Skip to main content

The Transition

Last winter, Dan Shaughnessy was in another of his self-righteous, indignant huffs. This time, he was mad Sox owner John Henry, in relation to whether or not the Sox would sign Jason Bay (he of 1 homer this year) or some other big hitter, had said, “Those realities are a function of available talent and age-related transitioning once again as we did prior to 2007." As real reporter Amalie Benjamin points out: "With much of the talent aging and in the final year of contracts, plus a fairly weak free agent class, there is a distinct possibility that the Sox might not be quite so close to the top of the American League next season." Shaughnuessy just complained about ticket prices he probably hasn't paid for in decades and his perception that this means the Sox are throwing in the towel for 2010 and maybe 2009.

The fact is that Henry is right. This is a transition year. This is a "bridge" year. That said, the Sox are trying to put a good team on the field in the interim. They signed solid veterans for short term deals this off season: Cameron and Scutaro for 2 years and Beltre for one.

With their great depth of pitching and what should be solid offense and defense, I still believe this team can be very good. But, it might just not happen this year.

The Sox are well positioned to dramatically upgrade in 2011 and 2012. I know Shaughnuessy hates that the team might have a budget, but they do. Shilling out large long term deals last offseason would have been a terrible move. It would have only maybe made the Sox slightly better this year but would have killed us down the road.

Going into next season, the Sox rid themselves of the contracts of Papi, Mike Lowell, Beltre (though he has a $5 mill. player option), Tek, Hermida, V-Mart and Julio Lugo's contract. Then in 2011, the Sox walk away from Drew, Cameron and Wake.

This allows the Sox next year to at least give some playing time to a young catcher, clears the table at DH and one of the corner infield positions and opens up a ton of cash. This will let the Sox go hard after a truly big bat in a trade or free agency. They can start giving serious playing time to Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish as they look to secure spots in the post-Drew and Cameron outfield. Jose Iglesias start playing some short in Boston next year - Scutaro is ideal for moving back into a utility role if Iglesias can win a job or if Marco loses a step. Lars Anderson and Anthony Rizzo will have their chance to make the Sox clear room for one of them at first - and with Youk's age - 33 in 2012 - he might be part-time DH at that point.

The Sox have a mass of young guys almost ready and clearing all the money from the payroll will allow the team to fill in where their young guys fall short - probably in big time power and at 3rd base (I'm not convinced Youk can or will ever play 3rd regularly in the bigs).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chris Sale, Bullpen Reboot, Hot Stove Checklist Addition, Sell High

CHRIS SALE TRADE: The Sox just got ace lefty Chris Sale for America's top prospect Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, another Basabe, and Victor Diaz.  That's a true ace for a potential superstar who clearly needs more seasoning, a golden arm who seemed to be a possible headcase, and two lottery tickets.  This is a very good trade for the Sox. While the Sox would have found room to play Moncada once he was ready, he didn't exactly fill a void with Peddy blocking him at second, Panda getting another shot at 3B this year, and 3B prospects Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec - and maybe Michael Chavis - not too far off possibly.  Moncada might not be the biggest pain felt here. After trading Anderson Espinoza for Drew Pomeranz - a trade that is looking worse these days - the trade of Kopech leaves very little high-end pitching talent in the system right now.  There is now a very large drop off after Jason Groome.  Also, the loss of Basabe, Diaz, Dubon and Pennington today just really d…

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…

Sox' Phantom Depth

Two former top outfield prospects who can play a little defense and sometimes be a threat at the plate and a 1B/OF with two years receiving votes for NL MVP.  These guys are the surplus players just off the Red Sox expected 25-man 2017 roster.  And its unlikely any of them will be able to significantly help the team this year even if they played up to the highest expectations.

Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo, and Allen Craig are all Red Sox as of today and you could make a pretty easy argument why it's plausible that each one could be strong contributors to a major league team this year - and two of them likely will, but that team won't be the Red Sox.

Brentz is a former first round pick who can hit the ball a mile, has a cannon arm, and is athletic enough to roam the outfield.  He hit rather well last year, especially against lefties, during his tenure as the Sox starter while Chris Young and Brock Holt were hurt - and Andrew Benintendi was in A-ball.  What has held him back ove…