Thursday, September 11, 2014

Top 5 Off-Season Moves The Sox Need To Make

As Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner reveals today that the NOG will spend heavily in the off-season, here are our Top Five Off-Season Moves the team needs to make:

1.) Get two front-line starting pitchers. This is not Houston or Kansas City. We can afford it. Go out and spend for (or trade for) two top starting pitchers—Cole Hamels and Jon Lester; Hamels and James Shields; Max Scherzer and Shields. We don't care—we just know that a rotation of Clay Buchholz and the 'Kiddie Corps' will not win a championship;

2.) Send a bunch of the kids to Miami to get Giancarlo Stanton. Sure, he'll probably get signed to the biggest Marlin contract ever in the very near future—but they still can't afford him. Put together a youngster group that excludes Deven Marrero, Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart and Henry Owens. Every other "prospect" (including Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr.) and even Yoenis Cespedes is available. It would be very tough to give up Bogaerts, but Stanton is that good;

3.) Decide on long-term successors for Koji and Papi. Both Koji Uehara (who they should re-sign) and David Ortiz are approaching the end of their productive years. Both can still be very valuable to the 2015 team, but we need to at least identify who their successors will be in the 2016-17 period. Some replacements (either from the system or through a trade) need to be targeted soon;

4.) Fish or cut-bait with Will Middlebrooks. Both the team and the player deserve to know what his status is going forward. After his winter ball experience, we should know if Middlebrooks is ever going to be the middle-of-the-order right-handed power bat that everyone thought he'd be. We should either fully commit to him or trade him;

5.) Let Mookie be Mookie and Rusney be Rusney.  The two most exciting players on next year's team are likely to be Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo. They both need to play and (hopefully) contribute to the 2015 team. After a disastrous 2014, the future is now.