posted at 9/15/2012 12:37 PM EDT
Don't expect Philadelphia to shuffle Lee out the door - if you haven't checked in a while, you might be surprised to see they are now 3 games out of the second wild card.
I fully agree Tazawa needs to be in the rotation next year - he's been by far our best pitcher down the stretch. Every time he takes the mound he looks better and better.
As for aces, you have to define who the aces are, and I think there are only a handful in the game right now: Verlander, Felix, Kershaw, Cueto, Dickey, Strasburg, Weaver, Price, Cain & Dickey. Greinke, Lee, Peavy, Halladay & Sabathia are nearly aces, but either have a lot of question marks surrounding them, either due to age, injuries or consistency. Chris Sale and Gio Gonzalez are potential aces, but we need to see another year of them first - remember Buchholz finished 2010 with a 2.33 ERA.
IMO, of that list, only Dickey, Felix, Lee, Greinke & Peavy are obtainable. Peavy, as a free agent, is the easiest to obtain, but has the worst injury history. If we were to sign him, and he stayed healthy all year, that alone might be enough to bring us back into playoff contention.
Greinke is also a FA, but does not feel like a good fit for Boston, or any large market. I would stay away from Greinke.
I don't believe Lee is all that obtainable - he would cost a lot in terms of prospects, and he would probably harbor some resentment being traded from a team he gave a discount to join. He has also had some injuries this year, and moving the AL East (especially Fenway as a left-handed starter) will not do him any favors (Lester's Road ERA is 3.34; Doubront's is 4.41). I would stay away from Lee.
Felix would require selling the farm, and he his success is tied to a sudden and unnatural mid-season rise in velocity. I've pointed this out before, but nobody seems to notice or care. Don't even look at Felix Hernandez.
RA Dickey is an interesting name - the Mets will pick up his option, but they know they need to rebuild, and that Dickey won't be around to see the next Mets contender. We might be able to get him for a top 3 org prospect, and a top 10 - maybe Barnes and Swihart, for example. Another nice aspect of having Dickey at the top of the rotation is that Steven Wright has been impressive since re-inventing himself in the mold of Dickey, and you don't expect the Sox will carry two knuckle-ballers in the rotation, but Wright could work out of the bullpen and learn a lot from Dickey.
That would give us a rotation of
Dickey / Peavy
It could be the best rotation in baseball, or it could be a flop. You just never know. If we also addressed the gaping hole left in our offense, though, it looks good enough on paper to reach the post-season.