depends on what we can do with Lowell. Don't want to abandon Lowell, and his defense is top notch, but I'm worried about injuries. Top of the rotation is set up, the bottom is in the air. Bullpen needs to be filled out but the core is solid...1-2-3, possibly 4 if Masterson stays. We need to improve the bench.

Thoughts?

#2 mickeef2

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 08:26 PM

C- 'Tek has to go. We need more production, and the defense ain't all that great anymore, either. Keep Cash as a backup.

1B- Youk

2B- Pedroia

3B- Lowell is signed for another 2 years, so we have no other choice.

SS- Lugo is signed for another 2 years as well, and nobody wants him. Looks like we'll have to continue to go with him tutoring Lowrie.

I like our infield bench, but like you said, most of those guys are gonna want to start elsewhere.

LF- Bay was nice considering they could've gotten absolutely nothing for Manny, but this is the one position where they have an opportunity to go for a little more thump via a trade.

CF- I guess we'll have to keep going with the Ellsbury/Coco platoon. Both are great defensively, and very suspect offensively. This position, more than any other, is a drag on our offense.

RF- Drew

SP- Dice, Beckett (who needs to come into camp in shape next spring), Les are definites. I would make a serious run at Burnett. I know he's injury prone, and has a history of pitching well only in contract years, but we can afford to take that chance where other teams can't. And he kills the Yanks. I'd show Wake the door. Let Buchholz continue to develop in the 5th slot. Can't see them going after Lowe as he was a partier while he was here, and I've heard that hasn't changed. Always liked D-Lowe, though, and I wouldn't mind him being the 4th starter.

Pen- Pap, Delcarmen, Oki, Lopez, Masterson (who could even fill that 5th slot in the rotation, but that leaves a big hole in the 'pen), then fill the rest of the slots with acquisitions.

#3 LorfTVP

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 09:16 PM

We had a good regular season bench but in the playoffs, it was one of our downfalls. The whole point of having three catchers was to pinch hit for Varitek but when the opportunity came up, our only option was Sean Casey, a nice guy, but a singles hitter who can take a walk. he had 64 hits, 50 of which were singles and the other 14 doubles. His speed was nonexistent which meant that if he pinch hit and got on base, we'd have to pinch run for him right away. They say he's slower than Ortiz. Cora used to be a premier utility infielder but not anymore. He's a good guy but not a good player anymore, losing steps offensively and defensively. We've got to upgrade that bench. Backup catcher, we have plenty of those, the problem is none of them is really starter worthy which is why we have to make some moves.

Something's gonna happen with both the center field and shortstop situations. Remember how Coco complained all season before settling in, well, he knows he has leverage, and after some time passes, will probably request a trade so he can start full time. I'd love to have them both and have all four of those guys (Ellsbury, Crisp, Bay, and Drew) find time in the outfield but I don't see that happening when players have egos. If Crisp gets traded though, I want a speedster on our bench. I like this pressure on the basepaths thing, it's been working for us these past couple of years ever since we've changed team strategies. A utility infielder with speed? But who...

#4 mickeef2

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 12:13 AM

Just read that they are taking a hard look at Texeira. That would seem puzzling considering the fact that they have Youk and Lowell. Could they possibly be thinking about moving Youk to LF and trading Bay, maybe for a catcher? Trading Lowell and moving Youk to third? I don't see what they could get for him without eating most of his contract. Youk, Drew and Bay in the OF, trade Coco, Ellsbury off the bench? Not sure if Bay or Drew can play CF every day. Lots of possibilities. Wish we weren't pondering them all yet. brooding.gif

#5 KillSmackPapa

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 03:31 AM

One of their moves should definitely be absorbing the fact that they got humiliated by a team which had a $40 million payroll to their $140 million one.

#6 LorfTVP

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 04:56 AM

QUOTE (mickeef2 @ Oct 20 2008, 08:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just read that they are taking a hard look at Texeira. That would seem puzzling considering the fact that they have Youk and Lowell. Could they possibly be thinking about moving Youk to LF and trading Bay, maybe for a catcher? Trading Lowell and moving Youk to third? I don't see what they could get for him without eating most of his contract. Youk, Drew and Bay in the OF, trade Coco, Ellsbury off the bench? Not sure if Bay or Drew can play CF every day. Lots of possibilities. Wish we weren't pondering them all yet. brooding.gif


I touched on this up top...but Mark Teixeira is the tops on my wish list this offseason. I think most likely they'll try to trade Lowell and eat his contract. It won't be straight up, it'll probably be a big deal involving young pitchers, us taking another bad contract back...etc. I dunno, but as much as I respect Lowell, I don't know if I trust him. Move Youkilis to third where he is more comfortable (despite the errorless streak at first, third is the position he was born and raised with) and put Gold glove winner Mark Teixeira at first. Thing is, he doesn't just hit for power, but he takes pitches and walks as well...so basically in the Red Sox/Yankee mold. I'm sure Theo's going over every single possibility...but Mark Teixeira is definitely number one...at least for me. Ortiz needs another THREAT by him. Bay is more of a #5, #6 guy in the order while Youkilis is more of a tough at bat than a threatening one...if that makes sense. Lowell wouldn't take a bench spot, plus that's way too much to spend on a bench guy.

#7 LorfTVP

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 04:56 AM

QUOTE (KillSmackPapa @ Oct 20 2008, 11:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One of their moves should definitely be absorbing the fact that they got humiliated by a team which had a $40 million payroll to their $140 million one.


Yawn.

The whole point of shitty teams getting high draft picks is for this to happen. No shame. This was a team built with talent. Now losing to the Marlins is a completely different story.

#8 mickeef2

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 10:20 PM

QUOTE (LorfTVP @ Oct 21 2008, 12:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yawn.

The whole point of shitty teams getting high draft picks is for this to happen. No shame. This was a team built with talent. Now losing to the Marlins is a completely different story.


Lorf, understand- this is a fan of a team who spent more than the Sox and didn't even make the playoffs (although I'd question how much of a fan he is, considering most of his Yankee posts suggest a very limited knowledge of the team and the game). He realizes he's a nitwit, but he's got nothing else to throw out there.

#9 LorfTVP

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 12:15 AM

QUOTE (mickeef2 @ Oct 21 2008, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lorf, understand- this is a fan of a team who spent more than the Sox and didn't even make the playoffs (although I'd question how much of a fan he is, considering most of his Yankee posts suggest a very limited knowledge of the team and the game). He realizes he's a nitwit, but he's got nothing else to throw out there.


Sigh, I know, I know. I've noticed that he's pretty much been the only vocal Yankee fan after we lost. He just started another thread here in our territory, and though I haven't read it yet, I already know what the tone of it is.

#10 fringe

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 11:37 PM

Move # 1- Buy More Ugly Shirts



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