Links: Early speculation on the Red Sox offseason plan

It’s never too early to start speculating about next year. It may seem like Spring Training is an eternity away, but the Sox have to start game-planning now. Should they tangle with Scott Boras again and risk Matt Holliday going to the Yankees or some other team at the last minute? Thinking they had and then not landing Mark Teixeira really left them in the lurch last year.

Despite the presence of four quality arms in this rotation and probably Tim Wakefield as well, the Sox could afford to add at least one veteran arm. Forget Brad Penny and John Smoltz – Epstein has stated that he still believes in utilizing Boston’s medical staff to rehabilitate pitchers, especially. There are a lot of reclamation projects out there this offseason, including Rich Harden.

Several teams have shown interest in Japanese high schooler Yusei Kikuchi, an 18-year old southpaw who already throws 96 mph, and the Sox are slated to meet with him soon. He is an amateur who has not been eligible for the NPB draft, and Japanese baseball has asked that no MLB teams extend an offer until after the Oct 29 draft. His situation is very similar to that of Junichi Tazawa last year. You have to think that Boston’s success with signing talent from Japan gives them an inside track on landing Kikuchi.


4 Responses to Links: Early speculation on the Red Sox offseason plan

  1. Pat says:

    Kikuchi sounds promising. If he opts to sign with the sox, like Tazawa did for a minor discount (over the supposed Texas deal), I would give some credit to the Daisuke bid and signing. That could turn out to have been a very smart 51 million spent.

    I am glad, and not surprised, that Theo isn’t discouraged by the lack of success by Smoltz and Penny. Those were good risks to take, and their failure was exacerbated by Matsuzaka’s lost season. I want to see Rich Harden in a Sox jersey next year. Please, Theo, make it happen!

    I’m concerned about Boston’s offense next season, but I’m very optimistic about their rotation.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    Just a really quick, Marcels-like projection of the three pitchers mentioned in McAdams’ article:

    Rich Harden: 26 GS, 9-7, 3.42 ERA in 143 IP
    Ben Sheets: 29 GS, 13-8, 3.33 ERA in 179 IP
    Mark Mulder: ? (barely pitched the past 3 seasons!)

    This is pseudo-sabermetric at best, but gives us some vague idea what these guys might be like in 2010. Sheets didn’t play in 2009, so in this treatment, that year is simply ignored altogether, like it never happened (he probably will suffer in IP compared to this projection). In light of these numbers, is there one you’d clearly take over the others? What do you say, readers?

  3. Jeff Carini says:

    Is there anyway the Sox could trade for Michael Young and move him back to short? He makes over $13 M and it would seem like Texas might want to clear some payroll. Maybe the Sox can move Lowell and a couple of prospects to Texas? He’s on the books through 2013 so it’s a bit of a risk should he start to decline, but he’d be a great fit in this line-up and it would make sense that the Rangers would want to get out from under his contract.

  4. redsoxtalk says:

    There is no doubt that the Rangers have interest in moving Young, but they won’t just give him away, not after the season he just had. If I’m the cash-strapped Rangers GM, I’m aiming to sell high on Young this offseason to a club just like the Red Sox. Here’s something I wrote on Young last offseason:

    All of that still holds, only that his hitting projection for 2010 is much better thanks to a great bounceback year. I have him at .295/.352/.446 with 17 HR and 76 RBI. Think Mike Lowell with a little less power. If he’s providing that from the shortstop position, that’s great – only that he’s shown to be pretty poor defensively in the hole; he might resemble 2009 Lowell in that department as well, which is not a good thing. If he can’t cover the left side of the infield, we’re looking at potentially a worse defense than this year.

    Young’s contract is also out to 2013, so while he might be worth the price tag for another year or two, we’re looking at a potential albatross come 2012.

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