24 Nov 2014
The Red Sox sure have a way of surprising. My thought going into this off season was to try to acquire a starting rotation. But with offense down and pitching up in MLB, Ben Cherington has decided to do just the opposite. One would assume he is acquiring the difficult to acquire asset with goals of moving some of that asset to acquire the supposedly easier asset to acquire in pitching.
If the season started today, here’s my line-up:
cf – Mookie Betts (R)
2b – Dustin Pedroia (R)
dh – David Ortiz (L)
lf – Hanley Ramirez (R)
3b – Pablo Sandoval (S)
1b – Mike Napoli (R)
ss – Xander Bogaerts (R)
rf – Rusney Castillo (R)
c – Christian Vasquez (R)
The obvious observation is that the Red Sox line-up remains heavy on the righties. This kind of reminds me of when the Red Sox signed Carl Crawford, adding to lefty hitter with the Red Sox already extremely lefty in their line-up, especially their top 5 hitters (Gonzalez, Crawford, Ortiz, Ellsbury with only Pedroia being a righty).
But we are still several months away from spring training, let alone opening day. With a stockpile of offense, albeit in, my opinion, not the best talent, the Red Sox do have chips to work with to acquire a starting rotation. Namely if they can move a player like Cespedes and his salary, then perhaps Jon Lester fits in rotation as a free agent. In addition, there must be room for the likes of Allen Craig, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Will Middlebrooks on other teams…um, when I write those names, I lose total confidence that anyone would provide 100 cents on the dollar for any of them.
So aside from Cespedes, the Red Sox might have to be willing to trade minor leaguers like Blake Swihart, Anthony Ranaudo, Matt Barnes, Garin Cecchini (where would he ever play? The Red Sox just signed 2 players in Ramirez and Sandoval to the 2 positions he plays.), Devon Merrero and a few others.
I would expect over the next 21 days the Red Sox to start to move the above assets in exchange for quality starting pitching and hopefully the signing of Lester. And let’s hope other MLB teams are willing to play the game with Boston, lest they leave Cherington with all offense and no defense, I’ve heard that can leave a GM a dull employee.