posted at 10/27/2012 1:55 PM EDT
By the way, #25 on your list is Clayton Mortensen, not Chad. Also Junichi Tazawa should be a vital part of the bp in 2013 as well as Craig Breslow. We already have 4 LHP and only need 2, maybe 3 in the bp, so one of Miller, Morales, Hill or breslow will probably be dealt this winter...
I confused Clayton Mortensen with the sports columnist Chad Mortensen. I think Mortensen (the baseball player) deserves a chance to break camp with the Red Sox. He looked very impressive to me last year. He could pitch multiple innings at a time and he was effective against both lefthanded and righthanded batters.
I absolutely concur on making room for Junichi Tazawa in the bullpen. That was a glaring oversight on my part. Bullpens are so unstable from week to week between injuries and ineffectiveness that most of these guys will be needed at some point, even if they don't all start the year on the team. If everyone is healthy, either Mortensen or Miller (probably Mortensen) would be the odd man out. I would like to see Morales return, and I definitely want someone of Broxton's ilk in case Bailey and Bard both fail to bounce back.
Brilliant, pay 22 million, net 12 million more over Ellsbury, for the great NL high miles bean Obama Choon Gang Tim Lincecum.
If Atlanta or Texas want to trade one of their younger cost-controlled pitchers to the Red Sox for Ellsbury, I'm all for it. Realistically, they won't do it for the same reasons we wouldn't do it. Young talented pitching is a lot more valuable than an oft-injured outfielder approaching free agency with only one great year on his resume. Had the Red Sox traded Ellsbury after 2011, which they should have done, then these Atlanta or Texas scenarios would have been more viable.
At this point, I think Tim Lincecum at a gain of $12 million would be worth more to the Red Sox than the vastly overrated Jacoby Ellsbury. Lincecum is not far removed from consecutive Cy Young Award seasons and All-Star appearances. He's an outstanding, elite pitcher when on top of his game. He's only had one bad year and he's still relatively young. If he pitches like he did before 2012, he'll easily command $16-17 million per year on the open market. Sometimes elite pitchers have an off year. I'd much rather gamble on Lincecum reverting to the Lincecum of not too long ago than on Ellsbury repeating 2011. Worst case scenario he posts another 5+ ERA and the Red Sox let him walk at the end of the year. Best case scenario he returns to his Cy Young form. Realistic scenario he wins 15 games with an ERA in the mid to high 3 range.
If the Red Sox go smart and frugal at 1B and OF (my proposals of Lance Berkman and Juan Pierre, respectively), then adding $12 million for Lincecum is well within economic feasibility. If Pierre struggles, plug in Kalish, or Nava, or one of the myriad of AAA depth players and veteran castoffs who will surely be available. If Berkman fails, play Saltalamachhia more often at first base and maybe give Gomez a longer look. It's okay to not succeed with cheap veteran acquisitions or potential one year overpays. Teams get into much bigger trouble when they invest long years and big money in second-tier talent. That's the mistake the Red Sox need to avoid this off-season.