Post-2009: Setting a plan for this offseason


It’s all well and good to consider all of the free agents and trade possibilities out there, but in my mind, you have to set a direction by placing the most important piece of the puzzle first. Then you fill out the roster based on what you have to do to get that piece. Here’s a look at some of the major pieces available, and what it might cost to land them.

Hitters

Matt Holliday, LF – 30 years old in 2010 [Type A Free Agent]
Seeking: 5-6 years at $15-20M per year
Pros: Complete player, right-handed power bat
Cons: Not an elite hitter in the AL (thus far), agent is Scott Boras so will sign late

Jason Bay, LF – 31 years old in 2010 [Type A Free Agent]
Seeking: 5 years at $15M+ per year
Pros: Right-handed power hitter who has shown he can produce in Boston; professional and reliable
Cons: Poor defender, not an elite hitter

Adrian Gonzalez, 1B – 28 years old in 2010 [On the block?]
Trade cost: Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard, Josh Reddick plus 2-3 top prospects
Pros: Young power hitter, could be even better at Fenway, extremely cheap money for two more years
Cons: Doesn’t address LF vacancy, very high acquisition cost, causes traffic jam at 1B/3B

Pitchers

John Lackey, RHP – 31 years old in 2010 [Type A Free Agent]
Seeking: 5 years, $16-17 M per year
Pros: Proven AL starter, big and durable
Cons: Significant injuries the past two years

Roy Halladay, RHP – 33 years old in 2010 [On the block?]
Trade cost: Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard plus one top prospect
Pros: Proven ace and workhorse in the AL East
Cons: Older starter under contract for just one more year

Felix Hernandez, RHP – 24 years old in 2010 [On the block?]
Trade cost: Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard plus 2-3 top prospects
Pros: Young and dominant pitcher
Cons: A lot of wear on his arm already, high acquisition cost

The Red Sox have about $109M committed to contracts for 2010, but after re-signing Hideki Okajima, Jason Vairtek’s player option and salary arbitration, we’ll probably be up around $116M, which leaves money to make one major addition and get some spare parts. So what about it, readers? Who do you think is the right piece for the Sox to build around this offseason?

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3 Responses to Post-2009: Setting a plan for this offseason

  1. Jeff Carini says:

    My Plan:

    Trade Buccholz, Lars Anderson, Josh Reddick, Casey Kelly, Ryan Kalish and Jed Lowrie to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez

    TradeLowell, Bowden, Stolmy Pimental and Kotchman to Texas for Michael Young

    Sign John Lackey 5 years x $17M

    Sign Xavier Nady 1 year x $7M + option

    Sign Ron Mahay and Brett Tomko to 1 year deals

    Sign Austin Kearns 1 year

    Bring back Nick Green, Joey Gathright and Varitek(assuming he picks up his player option)

    Line-up

    CF Ellsbury
    2B Pedroia
    CA Martinez
    1B Gonzalez
    3B Youkils
    DH Ortiz
    SS Young
    RF Drew
    LF Nady

    Bench: Green, Gathright, Varitek, Kearns

    Rotation: Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Matsuzaka, Wakefield

    Bullpen: Paplebon. Bard, Ramirez, Okajima, Delcarmen, Mahay, Tomko

    The two trades may deplete the farm a bit, but this would give the Sox a very good chance of returning to the world series for the next few years.

    • redsoxtalk says:

      Wow Jeff- you really want to turn over this team! I would be shocked if Theo, who’s pretty conservative, applied this strategy to this year’s team. Some quick thoughts:

      I have to think about this a bit, but my knee jerk reaction is that these moves would deplete the farm more than just a bit. The lineup is improved a lot in your scenario. The Lackey signing is almost a necessity if you trade Buchholz to get Gonzalez.

      Not sure that you would have to include that much for the trade for Michael Young, and I don’t really like the contract he has. I also think I’ve made it very clear in the past that I don’t see him as a starting shortstop anymore, because of the poor defense. Still, you could get away with him there if you have an excellent, rangy 3B (as in not Mike Lowell).

      I think Nady in fine as a one-year/4th OF guy, but he’s not the high OBP-type the Sox prefer.

      Not sure what the love for Tomko and Mahay is all about, but I’ll touch on fixing the bullpen in an upcoming post.

      • Jeff Carini says:

        I’ll admit, I’m in fantasy land in this scenario and I agree that Theo tends to play things a bit more conservative.

        I agree that Young isn’t the best defensively, but I think he’s solid and makes all of the routine plays much like Jeter at this point in his career. I think having Youkilis at 3rd helps there as well.

        I agree that Nady isn’t a high OBP guy, but he’d be a 9 hole hitter where people like Alex Gonzalez, Varitek, and Lowrie have typically hit. I’d say Nady would be an upgrade regardless of his OBP.

        As far as Tomko goes, he’s a veteran who put up pretty decent numbers this past year and has experience starting and pitching out of the bullpen. He’d be a guy who could spot start and provide insurance for a Wakefield injury.

        As far as Mahay goes, I was just looking for a lefty reliever who has good career numbers vs lefties. They may need a guy like this when they go into Yankee Stadium. Maybe a younger, more expensive option such as Joe Beimel makes more sense.

        I do hope that Theo makes an impact move or two this offseason rather than just plugging holes. They need to be in a position to dominate in the postseason and compete with the Yankees.

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