It’s appropriate that some people referred to young Theo Epstein as “Boy Wonder” when he took over control of the Sox. Boy, does he make me Wonder.
The trade deadline passed this weekend. The Sox had a lot to do in order to make a run at the playoffs. They needed bullpen help more than just about anything. The Sox needed an outfielder. With Ellsbury out for a bit more, and Cameron apparently needing lots of extra rest, a quality back-up outfielder would be huge. They had Mike Lowell tearing up his rehab starts. Since the Sox were apparently in no hurry to add him to their roster, he needed to be sent away. Luckily, there was a lot of good going on with the team. Injuries to stars were starting to go away. Ellsbury is on rehab assignment. Pedroia can start ramping up the rehab again. Victor Martinez just returned, allowing the Sox to stop using their third string catcher. So, how did the Boy Wonder improve his team? Anyone?
He traded for a back-up catcher. What? He traded away a bullpen arm. Huh? He designated his back-up outfielder for assignment. What’s that now? So, he filled a hole that was no longer there, and made two other holes worse? Umm…Ok.
He couldn’t have traded for a decent catcher a month ago? Why did he wait until now? He didn’t have the cash/PTBNL that would have gotten Austin Kearns? Like I said, the Sox have their stars returning. I didn’t need a big splash. I needed some improvement to get the best offense in baseball back up and running.
I’ll cut Theo a little slack in the lack of movement in the relief corps. Grabbing other team’s closers is an expensive way to go about it. If he wants another team’s set-up guy, he can probably get it through a waiver trade without having to settle for a mediocre closer like the Yankees did. He just needs to actually make a move for a middle reliever, and fast. Theo still has options. Honestly, he can probably even still get a not-so-bad bat. (the lone advantage of being in third place) He just has to improve this team so it doesn’t look like he’s given up on the season. He better not be saving everything for next year.
That sure looks like what he’s doing.
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