Friday, February 13, 2015

A Blueprint For 'The Next Great Red Sox Team'

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has done an admirable job so far this off-season. He has dramatically upgraded the offense, added a string of middling starters and hung onto his prime prospects. Not bad. Of course, the team still lacks a number one starter. The best case scenario for Boston is to trade for Cole Hamels with a prospect pool excluding Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart and Henry Owens. Easy for us to say! But, how about this for a plan? Aggressively out-bid The Evil Ones for 19-year old Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada. That will likely cost upwards of $70-$80 million (counting the penalty for going over their allocated international signing pool). But, hey, that's John Henry's cash. This move would allow Boston to put highly-touted shortstop Deven Marrero into the Hamels deal—along with 3B Garin Cecchini, 2B Sean Coyle and RHP Matt Barnes. Those four—and a commitment to pay all of Hamel's remaining $96 million salary—should be enough to get a deal done. Boston has Xander Bogaerts to play short until Pablo Sandoval leaves or moves to DH—giving Moncada plenty of time to develop in the minor leagues. We get a stud pitcher short-term, and a monster infield prospect long-term—setting ourselves up to dominate the AL East for years.