This is just fodder for discussion. I'm taking the viewpoint that some players on this team MUST be traded, some may not be re-signed for various reasons and some are nearing the end of their arbitration life. These are players that for various reasons may or may not be here next year. Curious to see who makes a case for them to stay or go, and who could possibly replace them.
David Ortiz: Is he a leader or the me-first diva that he seemed to be over the last month of the season? He’s the face of the team, and he had a good season at DH. But he’s just a DH and he’ll likely want multiple years at pretty big money. This year was good, the year before that he was on the verge of being released. Tough call – does the next GM take a deep breath and give him multiple years?
Marco Scutaro: Was one of the few Sox players who actually thrived in the pressure of September. Decent offensive production, mediocre range and defensive player. Is 35, but Iglesias is not yet ready to assume the full time SS position. Team option?
Jed Lowrie: A perennial tease, good offensive potential but constantly hurt. Can play multiple positions, can be productive offensively but where does he play every day? SS or 3B? Is he better than the current options? Reportedly a standoffish or aloof player (not my opinion) that doesn’t meld very well with the current roster.
Jacoby Ellsbury: Proved that last year was a fluke and that he is a dynamic offensive player. Played in 158 games, and was consistently among the league’s best offensive threats. Good but not great defensive CF’er with average arm. Next year is his last arb year and his trade value will never be higher. Can the Sox justify paying two OF’ers $20+ mil per year. Agent is Scott Boras, alas no hometown discounts and he will undoubtedly hit free agency.
Jonathan Papelbon: Picked a good time to have a good year going into FA. Disappointing in September, but was a stand up man in the bad times. Proven performer in a tough division and tough media market. Other decent closers on the market this year, and he could price himself out of Boston quickly. Based on what the Sox paid Jenks and the fact that if they whiff in FA their in-house closing options are limited, Sox should make a push to sign him. Does he want to be here? Will he be happy with what he’s offered here? On record as saying he wants to set the contract bar for closers. He just may.
Kevin Youkilis: Trending downward a bit, mostly due to injuries. Can he play 3B for 130+ games over the next few years? Can easily DH and play 3B and 1B in a pinch, an invaluable asset. Can’t see him going anywhere.
Josh Beckett: Talented pitcher with baggage. Ace when he wants to be, can be very average or worse. Are the Sox going to get the Beckett of 2010 or 2011 going forward? Has trade value. Has he worn out his welcome? Would a trade be addition by subtraction, or is he a staff workhorse going forward.
John Lackey: Among the worst starting pitchers in baseball, statistically. Dubious that he can handle pitching in Boston and the AL East. Not much trade value, severely damaged reputation, probably beyond reclamation. Is it fish or cut bait time?
Jason Varitek: Part of an offensively average catching duo. Is he still the leader he was? Is he a crutch for guys like Beckett? Are the Sox better of going with Salty and seeing what they have in Lavarnway?
Tim Wakefield: 150 innings but a 5+ ERA. Time for a new #5 in the rotation? Andrew Miller as an alternative doesn’t give much confidence.