Assuming nobody gets traded and every arb player is signed, I figured the Sox will have a little over $20M to spend next season and still stay under the luxury tax limit. This does not include Papi’s possible deal. We can probably get by without Dice-K, Jenks, Padilla, Cook and Shoppach, but losing Papi would be a huge loss. Here’s a quick look at our 2013 team and beyond:
Sox players listed in reverse order of years of team control:
2012 is Their Last Year (unless extended or accept arb):
Dice-K: Almost certainly gone after this year if not sooner.
Podsednik: probably worth more to us than what we’d get by trading him, but we’d have to trade someone else or get creative with the DL, or send/keep Nava, Kalish and Sweeney to AAA.
Cook: 5/ 6th starter and then maybe offered arb or extended.
Padilla: Set-up man: arb offer?
Shoppach: May want to seek a more meaningful role elsewhere next year, especially with Lava breathing down his neck.
Ortiz: The big off-season decision that will affect several further moves. His Red Sox heroics are legendary. His performance has been grand. There are a lot of reasons to extend Papi, and there are areas of team weakness that need fixing as well. We probably can’t do both via signings.
Trading some of these players to contenders for prospects could help us going forward, but some of these guys will not bring much in return. Some could be replaced without hurting our chances this year too much at all.
Free Agents after 2013:
Ellsbury: Trading Jacoby makes a lot of sense to me, since in my opinion, he will not want to play here after 2013, even if we match or offer slightly more than the highest bidder. New rules dictate that trading him after next year begins means the team getting him can not get the comp picks if they lose him to free agency after 2013. To me, this means his value will be highest from this deadline to the day before 2013 starts. I would not just give Jacoby away. We could use the comp picks ourselves, and 1.5 years of Jacoby playing hard for us as he seeks to raise his open market free agent status would help our chances this year and next. We also have some great OF prospects on the rise. This decision may be even bigger than the Papi one.
Saltalamacchia: To me, how this season ends for Salty will determine a lot. Stamina and durability seemed like an issue last year, so this year is a good test in that area. With Lavarnway itching to get his shot, Salty’s durability/stamina test this August and September may determine our willingness to extend him beyond 2013. Extension or not, Salty could be a trade candidate as well, if we decide to go with Lava. Conversely, we could extend Salty and trade Lava. The Papi decision also has a lot to do with this call, since Lava could be our DH/back-up catcher (or 3rd string catcher) if Papi walks.
Sweeney: With so many lefty OF’ers in the system, I see Sweeney as the odd man out. I think he could be traded this deadlinenow that CC or Ells are up. He is so bad vs LHPs, and not really that great vs RHPs that it really forces him to be at most a platoon OF’er/late inning defensive type OF’er.
Punto: I never understood why we gave this guy 2 years, but he may end up being traded before his 2 years are up anyways, especially if Aviles is pushed to the utlity IF’er position or if somehow we keep Lillibridge instead.
R. Hill: Depending on his health and performance, he may be traded or offered arb or an extension.
(Lester has a team option at $13M with a $250K buyout for 2014. My guess is he stays or gets traded, but this option is given.)
(I believe Iglesias is out of options after 2013, but he is still under team control. I am not sure about his arb status, but I read somewhere he will be out of options after this year.)
Trading any of these guys this deadline or this winter could happen, especially if we look beyond 2013 as out best chance to win it all.
Free Agents after 2014:
Beckett: Big guy to lose. Big money freed up as well.
Bailey: Expected to be our closer until at least his contract expires.
Aceves: Hard to lose this guy.
Aviles: May be our super-utility IF’er by 2013 or 2014.
Morales: May be a key player from here on out. Extending him might become a priority between this winter and next.
(Pedroia has a team option at $11M with a $500K buyout. Given.)
(Lackey has injury clause option at min wage.)
Free Agents after 2015:
Pedroia: (see above)
Lackey: (see above)
Bard: Who knows.
(Buchholtz has a team option at $13M with a $245K buyout)
Free Agent after 2016:
Buchholtz: (see above) plus, he has a team option for 2017 at $13.5M or a $500K buy out.
Atchison: He’ll be 40 by 2016.
Melancon: Could be retained if doing well.
Free Agent after 2017:
Free Agent after 2018:
Prospects not on the 40 man roster:
De la Cruz
Let`s keep this thread "real" and try to keep politics and personal vendettas off this thread... PLEASE!
Part II reference: