I know what you’re thinking. The EEIdiots tell me that there’s no such thing as too much depth. As with most of the stuff they say, that’s absolute bunk.
You know why the Red Sox were never mentioned as a landing spot for Robinson Cano? Because they already have Dustin Pedroia. Nobody said they should sign Cano anyway, even though it would give the Red Sox incredible depth. That would have been too much.
Too much depth.
Of course every team and organization needs depth. If something happens to the top guy, it’s important to have someone to take their place. But, there’s a point where it becomes impracticable. Even though Pedroia takes terrible care of himself, having Cano waiting in case he got hurt would be a foolish waste of resources. The same goes for prospects on their way up. It does no good to have a case of prospects if they’ll never see an at-bat because they’re blocked by five other players.
Let’s take a look at the Red Sox prospects. Baseball America has come out with their list of the top ten Red Sox prospects for 2014. They represent the pinnacle of the Red Sox player development machine.
The top prospect is Xander Bogaerts. He’s almost more than a prospect. He should be the Red Sox Opening Day shortstop. Assuming everything goes even remotely as planned, he’ll be there for years to come. Jackie Bradley Jr comes in at number three. Again, he’s less of a prospect and more of the Sox Opening Day centerfielder. Then it gets more interesting.
Number five is Blake Swihart, a catcher. He’s young, so he’s a couple years away from Boston. That’s good, because the Sox have two catchers on the ML roster for this season. They also have a catcher, Christian Vazquez who is a bit ahead of Swihart in the system, but not quite the same prospect. How many catching prospects do you need?
Number six is Garin Cecchini. Again, he’s young…but he plays third base. If memory serves, the Red Sox already have a young third baseman. They need two?
Number seven is Mookie Betts, a second baseman. As we mentioned, the Sox are pretty well set at second for a while. Can’t move him over to short either…there’s that other guy there for quite a few years. His role will be, what exactly?
The rest of the top ten? All pitchers. Five of them. How many starters do the Sox currently have under contract? Six. Lester, Buchholz, and Doubront are here for a bit…probably. That leaves two spots for the rest of them. At what point does it get crazy?
Wouldn’t the Sox be better served by trading some of that excess for an improvement at another position? Maybe an outfielder from Miami?
I understand that cheap young talent allows the Sox to spend more to fill other holes. But, when you have twice as many young players as you do positions to plug them into, it’s getting counterproductive. It’s a waste of resources.
The other reason to have young talent is to trade it for older proven talent. It’s time for the Sox to start trimming that roster a bit.
Use those chips!