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Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Red Sox acquired Jose Reyes? He would be a perfect fit at shortstop, one of the team’s few weaknesses. Reyes has a ridiculous batting average, steals bases, and is arguably having one of the best seasons in baseball. Boston’s already deep lineup would only get deeper. Or what about Carlos Beltran? Or Hunter Pence? Or Ubaldo Jimenez? Or…
Let’s vote “no”–for all of these. For a multitude of reasons, making a major roster change would be unnecessary and possibly detrimental to the Red Sox.
What’s wrong with the Red Sox right now? Not much. Approaching the end of July, Boston finds themselves in first place and three games ahead of the Yankees. Additionally, Carl Crawford recently came off the disabled list with Jon Lester (who started Monday) and Clay Buccholz not far behind. These reinforcements are better than anything the Sox can find on the trade market. Even better, they don’t have to give up anything for these guys (Send me a postcard from Pawtucket, Kyle Weiland). There is no reason to add salary or sacrifice prospects for starting pitchers or outfielders when the Red Sox already have them on their own roster.
The argument for adding an outfielder isn’t particularly convincing. While it would be unrealistic to expect Josh Reddick’s batting average to hover around .400 for the rest of the season, he is clearly playing well enough that adding an extra outfielder seems like a waste of resources. And as horrendous as J.D. Drew has been, the Red Sox have shown no concerns with paying ridiculous money to a non contributing fourth outfielder (eg., Mike Cameron). There is a sound argument for an upgrade at shortstop, but Scutaro is by no means hurting the team.
The Red Sox are playing as well as a team possibly can right now. For two months, I’ll stick with the first place team that’s not even at full strength. There’s no reason to weaken an already thin farm system or needlessly add salary for this year or beyond. Any roster move will only compromise this season and possibly future seasons as well.
When it comes down to it, this is why fans aren’t content with the roster. It’s the same reason Jarrod Saltalamacchia faced so much adversity at the beginning of the season. Marco Scutaro and Josh Reddick are fine players, but they’re just not All-Stars. Fans find this unsettling. On a team built like the Red Sox, this is the exception rather than the rule.
But isn’t that why people hate the Miami Heat so much? Or the New York Yankees? When a team is almost too good to be true, we instinctively feel the urge to dislike them. Something about them is just not natural. We preach to kids about teamwork and everyone–even the little guy–doing their part. These teams defy that logic. Don’t preach this to your kids, if you completely disregard it when it comes to professionals. Not every player on the team is going to hit .320 with 25 home runs, but I’m okay with that. There’s a reason why Gonzalez bats fourth and Scutaro bats ninth. If you want to see nine clean-up hitters, watch the All-Star game.
While there is not much to be disappointed with come the trading deadline, perhaps the attitude of the fan base is one of the few. Have Boston fans become what they so passionately hate? All of the championships, the Celtic’s Big 3, the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady–has it gone to our heads? The Red Sox may only have a few “regular guys”, but maybe that’s what we need to bring us back down to earth. But is it even possible not to be selfish when it comes to wanting the best for the team you root for? Is it wrong not to want your team to get better? Let’s see what Saltalamacchia and Scutaro and Reddick can do (with a little help from Gonzalez, Pedroia, Beckett, and company).
Of course, this is all assuming that the Red Sox don’t trade for Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols, and Roy Halladay…