8-18-2010: So you’re saying there’s a chance, bullpen, outfield, draft signings, etc

This AL East race is just maddening. Every time the Sox look like they’re about to go on a run, they stumble, and every time they stumble, so does either New York or Tampa Bay. This is the season that just refuses to die.

The porous bullpen has been better of late, though it is still prone to blowups. It seems that Felix Doubront has surpassed Dustin Richardson on the depth chart, since Richardson was sent down to make room for Dustin Pedroia.

The outfield situation is beginning to look especially dire, given that Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron are out for the year. Yes, those would be our only real center field options for 2010. Add to that Eric Patterson going on the DL, and we’re looking at a whole lot of Ryan Kalish over the next two weeks. Hey, he’s been playing great for us, but any rookie who is pressed into duty will get exposed a bit… On a related note, Kevin Youkilis thinks he could play in October if we make it that far. Mike Lowell is filling in admirably at first base for now, and with Carlos Delgado on the shelf, we may not have many other options. The Diamondbacks’ Adam LaRoche just cleared waivers today, so there’s an off chance that we could try to bring him back if we get back in the race.

The Sox sent catcher Michael Thomas to the Rangers as the PTBNL for Jarrod Saltalamacchia and released 1B Ryan Shealy recently.

The Red Sox snagged seven of their top draftees on Monday before the signing deadline, including many over-slot deals that show Boston’s commitment to winning in the future. Drafting the right guys is only as effective if you’re able to sign them. This is a big win and a huge step in building up the farm system and ensuring the club’s competitiveness in the future. They signed big lefty Anthony Ranaudo, my personal “must-sign” of the draft, to a $2.55M deal, and after posturing a bit in negotiations, also got second-rounder Brandon Workman for $800k and third-rounder Sean Coyle for $1.3M. They got fourth-round SS Garin Cecchini for $1.31M and also signed lefty Chris Hernandez out of Miami for $375k. If you think the Sox spent some money, you should take a look at what the Nationals gave first overall pick Bryce Harper.

As I keep insisting, the Red Sox would love to keep David Ortiz, but at the right price. They probably will not offer him anything above $10M/year, because of the plentiful DH-types who will be looking for work after this season is done.

Casey Kelly strained a lat muscle, and is being shut down for the rest of the season. He will play in the Arizona Fall League, however. Jose Iglesias returned to active duty at Portland this week.


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