Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Top Five Moves The Red Sox Need to Make This Winter

Unfortunately, the 2017 Red Sox Assessment Industry is now at full production in all factory locations—thanks to the early three-game exit in the playoffs. If we were in charge of The Carmine Hose, we would make several radical changes to this ball-club—ones that we fully recognize would never be made by Dave Dombrowski. Chief among those would be shipping un-watchable closer Craig Kimbrel out of town. See? So, anyway, herewith are our Top Five Somewhat Reasonable Moves the Red Sox need to make this Winter (in no particular order):

1.) Eat as much of Pablo Sandoval's remaining $53 million contract as is gastronomically possible. The Panda is a joke. He cannot be on next year's team. Period. Dombrowski needs to hold his nose and make the most practical deal that will bring something back in return;

2.) Cut bait on Rusney Castillo. This was a horrible mistake. The 29-year-old Cuban OF has failed to live up to the $72.5 million hype—at every level. There is still enough of a 'mystique' about him that he can bring back some quality players. Do it. Now.;

3.) Trade some prospects for a (reasonably) young, controllable (and good) starting pitcher. While neither Rick Porcello or David Price delivered in the post-season, they remain two premiere starters at the top of the 2017 Red Sox rotation. The problem is, we need one or two more premier starters. Our choices would be among: Jose Quintana (27, LHP), Danny Salazar (26, RHP), Carlos Carrasco (29, RHP)—or gamble on a Chris Archer (28, RHP). Beyond Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada, make any prospect (or package of prospects) available to teams. And, if Moncada needs to go, so be it;

4.) Go with Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart as the catching tandem. This means trading or cutting loose Sandy Leon, and Andover High School's Ryan Hanigan. If Swihart can be used as trade bait, let him go and hang on to Leon (who is only 27);

5. Sign Edwin Encarnación to be the new DH. The loss of David Ortiz in the middle of the 2017 lineup cannot be overstated. The way this team is structured, it needs a power-hitting force at clean-up. Encarnación virtually lobbied for the job this season—and he hit 42 bombs and knocked in 142 for his audition. Get him.

Do all of this, and we'll be happy.