The Off-Season Can Start Again

As Peter noted earlier today, the Minnesota Twins finally dealt Johan Santana. While at the end of the day I agree with Peter that this move it probably best for Boston (and the Yankees), I do admit I allowed myself to get fired up about the rotation Boston would have had in 2008 had Johan come to Boston. Seriously, it would have been sweet.

That being said, we are looking at Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz in Boston next year (and Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson at Pawtucket). That’s not a bad thing, right? This move also finally allows the off-season to resume. Specifically, I fully expect Coco Crisp to be dealt in the coming days and with Spring Training only 15 days away, yes, that’s 2 weeks from tomorrow, any other loose ends will fall into place. Did I mention Spring Training starts in 2 weeks? Can you believe it? Enjoy the 2007 World Series win while you can because with the start of the 2008 season, the Red Sox are going to be defending Champs.

So Crisp will be dealt and with Eric Hinske most likely a goner, the Red Sox really only need a utility player. Hinske was useful because he could play the corner outfield spots and corner infield spots, so other than his declining offense, I’m not sure why he isn’t going to return. That skillset will be tough to replace. There has been some talk that Trot Nixon could fill that role as he has worked this off-season on his 1st base skills (he will never, NEVER player 3rd, but Alex Cora can), Brad Wilkerson is an idea, although his agent, a guy named Scott Boras, has said he is looking for 3 years – $21mm. Interesting considering his client doesn’t have a job and Spring Training starts soon. In all fairness, the 3 year, $21mm rumor came out 2 weeks ago, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe said that was nonsense and not his asking price.

If he could play a lick of 1b, Gabe Kapler would have been an interesting idea. A fan favorite to be sure, he is a good OF and a great clubhouse guy but he signed with Milwaukee. Anyway, I’ll let Theo Epstein figure out that last spot.

The Red Sox also traded for David Aardsma yesterday. The joy was overwhelming. I do wonder where he’ll fit in. Aardsma is 26 and has yet to make an impact in the Majors but he was considered special at one point. His greatest appeal is his K/IP. In the minors and majors, he has been just about a strikeout per inning guy. He has also been a .5 walk per inning guy and therein lies the problem John Farrell is a good pitching coach from all that know and Boston must be hoping he can figure this kid out.

Off-Season summary:

David Aardsma

Matt Clement
Eric Gagne
Brendan Donnelly (non-tendered)
Dr. Charles Steinberg
Tina Cervasio

Pending Subtractions:
Eric Hinske (for now)
Bobby Kielty (an option I had forgotten about