posted at 8/25/2012 10:03 PM EDT
Clearly this means they have effectively blown up the team and if that is the case and they start moving in the kids, we can expect that 2013 is going to be a rebuilding year for the most part.
The way I see it is that winning in 70s is probaly what happens. Knowing that to go out and spend big bucks on free agents would be silly. To what end, so thy can finish third in the AL East. I would rather see them wait a year and see what comes out of the "playing the kids"
That said they should have a few priorities right off the bat.
Ortiz- Give him a two year, heavily incentive laden. Perhaps 8-10 per with the chance to get to 15 or so with incentives. If he doesn't bite. Say thanks and move on. Do this now.
Ellsbury - See if there is a chance of something happening now. Maybe 3 for 45 or even something really creative like 1 at 16 or 17 with a couple of mutual option years. If they don't bite. Trade him before next year.
First base – Clearly they play Loney for the rest of this year, and platoon him with Gomez. If he does reasonably well offer him a modest contract for next year. Another possibility is perhaps seeing if the Cubs would part with Rizzo for a package that includes Webster, who they wanted in the Dempster deal. Either Salti or Lavarnway or both could spend time at first. Move Middlebrooks over there and turn Boegarts into a third baseman. Swihart, while a catcher may be better suited ot another position. Perhaps first could be that position. Try to sign Napoli on a low level deal. Are any of them going to be Gonzalez, no. But they will cost a lot less.
Shortstop – Play Iglesias everyday for the rest of the season. See what he can do. If he holds his own at a 220-230 level pencil him in for next year. Their first draft choice this year, Morrero is a shortstop and as a college guy, he may not be too far away. Pedroia was up in two three years.
Outfield – Play Kalish in September regardless of how he does. Bring Brentz up in September and get a look. Definitely invite him to camp. Speed up the process on Bradley. Maybe sometime next year, he can be on the big club, especially if they trade Ellsbury. Try to sign Ross for a couple of years. Not a long term solution, but a good guy to have in the lineup. He would also be trade bait at the trading deadline. Same thing with Podsednik.
Catching – Play Lavarnway most of September. If he is a go, then either convert Salty to a first baseman or trade him. Start 2013 with him on the team. If he fails, then maybe they work with Swihart to improve his catching skills
Utility guys – Try and trade Aviles now. If they keep Ciriaco around along with DeJesus, they have the utility spots covered.
Starting pitching – Lester and Buchholz are the clear top of rotation guys. Like it or not Lackey will be in the rotation to start 2013. Doubront has been a pleasant surprise and should be further developed on the back end of the rotation. In the mix for othe end of rotation spots should be Aceves, Morales, De La Rosa, Zach Stewart, Tazawa and any number of Aaron Cook types, if not Cook himself. Then there is …..Dice K. What if he has a decent September??? They could trade or go FA, but I would not commit too much.
Bullpen – Though Aceves should remain the closer for the rest of 2012, Bailey should assume that role next year. If he is and Aceves doesn’t shoot his way out of town or isn’t starting, he could be one of the setup guys. I’d like to think Bard can get it together. Mortenson and Tazawa have looked good and I would write off Padilla from coming back. On the lefty side. Breslow has been fine. Miller has been fine. They should still have Morales if he is not starting and Hill should be back. Carpenter, Wilson Beato may also be in the mix for long relief. . That also doesn’t count anyone they pick up