Skip to main content

Beckett's Last Stand

If everything goes according to plan, Josh Beckett will not be a Red Sox in 2011. That said, there is a lot of room for that plan to falter.

The Sox currently have two veteran aces (Beckett and Lackey), an up-and-coming ace (Lester) a future ace (Buchholz), quality veterans (Wake and Dice-K), and a future stud (Casey Kelly). We also have in-the-wings, mid-level prospects (Junichi Tazawa and Michael Bowden).

If the plan as I see it works, then in 2011, everyone moves up. Lackey and Lester are the established aces. Buchholz will be the up-and-coming ace. Wake, Dice-K, Tazawa and probably a short-term free agent signing (Brad Penny-esque) will fill out the other two spots in the rotation and they will aim to get Kelly 10-15 big league starts as they did with Buchholz a few years back. In this scenario, Beckett is pitching elsewhere.

This is a great plan. It will probably fail.

It will likely fail because one of these pessimistic scenarios will probably happen in 2010 thus hurting the 2011 plan: Lackey will not be an ace he's supposed to be but rather a 3rd or 4th starter; Buchholz will not step up as we all hope/expect him to this year; some one is traded away or injured; or Casey Kelly is less than spectacular and stalls in the sub-AAA minors (a la Lars Anderson in 2009).

If the plan does take a hit this year, then the Sox will want to keep Beckett. The question will be their budget. They can't reasonably offer the ace less than they gave Lackey (same age, results, health, etc.). But I don't see them wanting two 36 year old righties getting paid tens of millions in 2015 which is what they'd end up with if they gave Beckett the contract they gave Lackey.

So, since they have a backup plan, and since I don't see how they sign Beckett, I expect he'll walk next off season. Then again, if we win the series, maybe they just over commit themselves a bit.


Popular posts from this blog

JD Martinez and Red Sox Depth

The Sox have signed JD Martinez; so, that's good.  His track record, personal reports on work ethic and attitude (aka lessons learns from Panda mania), and the fact that he's seen most of his success in the American League point to this being as sure a success as you can have in free agency.  He is getting a hefty pay check while the Sox aren't locked down for 6, 7 or Hosmer years.

Taking as a given that Martinez will be an outstanding hitter in the middle of the lineup, this signing - along with the signing of Eduardo Nunez earlier in the weekend - gives this Red Sox offense the most depth they have had since the 2013 champions.  That team taught us that it makes good baseball sense to go a few players deep at each position if you can, and to not obsess with how you'll find at bats for everyone.  Here we go again with that approach.

The 2018 Red Sox are remarkably deep and flexible.  When someone gets hurt, the likelihood is that that player will be replaced in the l…

The 2018 Red Sox Biggest Liability: Infield Defense

This Red Sox team is stacked.  At the moment, the biggest concerns seems to be the Mookie Betts hasn't been hitting and the fifth starter is likely going to be the perfectly capable Brian Johnson or Hector Vazquez for the first month or so.  But this team does have one real problem with it - and another possible one I'll write about later.  The infield defense has the potential to be pretty bad.  Given that I'm usually the one seeing hope in dark Sox times, I figured I'd try to dampen everyone's spirits now that we're cloaked in the warm glow of J.D. Martinez in a Red Sox uniform.

Based on what new manager Alex Cora has said so far, the Red Sox most likely Opening Day infield will be Hanley Ramirez at first, Eduardo Nunez at second, Bogaerts at short, and Devers at third.  That's a group that has the potential to really hit, but they also all have big defensive question marks.  It's not great when Bogaerts is your best defensive infield starter.  For the…

Sox Season Preview

Starting strong isn't a necessity for making a championship run but it sure helps.  Unfortunately, these Sox will need some real luck to get off to a great start.  They're starting off the year without their #2 starter, starting their 3rd best catcher, lacking a platoon partner for either 1B or 3B, missing their two best set-up guys, and expecting All Star caliber play from a rookie.  That said, all these issues should resolve themselves by mid-June and even a bad Sox '17 team should be in fine position to make a second half run.  But Sox fans will likely be pulling out their hair for the first month or two.

Things do have a way of working themselves out with good teams.  Last year, the Sox started the year with a pronounced lack of home runs, their best pitcher was the last guy to make the rotation (Wright) and we had gone through 2 catchers and lost a live Panda.  Things turned around with the team ending up 7th in the AL in homers - and by far the most runs - the league…