Hot Stove 2010: So where do we stand?

Yesterday was like a whirlwind, as the Red Sox pounced on two veteran free agents in one afternoon. Seemingly out of nowhere, they signed both SP John Lackey and OF Mike Cameron. Lackey is a workhorse who has learned how to pitch well, despite losing ground in some areas, such as batter contact rate. He pounds the corners with a heavy fastball and features a knee-buckling curveball. With his knowledge of pitching plus his large frame, he figures to age pretty well; that must be why the Sox were willing to go five years with him.

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Hot Stove 2010: Sox ink Scutaro

So much for the Dustin Pedroia at short idea. The first domino has fallen in the Red Sox offseason: with not much to work with in the shortstop market, the Red Sox decided to sign the top free agent, Marco Scutaro, effectively swapping shortstops with Toronto and giving them our first-round draft pick in 2010 (for now). Should we sign a higher-ranked free agent this offseason, another team would get our first pick and Toronto would be entitled to our second-round selection. Not to worry, though. With Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito both going to Atlanta, we won’t be shorted any selections overall.

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Hot Stove 2010: The shortstop situation, more on Halladay, Sox acquire Hulett

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Alex Gonzalez this week to a one-year deal for $2.75M. They also hold a $2.5M option for 2011. The Sox reportedly had offered one year and $3M, but they weren’t ready to sign Gonzalez without checking out their other options at the upcoming Winter Meetings, so they lost him. This is one case in which Boston’s circumspection hurt them. Some see Marco Scutaro as the only remaining viable option on the free agent market, but he’s 34 and coming off of a career year (he has mentioned Boston as one of his top choices). Don’t be surprised if the Sox try to get a younger shortstop via trade rather than give an overpriced three-year deal to Scutaro and a first-round pick to Toronto.

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2009-11-17 Links: Minor league free agents, Adrian Gonzalez, Hermida

The Red Sox lost a number of players to minor league free agency this week. These players are no longer a part of the organization, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them come back:

P Devern Hansack, P Charlie Zink, P Jose Vadequano, SS Angel Chavez, SS Iggy Suarez, P Dave McKae, 2B Travis Denker, P Jarod Plummer, P Derrick Loop, OF Brad Correll

The Red Sox also lost a number of players when they were taken off the 40-man roster and they opted for free agency:

RP Takashi Saito, RP Javier Lopez, 2B Nick Green, C George Kottaras, 1B/OF Jeff Bailey, 2B Gil Velasquez, RP Marcus McBeth, RP Billy Traber, RP Enrique Gonzalez

No one expected Saito to return, but the loss of lefties Lopez and Traber means that we have to sign at least one lefty reliever this offseason. There are a number of quality major league free agents available, and names like Casey Fossum and Chris Capuano are available as minor league free agents.

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Hot Stove 2010: Sign Matt Holliday

You’re going about this all wrong. Would it be nice to get an elite slugger or a young ace this offseason? Of course! But at what price? Despite how it looked at times, the lineup is strong, and finished 3rd in runs scored, despite playing Nick Green and Jason Varitek as much as we did. And the rotation already has four strong pitchers if Daisuke Matsuzaka can come back. Trading Clay Buchholz now is the wrong move; he will give you 80-90% of what Hernandez will over the next four years at a bargain price. The Red Sox have talent and should continue to build from within. We certainly need to address that left field vacancy, as well as the lack of pop in the lineup; signing Matt Holliday should be enough on both counts, and we can fill in as needed around these guys. Here’s how to approach the off-season with measured restraint:

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9/28/2009: Looking ahead to the playoffs

As Dan Shaughnessey¬†points out, getting swept by the Yankees in a series that doesn’t count for anything doesn’t really matter, because the Sox are doing what they do best – getting healthy and prepped for the postseason. It looks like it’s working:

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Arguing balls and strikes: they’re no angels

For those of you who watched the Red Sox come back last night in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs, I have to say, it’s pretty clear that we caught a break with Nick Green’s walk. So the Angels do have a legitimate beef, according to PITCHf/x. It hurts to lose a game like that, but I don’t know that it should have caused dissension or even fighting in the clubhouse. Now Brian Fuentes has come out and accused Boston fans of intimidating the umpires. That’s a little too much – even Angels catcher Mike Napoli hestitated to support his closer on that one. At least Torii Hunter had a better attitude about the whole thing; it’s not just that at-bat, but both teams had plenty of opportunities to put the game away earlier.

Not to jinx or anything, but given the way the Halos are playing against Boston and NY this year, I’m really not too worried about them, come playoff time.