Hot Stove 2010: Options for a SP

I started doing these summaries as one post, and it just got too darn long. I just ad to throw away my shortstop post today. Anyway, on we go to starting pitching.

The Sox rotation is young (apart from Tim Wakefield) and strong, but lacks veteran depth. Behind a budding ace in Jon Lester and a very solid Josh Beckett, we’ve got (at worst) a middle-of-the-rotation filler in Daisuke Matsuzaka and some young talent. The Sox could easily go their typically conservative route, or they can trade away some of those juicy prospects for an upper-tier pitcher:

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Hot Stove 2010: Sign Matt Holliday

You’re going about this all wrong. Would it be nice to get an elite slugger or a young ace this offseason? Of course! But at what price? Despite how it looked at times, the lineup is strong, and finished 3rd in runs scored, despite playing Nick Green and Jason Varitek as much as we did. And the rotation already has four strong pitchers if Daisuke Matsuzaka can come back. Trading Clay Buchholz now is the wrong move; he will give you 80-90% of what Hernandez will over the next four years at a bargain price. The Red Sox have talent and should continue to build from within. We certainly need to address that left field vacancy, as well as the lack of pop in the lineup; signing Matt Holliday should be enough on both counts, and we can fill in as needed around these guys. Here’s how to approach the off-season with measured restraint:

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Hot Stove 2010: Trading for Adrian Gonzalez

It seems that an Adrian Gonzalez trade is drumming up the most excitement in Red Sox Nation so far, so let’s formulate an off-season plan revolving around acquiring him from Jed Hoyer’s Padres. Hoyer has noted that a contract extension with Gonzalez is “definitely on the docket”, and he would like to keep him playing for his native San Diego; however with A-Gonz in line for a major free agent deal after 2011, it makes you wonder if the Padres and their $40M payroll will be able to hang on to him much longer (former Padres GM Kevin Towers agrees). Okay, so here’s fantasy off-season plan A (for Adrian):

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2010 Free agent profile: Ben Sheets

And now for a primer on the other free agent starter out there, Ben Sheets. When he is right, Sheets is a top-of-the-rotation type (at least in the NL). He boasts a solid strikeout rate and very good control of his 93 mph fastball, hard 80 mph curve and solid changeup. He lost his 2009 season due to having surgery on February 12 to repair his right elbow flexor tendon. According to Jayson Stark, Jason Jennings underwent the same surgery and returned one and a half years later. For what it’s worth, Jennings has his velocity back, but has only recently begun to look like the pitcher he was back in 2006.

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2009 Offseason: Sox prepare to make a move

With the Winter meetings less than a week away, the Boston front office is humming with activity. Could there be a big move or two in store after this relatively quiet start to the offseason?

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2008 Offseason: Free agents of interest

The Red Sox have some needs to address, but it appears that their roster and stable of near Major League-ready talent doesn’t have a lot of space right now. Thus, it seems that a trade is the most likely route this offseason; nevertheless, here is what is potentially available on the free agent market (links point to all recent MLB Trade Rumors articles tagged to that player). We’ll start with two of the bigger names, then focus on the Red Sox needs for any potential good fits.

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