posted at 10/4/2012 11:14 AM EDT
In response to JimfromFlorida's comment:
OK I forgot the two current catchers. You got me there
As far as the abyss you mention only one of those guys will want a 5 yr deal and that is Hamilton. Again on the abyss, if you do not sign premier players to long term contracts you become KC or Pitts or some other team that never has the guy who can make a difference. The RS in the past 12 years were the best when they had Ortiz and Manny plain and simple. Having Ortiz and Hamilton does the same thing.
As for signing all the pitchers IMHO many on the cureent roster are gone. Miller, Hill, Cook, Bard, Mortensen, etc.... I also know they won't sign them all nor should they however what you see is the list of the best available and even that is not great. Why is that???
It is because many of the premier players are tied up on long term contracts aka the so called abyss you feverently never wish to go back to.
Signing long term contracts on premeir players is smart baseball. Problem is it doesn't always work. However the plusses out weigh the minuses.
I disagree Jim, both Upton and Shields will be looking for long-term deals, along with Hamilton and if you are going to invest in these players you HAVE TO know they can be comfortable playing in Boston....Hamilton will likely be looking for a Crawford type deal while Upton in the 10-15 range. Shields and Greinke, will be looking for a Lackey contract at least. This Free Agent ABYSS is what I want the Sox to avoid...overspending for players in the marketplace.
This does not mean I don't want them to pay good players fair market value. My approach this offseason would be as follows:
- Replace the manager and improve team chemistry...I'd look at Mills, Martinez in TB, or Tony Pena...If Farrell came here without giving up anything I'd give him a shot too.
- Let the new manager pick his own coaches
- Acquire one OF, possibly two if Ellsbury is moved via trade...a name I like is Alex Gordon but he might not be available...I'll let BC figure out this one out...it could be someone like Kalish and a Wigginton that platoon for a year.
- Acquire one 1B, via FA or trade...Napoli, K Morales, Morneau are just a few names to consider. I'd like to see a Napoli/Loney combo next year which would retain late inning defense at this position.
- Acquire one SP...via free agency or trade...Josh Johnson, Jake Peavy, Anibel Sanchez & Brandan McCarthy are guys I would check into and if the price was fair sign one of them to complete the rotation of Buccholz, Lester, Lackey & Doubront.
- Bring back a bullpen of Bailey, Bard (hopefully straightened out), Melanson, Tazawa, Morales (spot starter), Breslow, Hill or Miller. Even Padilla should be considered if the price was right again but it would cost one of those other guys a job.
If the price tag for any of the players I mention became too rich I'd move on to the next guy.
I want hungry players that still play for their pay...long term, free agent deals are not smart baseball unless that deal involves one of the team's young players, like Middlebrooks, that they decide to invest in. Similar to the Pedroia contract.
At this point, I would strongly consider bringing back Ortiz and give him a 2/20 deal...Cody Ross also on a 3/15 deal or something like that. These guys have proven they can be successful in this market.
With all this said, I am not advocating that the Sox become a small market type team...on the contrary they should spend money on hungry players, just not the superstars. Looking back now, I think keeping Beltre and VMart might have been smart moves, but that is a hindsight being 20/20 comment.