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The Sox Off-season

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I hear a lot of talk about the Sox going after Giancarlo Stanton, Cole Hamels, resigning Jon Lester. They all sound great but I think the cost will be too high either in terms of prospects or dollars. I would rather seen them be patient with their young players. I would cut Will Middlebrooks loose. He is an average fielder with way too many holes in his swing. He has always struck out five times as much as he walks in the majors and the minors.

I would open with Christian Vazquez at catcher. He is great defensively, calls a good game and could be a star. Mike Napoli would play first and Dustin Pedroia second, Xander Bogaerts at short, and Mookie Betts at third. He has to play somewhere and seems to be comfortable everywhere. I expect a comeback year for Pedroia and a big year from Bogaerts. Left field would belong to Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo center and hopefully Shane Victorino in right. David Ortiz would be DH until he shows he can no longer hit. On the bench would be Brock Holt, David Ross, Daniel Nava and perhaps Allen Craig. Waiting in the wings would be Garin Cecchini, Blake Swihart, Bryce Brentz and Jackie Bradley Jr. I still haven't given up on Jackie. I think he can learn to hit again and is a great fielder.

Starting pitching will be the biggest challenge. Hopefully Buchholtz remembers how to pitch and Joe Kelly learns how to throw strikes. I would try to sign James Shields but leave the last two spots to some combo of Webster, Ranaudo, De La Rosa, Workman and Owens. The losers would go to the pen which could be pretty good with Uehara, Tazawa, Badenhop, Layne and Mujica.

Depending on how the starting pitching worked out, we could have a very good year or another bad year but at least we will preserve our prospects.
 

Husky25

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I hear a lot of talk about the Sox going after Giancarlo Stanton, Cole Hamels, resigning Jon Lester. They all sound great but I think the cost will be too high either in terms of prospects or dollars. I would rather seen them be patient with their young players. I would cut Will Middlebrooks loose. He is an average fielder with way too many holes in his swing. He has always struck out five times as much as he walks in the majors and the minors.

I would open with Christian Vazquez at catcher. He is great defensively, calls a good game and could be a star. Mike Napoli would play first and Dustin Pedroia second, Xander Bogaerts at short, and Mookie Betts at third. He has to play somewhere and seems to be comfortable everywhere. I expect a comeback year for Pedroia and a big year from Bogaerts. Left field would belong to Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo center and hopefully Shane Victorino in right. David Ortiz would be DH until he shows he can no longer hit. On the bench would be Brock Holt, David Ross, Daniel Nava and perhaps Allen Craig. Waiting in the wings would be Garin Cecchini, Blake Swihart, Bryce Brentz and Jackie Bradley Jr. I still haven't given up on Jackie. I think he can learn to hit again and is a great fielder.

Starting pitching will be the biggest challenge. Hopefully Buchholtz remembers how to pitch and Joe Kelly learns how to throw strikes. I would try to sign James Shields but leave the last two spots to some combo of Webster, Ranaudo, De La Rosa, Workman and Owens. The losers would go to the pen which could be pretty good with Uehara, Tazawa, Badenhop, Layne and Mujica.

Depending on how the starting pitching worked out, we could have a very good year or another bad year but at least we will preserve our prospects.
Try and trade Middlebrooks. I hope he agrees to play winter ball, but he probably needs a fresh start outside the AL East. Even if it's for a bag of baseballs, they need to get something for him. Ross's contract is up. I doubt they resign him. Nava and Victorino may have also played their final games in a Boston uniform.

Pitching was an issue last year, but so was youth. Now those rookies have something to build on and the farm is still stacked.
 
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Simply don't see Sox going the years/$ it'll take to bring Lester back or to sign Shields. Henry has disparaged contracts like the ones they'll likely get.

Offense is so challenged now that guys like McCarthy, Green and even Capuano can fill out a rotation at much less $ and do a decent job. Even with injuries to 4 of NY's 5 starters coming out of spring training, NY's team ERA was a decent 3.75. Their offense, with a team avg. of .245, killed them. Every team, except St. Louis, that made the playoffs had better offensive #s than Boston or NY.

Stanton would be a phenomenal get, but he's going to be REALLY expensive. Getting Pedroia, Victorino and Napoli back to 100% will help. (BTW - I read that Napoli suffered from apnea all year. It can certainly be debilitating, but CPAPs are an easy fix).
 
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I hear a lot of talk about the Sox going after Giancarlo Stanton, Cole Hamels, resigning Jon Lester. They all sound great but I think the cost will be too high either in terms of prospects or dollars. I would rather seen them be patient with their young players. I would cut Will Middlebrooks loose. He is an average fielder with way too many holes in his swing. He has always struck out five times as much as he walks in the majors and the minors.

I would open with Christian Vazquez at catcher. He is great defensively, calls a good game and could be a star. Mike Napoli would play first and Dustin Pedroia second, Xander Bogaerts at short, and Mookie Betts at third. He has to play somewhere and seems to be comfortable everywhere. I expect a comeback year for Pedroia and a big year from Bogaerts. Left field would belong to Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo center and hopefully Shane Victorino in right. David Ortiz would be DH until he shows he can no longer hit. On the bench would be Brock Holt, David Ross, Daniel Nava and perhaps Allen Craig. Waiting in the wings would be Garin Cecchini, Blake Swihart, Bryce Brentz and Jackie Bradley Jr. I still haven't given up on Jackie. I think he can learn to hit again and is a great fielder.

Starting pitching will be the biggest challenge. Hopefully Buchholtz remembers how to pitch and Joe Kelly learns how to throw strikes. I would try to sign James Shields but leave the last two spots to some combo of Webster, Ranaudo, De La Rosa, Workman and Owens. The losers would go to the pen which could be pretty good with Uehara, Tazawa, Badenhop, Layne and Mujica.

Depending on how the starting pitching worked out, we could have a very good year or another bad year but at least we will preserve our prospects.

Your starting lineup has only one left-handed batter and he'll be 39 on opening day. Either they'll make a trade for a left-handed hitter or one of Brock Holt (who, while he had an excellent year is hardly a sure thing to hit like that for a full season) and Daniel Nava has to be in the lineup.
 
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Your starting lineup has only one left-handed batter and he'll be 39 on opening day. Either they'll make a trade for a left-handed hitter or one of Brock Holt (who, while he had an excellent year is hardly a sure thing to hit like that for a full season) and Daniel Nava has to be in the lineup.
I hear you on the balanced lineup but sometimes I think too much is made of the lefty/righty issues. A good hitter ought to be able to hit someone throwing from either side. I do see that a left-handed hitter might be at a disadvantage against a left-handed pitcher simply because they don't see them as much. But for right-handed hitters, it shouldn't be that much of an issue. One of the starters for next year, hopefully, will be Victorino who apparently saw the light and gave up switch hitting.
 
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Try and trade Middlebrooks. I hope he agrees to play winter ball, but he probably needs a fresh start outside the AL East. Even if it's for a bag of baseballs, they need to get something for him. Ross's contract is up. I doubt they resign him. Nava and Victorino may have also played their final games in a Boston uniform.

Pitching was an issue last year, but so was youth. Now those rookies have something to build on and the farm is still stacked.
Daniel Nava had a pretty good year for the Sox and his flexibility is valuable. I think he stays. Victorino if he is healthy stays too. Ross might stay just to help break in Vazquez and Swihart. Middlebrooks has to go. He cost us 2 and a half years of experimenting on third base not to mention Jenny Dell.
 
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This is likely going to be as active an offseason as the Red Sox have ever had between FA signings and especially trades.

According to Cots, the Sox have 105million spent not counting arb cases and some minimum players (about 500K per).
If you throw in some arbs and the minimums, and the benefits, let's say they are looking at around 125m. That gives them 60 mil or so to spend this offseason if they choose while staying under the cap.

Without doing anything, As of right now, they're lineup is actually pretty good if healthy, although they may take a run at a 3B and keep Holt as their super-sub roving all over the field. Current lineup as of now:

LF Betts
2B Pedroia
DH Ortiz
RF Cespedes
1B Napoli
SS Bogaerts
CF Castillo
3B Holt
C Vazquez

Bench: Any of Victorino (possibly traded if healthy and playing well in the spring), Craig, Nava, Bradley Jr, Weeks, Ross?

Who knows: Middlebrooks

Pitching staff (what the hell do we have here??):

SP Buchholz
SP Kelly
SP De La Rosa
SP Ranaudo
SP Webster/Barnes

RP Mujica
RP Tazawa
RP Workman
RP Layne
RP Hembree?
RP Wilson?

Potential big ticket free agent targets: Lester, Shields, Scherzer, Miller, Uehara (QO offer???), Headley, Sandoval. With 60 mil to spend they will either take on salary through trades or sign FA's. I would prefer signing guys and keeping as much youth as possible, but we'll see.
 
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This is likely going to be as active an offseason as the Red Sox have ever had between FA signings and especially trades.

According to Cots, the Sox have 105million spent not counting arb cases and some minimum players (about 500K per).
If you throw in some arbs and the minimums, and the benefits, let's say they are looking at around 125m. That gives them 60 mil or so to spend this offseason if they choose while staying under the cap.

Without doing anything, As of right now, they're lineup is actually pretty good if healthy, although they may take a run at a 3B and keep Holt as their super-sub roving all over the field. Current lineup as of now:

LF Betts
2B Pedroia
DH Ortiz
RF Cespedes
1B Napoli
SS Bogaerts
CF Castillo
3B Holt
C Vazquez

Bench: Any of Victorino (possibly traded if healthy and playing well in the spring), Craig, Nava, Bradley Jr, Weeks, Ross?

Who knows: Middlebrooks

Pitching staff (what the hell do we have here??):

SP Buchholz
SP Kelly
SP De La Rosa
SP Ranaudo
SP Webster/Barnes

RP Mujica
RP Tazawa
RP Workman
RP Layne
RP Hembree?
RP Wilson?

Potential big ticket free agent targets: Lester, Shields, Scherzer, Miller, Uehara (QO offer???), Headley, Sandoval. With 60 mil to spend they will either take on salary through trades or sign FA's. I would prefer signing guys and keeping as much youth as possible, but we'll see.
I don't see Brock Holt as a starter. I really like him as a super-sub. He hit .219 in the second half of 2014 with an OBP of .278. He either wore down or the pitchers figured him out. In either case, I don't think he is ready to start especially at third where a little power is required. I'd put Mookie there and pick from among Victorino, Nava and Craig for the other outfield position.
 

HuskyHawk

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I don't see Brock Holt as a starter. I really like him as a super-sub. He hit .219 in the second half of 2014 with an OBP of .278. He either wore down or the pitchers figured him out. In either case, I don't think he is ready to start especially at third where a little power is required. I'd put Mookie there and pick from among Victorino, Nava and Craig for the other outfield position.

Mookie cannot play third. He was moved to 2nd in the minors because he didn't have the arm to play SS. Hell, Pedroia would be better at third, he has a much stronger arm. They will sign somebody to play 3B or make a trade for one.

There will be signings and there will be trades. Expect big shakeups, things you aren't expecting. Vasquez will likely catch, but Swihart is the long term answer at C, so Vasquez could also be moved. I think Cespedes will definitely be traded, but they need to get some more power in the lineup. Holt is a utility guy. Betts has extra value as Pedroia insurance or I think they'd consider moving him.

I don't see them going for Hamels and giving prospects to get a guy making what they could have paid Lester. If they are trading prospects, they will get a younger, cheaper guy like Sale.
 
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