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New Line-Up Better Than the Old Line-Up

This is a truly different Red Sox team. The team is excellent defensively and on the mound, with plenty of offense to make this work. There is no longer anyone on the free agent market worth the Sox signing to upgrade the offense. If they need offense, their best bet is a mid-season trade.

On defense, the Sox will have Gold Glove caliber defenders at every position besides catcher. All their outfielders can run. And their infield should be excellent as well. I feel good when my biggest defensive concerns, after V-Mart's arm, are how good Youk really is at third (he has never played a full season there in the majors), how much range does Scutaro have at short, and poor throwing arms in left and centerfield. Not too shabby.

Offensively, everyone underestimates Casey Kotchman (firstbase). He's good enough that the Braves accepted Kotchman and a minor league pitcher for Mark Texeira two years ago - a price tag was admitedly skewed by it being T's last year before signing with the Yanks. He is an elite fielder who never strikes out and can hit for average - and maybe power someday. And that's our 8th or 9th hitter.

Essentially, assuming Lowell doesn't regain his spot, here is the turn over from mid-season last year to now at 1B, 3B, and catcher. Then: Youk, Lowell, Tek. Now: Youk, V-Mark, Kotchman. I'll take "now".

Then: Nick Green/Alex Gonzalez. Now: Scutaro.
Then: Jason Bay. Now: Mike Cameron

Offensively, I think the net gain of getting Scutaro and V-Mart for a full season slightly beats out the loss of Bay. And Cameron is no slouch. He has pop and walks quite a lot.

My point is, offensively, we are slightly better now than we were most of last year. Then you add in a almost too good bench of Lowell, Lowrie, Tek and Hermidia and you're doin' just fiiiine.

Oh, and I think we signed a pitcher.


Update: Oops. Kotcham was traded. I saw that coming?

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