Post-2009: Roster locks and losses

We’ve covered our impending free agents here. Now we need to step back and see what the team looks like, sans those guys we’re gonna let walk. Then we can examine our strengths and weaknesses and formulate a plan for the offseason. Let’s take a look at what the Red Sox have already in-house, and what players could be gone:

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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 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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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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8/6/09 Injury update

Jason Bay re-injured his right hamstring, and it will likely take him out of at least two games; that leaves the limited Rocco Baldelli to play in LF, and Nick Green as the fourth OF. J.D. Drew has also missed a few games recently with a groin issue; I don’t have a lot of confidence that this outfield can stay intact for four straight games. With the Sox badly needing to gain some ground in this series with the Yankees, this couldn’t have come at a worse time. Uh, anyone have Josh Reddick’s number?

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Kotsay waived for LaRoche, Holliday to Cards

In order to make room for the¬†newly acquired Adam LaRoche, the Red Sox placed 1B/OF Mark Kotsay on waivers today. If he clears, the move allows the Sox to option Kotsay to Pawtucket. It would also qualify him to be traded after the July 31 deadline. This leaves Rocco Baldelli as the only backup outfielder on the 25-man roster; that can’t remain the case for long; the only other emergency outfielder on this roster is Kevin Youkilis.

For those of you predicting a Theo Epstein masterstroke by the trade deadline, one of our targets has been traded already. LF Matt Holliday has been reportedly shipped to the Cardinals for top 3B prospect Brett Wallace and two other prospects.

Links: Papi keeps popping, utilizing Baldelli, Ellsbury keeps running

David Ortiz hit yet another homer today, and surpassed 300 for his career this week. Congratulations to the big lug.

Rocco Baldelli was spotted taking grounders at first base. this makes a lot of sense in case Mike Lowell can’t return to health; Youkilis could move across the diamond and Baldelli would be a right-handed complement to Mark Kotsay at first. Kudos to Baldelli for being willing to do whatever the team needs. Those Sox, always thinking ahead.

Jacoby Ellsbury conditioned himself better this offseason, and unlike last year, has no intention of slowing his stolen base pace this year. He was safe at the plate on that play he was thrown out of the game for, BTW.

The Sox signed three more right-handed pitchers: Mario Alcantara and Raul Alcantara (no relation) out of the Dominican Republic, and Chez Angeloni out of Johns Hopkins.