LorfTVP Posted October 20, 2008 Share Posted October 20, 2008 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? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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