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.

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10-22-09 Links: Successful surgeries, Aroldis, Kikuchi, staff changes and Bay versus Holliday

Tim Wakefield had successful back surgery yesterday, and is expected to make a full recovery in time for Spring Training 2010. I hope this means he can come back for an encore. Outfield prospect Zach Daeges also had surgery to remove an extra bone in his ankle, which sidelined him for the 2009 season. His prognosis is also good going forward.

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Post-2009: Potential free agents

The best way for me to get my mind off the fact that the Red Sox are no longer in the hunt while the Yankees are is to get thinking on the 2010 season before the corpse of 2009 gets too cold. It’s good to know that Epstein sees this team’s core as having one more year left to contend; could that mean we’ll have a bit more of a “win now” approach this offseason?

Bring ’em back?

First we should address the expiring contracts. The Red Sox need to decide whether they want to re-sign these players or let them go to free agency. Then we can examine what to do about any holes.

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2009 Red Sox: RIP

What an utter disappointment. The Red Sox actually showed some signs of life today, but could only watch as the Los Angeles Angels chipped away with two outs in the 9th off closer Jonathan Papelbon. First, it was Willy Aybar with an 0-2 single, then it was a Chone Figgins walk followed by a Bobby Abreu double. Terry Francona elected to put Torii Hunter on, and finally, it was Vladimir Guerrero that sank Boston’s postseason.

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2009 ALDS Game 1: Offense, defense flounder 0-5

Anytime you get shut out in the playoffs, it isn’t good. The Angels got their first playoff shutout ever last night on the strength of a 7.1 inning, 4-hit start by John Lackey. The 6-6 horse came out looking good, and it wasn’t until the 6th inning until we got a chance to do something against him. When he allowed a two-out single to Dustin Pedroia and walked Victor Martinez on four pitches, I was sure that he was falling apart; give him credit, he came back and got Kevin Youkilis to end the threat.

UPDATE: Credit home plate umpire Joe West, rather. That was clearly a walk. I was actually getting from my car to my TV during that at-bat, and I just reviewed the GameDay data.

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Poll: ALDS 2009

2009 ALDS: More info and analysis

Unsurprisingly, the New York Yankees have elected to start their Divisional Series tomorrow, so that means the Red Sox will play game 1 against the Angels on Thursday. Here’s what the schedule looks like:

Game 1: Thu @ LAA, 9:37PM
Game 2: Fri @ LAA, 9:37 PM
Game 3: Sun @ BOS, 12:07 PM
Game 4: Mon @ BOS afternoon (if needed)
Game 5: Wed @ LAA

Red Sox roster

Pitchers (10)
Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz
Jonathan Papelbon, Billy Wagner, Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard, Takashi Saito, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen

Positional (14)
Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Alex Gonzalez, Mike Lowell, Casey Kotchman, Jed Lowrie
J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Bay, David Ortiz, Rocco Baldelli/Josh Reddick, Joey Gathright]

That leaves one spot up for grabs. The Sox could add Daisuke Matsuzaka to avoid pitching Lester on short rest in Game 4, or add another middle infielder, given the shaky status of Lowrie.

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