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).


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…