Monday, August 4, 2014

Sox Focus Needs To Shift From Bats To Arms

Last night's performance by Clay Buchholz brings into sharp relief the dilemma facing the Red Sox. After partially solving their need for right-handed power with the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes, it's pretty clear that 2015 will be a disaster without adding veteran starting pitching. It's completely unrealistic to think we can rely on the likes of Joe Kelly, Rubby De La Rosa, Brandon Workman, Allen Webster and Anthony Ranaudo to slot in behind our new 'ace' Buchholz. The supply of veteran starters is admittedly better than that of right-handed power bats, but it's unclear whether the choices are appreciably better than Jon Lester and John Lackey. Most often mentioned as an option is 34-year old James Shields—who is having a very good year in Kansas City, but is not the pitcher he once was. The Phillies might make Cole Hamels available via the trade route, but the already-signed lefty would cost the team almost $22 million a year through 2018. There are other possibilities, but few that would come cheaper than Lester or not cost a bevy of prospects. This winter will be a critical moment of truth for the future direction of your Carmine Hose—they will need both arms and bats to be a serious contender in 2015 and beyond.