I’m ignoring the obvious answer of “no.”
After all, I understand that there’s no such thing as too much talent. Your farm system can never be too deep. But, there reaches a point where it starts to be tricky to figure out what to do with all these players.
I think the Sox are reaching that point.
The Sox have a couple players tearing up the farm system, with absolutely no place to go.
Take Mookie Betts, for instance. There are some who have seen him play who insist he has no business still being in the minor leagues. He’s certainly putting up the numbers to support that, as he reaches base every game, and every other at-bat or so. But, he plays second base. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Sox have a second baseman this year. And next year. And every year until 2022. I think it’s fair to say that there won’t be a spot for Betts at second.
You could switch him to short. Lots of players make that switch. There’s an opening there. Oh wait. They have a guy there too. Some Bogaerts kid who speaks four languages. He’s only 21 and should be there next year, along with the next handful. OK. So, two dead ends.
How about third? The guy who was at third last year had an up and down year, and was actually benched in the playoffs. Could Betts or the linguist play third? And replace a guy with 30-home-run potential at the position? Who’s 25? That doesn’t make sense either.
How about first? Maybe one of that crew could shift to first. Oops. Blocked again. And, he’ll be here next year too. Batting fourth in the line-up.
How about the outfield? That Betts kid can absolutely fly. Maybe in center field? Let’s see…the guy in center this year is the best defensive center fielder the Sox have had in I don’t know how long. Oh, and he’s 24.
That leaves the corner outfield spots. The guy in right has one more year left on his contract after this one, and was the Sox most productive player last season. Blocked.
So, left field? There’s no obvious starter at the moment. The guy who sees a lot of the time is still an injury waiting to happen. So, you could shift your speedy second base super-prospect to left field in order to find him someplace to play. That’s all you have.
Not exactly a great option.
There’s a similar problem in the rotation. Forget about the prospects, even. Brandon Workman pitched to a 2.45 ERA last season in three starts in Boston. Pitched at least six innings in all three, and gave up 2 runs or fewer in each of them. Three starts, three quality starts.
He’s in the bullpen. He’s 25 years old.
Where is there room for any new players?
Usually, my answer would be simple. Trade the prospects for major leaguers. Sell high, and get quality back.
But who? And where?
Even if I trade five top prospects away, I need a spot to put the guy that comes to Boston. Sure, there’s an opening for Giancarlo Stanton in left. And, if the Sox got Mike Trout, He’d find a spot somewhere. But, that really only applies to the A-list guys. And, teams aren’t trading a lot of those guys. Otherwise, Stanton would already be in left field.
Trading for a solid all-star doesn’t make any sense. You’re not going to trade a prospect for a player who will be around for a couple years when you have quality youngsters at just about every position at the major league level. Would you make a spot in the Red Sox line-up for Adam Jones or Alex Gordon?
What it’s coming down to is having so many players, that the Sox can’t utilize them to their full potential. There’s just no space. They have too many prospects.
Is that possible?