Re: Final Sox Season Positional Numbers and Our 2012 Needs.
posted at 10/17/2011 8:45 PM EDT
What Moon said; love how most posters have no idea about the value of roster slots, options remaining, and the notion of a budget.
Yeah, like I really want Reddick in Rf over someone like Holliday or Kemp. The reality is that Henry may spend more, but I doubt it will be a lot more than 2011's payroll budget. I figured we have about $30M to spend on many slots. It is a near certainty that one or more of the slots will be filled from within the system. Here are the choices: choose your poison...
Closer: Move Bard to closer and try like H3LL to replce Bard cheaply via free agency and guys like Aceves, Jenks, Doubront, Morales, Albers, Atchison...
DH: Move Youk to DH and fill 3B with an Aviles/Lowrie/Middlebrooks jumble, or use Lavarnway primarily as the DH, or use Youk and Lava.
SS: Use Aviles/Lowrie/Iggy or take Scutty's option at about a $4.5M differential
(12:$6M club option/$3M player option ($1.5M buyout))
RF: Use Reddick or Kalish vs RHPs and get a cheap RH'd platoon FA.
SP: Go with Lackey as the #4 and hope Dice-K can come back to form by late July. Other options? Doubront, Tazawa, Weiland or cheap FAs like Bedard, Wake, Wang, or Webb.
Here's a tidbit for you: John Henry once made a lot of money from trading secondary securities. HE LOST MUCH OF THAT MONEY. Now his Fenway Sports Group income is generated by team operations. Do you people know what that means? It means we can't spend like the Yankees, even though our budget is huge compared to the Tampas and Arizonas.
We (Henry) could spend big, but I doubt it will happen. GhostofTito wants to think we can fill each and every slot with top dollar players. I wish we could. I have asked him to provide his ideas instead of blasting every suggestion brought up here. Nothing but crickets...
Moon, I'd say the biggest initial question is whether one assumes that we can contend in 2012. By betting self says no, but management must behave as if "yes," and of course as a fan I hope they do contend.
This is actually the first question to be answered. While henry would never admit to 2012 being a "bridge year" or rebuilding year, they could decide to push hard for 2013 not 2012, but give the fans the impression we are trying for 2012. Jacoby probably walks for the 2014 season, so one could think our window is 2012-2013. Beckett, Youk, and a few others are getting old, but still are good enough to help get a ring in the next couple years. However, they could also bring in some nice top prospects via trade (as would Ellsbury).
I choose to believe we will go for a ring in 2012, but no go "for broke". We have a great nucleus of players.
If so, it really boils down to whether or not Kevin Youkilis can contribute. If he can, you fill the huge need for RH offense. As far as alternate 3B goes, it's Aviles "or other;" Jed Lowrie can't stay on the field and don't think that's forgotten in the current KFC docudrama. Aviles can also spell Scutaro at short; he will be renewed at $4.5M cost of roster slot. Marco's contract length also provides flexibility in developing and evaluating Iglesias. By next winter, we should know if he's our future.
I actually think Aviles/Lowrie at 3B, with Aviles backing up Scutty and lowrie backing up Pedey, makes for a decent "go light" possibility. Youk could still play some 3B and 1B, and his health be "saved" by primarily playing DH. There's also a chance Middlebrooks could contribute by year's end. I only say this as a choice if the money saved on letting Papi walk is used to upgrade our staff or RF. I have mentioned how bad our RF OPS was this year. It wouldn't take much money to bring our RF OPS up to about .800. That's a .150 gain and could more than compensate for the drop off at DH and 3B.
If Youk comes back, hits and stays in the lineup, you can really direct the $30M or so to resigning Papelbon and Ortiz. The latter should be much calmer once a manager is named. Papelbon resigning will be a challenge.
If we go with Youk at DH and Papi walks, I think we can keep Paps and still build up RF, keep Scutty, and add a nice starting pitcher.
Then you can pick up a cheap backup catcher - yes, Tek included - and simply expect that the team will improve it's performance.
Ultimately, Ellsbury overproduced last year and CC underproduced. Together, their cumulative #'s are likely to be similar, and that's fine. RF doesn't HAVE to be an offense generator, not when you have Pedroia at 2nd and the other two outfielders. If Ortiz walks, that might shift.
Yes, see above.
Simply, when Kevin Youkilis plays at 3/4 of his 2009 self, the RS need only one more thing to contend: a more mature clubhouse. That's not a roster management thing.
Alternatively, if June rolls around and RS are in 3rd or 4th and the vibe isn't good (and some here may be very surprised at how possible this is), then a lot of changes are to be expected.
THAT is when I would expect to see Lackey's contract eaten.
To see Beckett shopped - very aggressively.
Youkilis and/or Lowrie traded.
Tek "retiring" ... or being cut rather dispassionately if he won't go gently into that good night.
And the ultimate move that Cherington may have to make if the Sox aren't doing will in mid-2012: trade Ellsbury.
Because there is a real chance Jacoby is simply waiting to get out of town, and you would like to get something serious in return.
All very real possibilities.