Re: Projected 25 Man 2014 Red Sox Roster
posted at 12/18/2013 10:19 AM EST
The Sox really have to move a pitcher simply for “roster crunch” reasons. As it stands, they have 13 pitchers with no options and typically only carry 12. So either a pitcher moves, or they have a 3 man bench (Ross, Carp, Gomes). The latter option seems less likely due to the lack of actual defensive versatility of the 3 players. So it is more likely a pitcher is moved. They are already at a point where Brandon Workman and Drake Britton have been squeezed from the roster.
I actually think 2 pitchers will be traded:
1 out of Dempster or Peavy, but maybe Doubront or Lackey if the return is worth it.
1 out of Morales or Miller. If a starter is traded, we'd probably keep Morales as the 6th starter.
However, there is a chance we play the DL shuffle, or someone actually gets hurt and there is room for everyone.
Dempster is a possibility, but I think I might be surprised if he moves simply because Buchholz is a physical question mark. So he is probably buried in the bullpen until needed, and if he moves to the rotation, Workman would be called up.
I have to think Dempster's value as a 4th or 5th starter for another team is worth way more than his 6th starter value here.
The obvious surplus is LHRP, with Breslow, Miller and Morales, as well as Britton in Pawtucket. The most likely trade candidate appears to be Morales. I doubt there is significant return, as he could go for a minor leaguer who need not be on the 40-man roster, or for a potentially useful utility infielder. Guessing what minor leaguer is impossible for me, and even utility infielders are a tough call, but at least it is more interesting. My top two possibilities are Jack Hannahan and Cliff Pennington.
Again, if we trade Dempster or a starter, I'd keep Morales and look to trade Miller (not a hand-away deal).
Journeyman Hannahan has most of his experience at 3B, but has played all around the infield and is a defensively gifted player with limited offensive skills. While Cincy does not need a LHRP, they might be amenable since Morales projected salary in arbitration ($1.8mill) is less than what Hannahan is owed ($3mill/1yr or $5mill/2 yrs). Arizona has a little less depth at LHRP, with only Joe Thatcher likely to make the 25-man roster, but also might be amenable to dealing Pennington, as they have middle infield depth and Pennington has $3.25mill guaranteed for 2014. Like Hannahan, Pennington is a limited offensive player, but excels defensively. Pennington is also a good base stealer. However, as the Dbacks infield depth comes in the form of younger players, they might prefer to demote, say, Chris Owings to AAA to start the season. Their depth could also disappear completely if they move Didi Gregorious for other more pressing needs.
I love the idea of picking up a defensive whiz at SS. Bogey can be moved to 3B if Middy struggles and Cecchini is not ready.
It also looks like the Sox are not going to carry another CF on the 25-man, and use Victorino as the stopgap CF, with any long term or defensive depth coming from Pawtucket. Soxprospects.com lists no starting CF in Pawtucket, and I expect this void to be filled via free agency, with the Sox looking at players like Dave Sappelt, Julio Borbon, Scott Cousins or former Sox farmhand Che-Hsuan Lin. I suppose Trevor Crowe, Jason Pridie, or Jordany Valdespin are also in play. If Sam Fuld is willing to accept a minor league deal, add his name to the list of candidates as well. Not much in the way of excitement there, but such is the reality.
Kinda scares me.
If Bradley never adapts to MLB or if he is injured for what looks like it will be a significant portion of the season, the Sox might consider moving Mike Carp for a CF, assuming Carp himself has not taken over for an injured Nava, Napoli or Ortiz. (And if it gets to this point and the Sox have too many injuries, temper your expectations about a repeat in 2014.) There are teams that will have interest in Carp and have depth at CF. Houston, for example, might be amenable to dealing Robbie Grossman, who has been supplanted by Dexter Fowler and was never more than a stopgap for George Springer. Oakland seems to like stockpiling CF depth, and might be willing to move Craig Gentry for Carp and his dirt cheap power bat. Pittsburgh has no 1B replacement for Jones / Morneau, and needs cheap players. They have an available CF option in longshot-gamble reclaimation project Jose Tabata. Recently supplanted Jon Jay might be available from St. Louis is they need a 1B/LF type for some reason.
Good info, as always.