Thursday, July 21, 2011

Impending Deadline

Here we sit, a week and a half from the trade deadline. The big question? What will the Red Sox do? The bigger question? What should the Red Sox do? Hopefully, the answers are the same. I have no idea what the Sox will do. Theo won’t take my calls. What should they do? That I can handle.

Not a whole bunch.

What do they need to do? They could fix some things. Are there chances to fix them? Probably not. Let’s explore.

There are a few positions that need no help whatsoever. First base, second base, third base, left field, and centerfield are set. There is nothing that needs to be, or should be, done to help those positions. They’re off the table. The starting rotation is pretty good, assuming that players come off injuries as expected. A healthy top three of Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz are just fine. John Lackey? Personally I don’t hate him as much as everyone else does. Even if you want to replace him, I can’t see giving up prospects to trade for a fourth starter better than Lackey. Same really goes for the fifth guy. Whether it’s Wakefield, or Miller is just fine. It’s a fifth starter. Again, I can’t imagine giving up prospects for a guy who is only a fifth starter. Now, if there were a top line pitcher available? Maybe. If Cliff Lee or Felix Hernandez were on the market again, they could replace either Lackey or Wake/Miller. But, they’re not on the market. And, to be honest, when you have three studs, giving up players just to get a fourth is a little weird anyway. So, that leaves us with catcher, short, rightfield, and bullpen. Shall we look at them one by one?

Catcher is a no. They have a serviceable system already. Again, it’s not like Victor Martinez is on the market like 2009. There’s nobody out there that is such an improvement that it’s worth making a deal.

Shortstop? Sure. There are some quality players who could be out there. Reyes was talked about before the Mets pulled him from the market. Have the Marlins grown tired of Hanley yet? I’m going to say that nobody is going to be worth the price in prospects, though.

Same goes for rightfield. Is Carlos Beltran better than JD Drew? Probably. Although, Drew can get hot and be much better. But, Beltran is expensive in either money or prospects. Plus, he’s strictly a rental. He is not the outfielder of the future. So, he’s a pass in my book. The rest of the market? Not exactly a significant upgrade. Sure, it might make fans and media feel better. But, not many of the other options are better than Drew is.

The bullpen is always risky. The only “known” relievers are closers. So, Heath Bell is a type that could work. But, he’ll cost some prospects. And, he wouldn’t be closing in Boston. Enough closers have trouble with the transition to setting up that I wouldn’t pay the price just to have another closer in the pen. Again, I’m happy to continue with the cobbled together pen we have.

So, naturally, there can be moves made. If Theo wants to add some depth, that’s fine. But, the Sox certainly should stay away from any deal that makes the scroll on ESPN.

At least I hope so.

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