Links 12-7-2010: State of the Sox, bullpen, right-handed bat, Gonzalez, Miller, depth signings
December 7, 2010 1 Comment
Theo Epstein delivered his yearly “State of the Sox” address yesterday, and noted the need for relief pitching and possibly adding a right-handed bat. He didn’t mention catcher, though I’m sure he’ll pick one up if the right opportunity presents itself.
I still think Scott Downs is the top option available, primarily because he’s pitched successfully in the AL East for a long time. He’s also a solid lefty who can get righties out as well, a la Hideki Okajima, ca 2008. Other names that have been mentioned include Koji Uehara, Brian Fuentes, Matt Guerrier, and Ron Mahay. Notice there are a lot of lefties named here. I think two quality lefty relievers is a must in this division.
As we surmised, it seems the Sox have an agreement in place with newly-acquired 1B Adrian Gonzalez which would extend him for 7 years and $154M. For those of you who just can’t get enough Gonzalez Kool-Aid, here’s an interesting post featuring Katron.org’s batted ball park projector.
After trading for Andrew Miller and then releasing him, the Sox would like to bring him back for less money; so would a lot of others teams, apparently. My guess is we’ll just outbid them, since we have a sunk cost in acquiring him already. The only thing that could be a problem is if another team offers him a starting job, since Miller would like to be in a rotation somewhere.
Speaking of players who could come back, Okajima is still a possibility for the Sox. He could very easily go back to Japan, however.
The Red Sox signed five players for minor league depth last week, including pitchers Jason Bergmann, Brandon Duckworth and Santo Luis. They also signed infielders Nate Spears and Drew Sutton. After last season, I’m glad they’re being proactive about middle infield depth this offseason.
Tim Wakefield says that 2011 will likely be his last go-round. I really hope that he has a great season to remember this year.
The Padres hired Josh Byrnes as their senior VP of baseball operations last week. Good for him to be working with Jed Hoyer again, but I wished he had come back here.