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As the offseason gets underway, the Red Sox don’t particularly have that many needs. Except for a manager. And an outfielder. And a few starting pitchers. Oh and an entire new bullpen. I guess I was wrong, they do have a lot of needs. And considering the payroll, there’s not much room for an Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to solve any problems. Sounds like rookie GM Ben Cherington has a lot on his plate. If Benny Boy (Theo was Boy Wonder, it’s only fair) wants to bring integrity back to the Red Sox he should listen to me. Championship guaranteed, but I take no responsibility in any failures.
The Red Sox appear to be set at two of the three spots to start the season, assuming Carl Crawford isn’t exiled from Boston in the next five months or so. Rejoicing in the departure of J.D. Drew should be enjoyable for many fans, but it still doesn’t solve the problem.
The names everyone are talking about right now are Grady Sizemore and Carlos Beltran. Let’s not be stupid. Boston just finished complaining about five years worth of J.D. Drew injuries. With that in mind, why wouldn’t they want to sign a brittle outfielder who possibly can’t field anymore? It’s debatable whether Sizemore actually has knees. He’s definitely the kind of guy I want patrolling right field at FENWAY PARK. Not to mention he hasn’t had a respectable season since 2008. But Carlos Beltran had a good season? Wow, an injury prone, under achieving Scott Boras Client over performing during a contract year, I’ve never heard of that before. I’ll pass.
I hate to be a cheapie, but let’s stick with the Josh Reddick/Ryan Kalish platoon. They’re young, inexpensive andhave something to fight for. The competition could be good for them. Reddick tailed off, but it was a solid season. Kalish played well in 2010. Unfortunately, they’re both lefties, but I’m O.K. with that because lefties haven’t been accused of devil worship since like 1950. And if it doesn’t work out, the Sox can always trade them for something (You can’t trade the 5 year $50 million Beltran contract Boras swindled you into signing).
Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia have first and second base under control. Apparently Marco Scutaro is shortstop (it could be worse). Jarrod Saltalamacchia is catcher and I have no problem with letting Jason Varitek ride off into the sunset. Thanks for the rings, now get lost and do pre-game on NESN. Ryan Lavarnaway can be backup catcher and part time DH.
Now we can get flexible. There’s talk of sliding Kevin Youkilis to DH and letting David Ortiz walk, but let’s not go crazy. To start, I don’t like the idea of Youkilis at third base. He hasn’t been healthy for two years and he’s only getting older. He looked overweight last year and clearly can’t handle it. Ortiz on the other hand had a monster season. Good enough to keep him in the center of the lineup for another two years. And let’s face it, Youkilis seems like a jerk. Ellsbury is our guy now and Youk has a problem with him…it’s time to send Mr. Youkilis elsewhere. Package him and the oft injured Lowrie for pitching of some sort. Sign Aramis Ramirez because that’s what everyone is telling Boston to do
and give him number 24 to make it awkward. I’d say to look into David Wright, but I say a lot of things.
Just don’t do something stupid and sign Jose Reyes for Carl Crawford money. A lineup of three leadoff hitters, what could possibly go wrong?
I’ve had a realization about building a starting rotation. You can’t depend on only five starters. You need like eight. And they all have to be able to pitch a lot of innings. And never get hurt. And not suck. And be chill with waiting in the minors for someone to get injured. The only problem is that those guys are always over priced. Let’s buy them all anyway.
A starting three of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz isn’t a bad starting point. But you have to keep in mind the injuries and Beckett’s inability to pitch well in even numbered years. First off, push Tim Wakefield out the door and force him to move to Florida. I don’t want to hear from him for twenty years. I can already picture counting how many starts it takes him to break the next meaningless record he apparently has come close to.
Next, sign Roy Oswalt. But he’s old and injured. Yeah, but he’s Roy Oswalt. It won’t have to go beyond two years, his upside is high, and his downside isn’t that low. Then sign at least two people out of the following: Mark Buehrle, Bruce Chen, Erik Bedard, Edwin Jackson, Javier Vazquez. Preferably Buehrle is one of the two because of his durability track record.
Then when all of these guys are inevitably injured you have Michael Bowden, Kyle Weiland, Felix Doubront, Junichi Tazawa, and Alfredo Aceves capable of making a start. Are you excited? Me neither.
In terms of the bullpen. Keep Jonathan Paplebon for whatever it takes (but if he walks, leak a story that will ruin his reputation, marriage, and possibly his entire life). Let’s be intelligent and keep Daniel Bard in the bullpen. Same for Aceves, just for kicks. Keep Dan Wheeler too. In case you didn’t know yet, there are a butt load of closers that are free agents. Every GM has to make a rash decision so let’s go Yankees/Rafael Soriano style and sign someone else that isn’t terrible. Relief pitchers are a toss up. If Jenks contributes anything next year it’s a bonus.
Talent was not an issue in 2011, attitude was. Send some of the veterans packing, add some youth and new faces, and sign a tough as nails manager (I vote Dave Martinez solely because of the beard). Do everything I say and cue the duck boats. Give me my realistically perfect team and we finish with something resembling this this:
Hopefully we won’t be missing John Lakcey by August.