In response to Beantowne's comment:
In response to Drewski5's comment:
Big market teams have an advantage. We shouldnt operate like a small market team. To do so would be to disregard our competitive advantage.
I don't foresee us operating like a small market team. In fact if you look at the player aquisitions they've made this offseason they in fact haven't. Although they didn't sign what one would consider an impact player. They did spend a ton of dough and also took on the contract of Hanrahan from the Pirates. Lost on most is that the team is in a transistion period and patience will be the word of the day until they get a firm grip on what they have and what they need moving forward.
Major league Roster Questions:
1) Lester & Lackey; both are earning in excess of 13M each and under the teams control for a few more seasons. If both pitch to thier resumes the Sox will be in the mix. Of the two Lester's return to form has long term implications...is he the guy they build the staff around or not...the answer to that question will take all of 2013 to answer.
2) Buccholz & Dempster; Solid middle of the rotation near term guys. Buccholz upside is that of a #2 if he can pitch to that and stay on the field the question then becomes signing him to an extension once his current deal expires...Dempster is a one and done contract guy so they'll need to replace him and Lackey in two or three years....
3) Doubront and the kids on the farm. The long term 3 to 5 year and the near term 1 to 2 year plans is dependent on our abliltiy to develop the young guns in the system to provide cost controlled organizational depth. Doubront is the first in line to show that he's ready, willing and able to be a legit Major League starter. Last year he showed promise, in 2013 he has to continue to progress, prove that he can take the ball every 5 days and compete. If he does then they then have a solid nucleus from which they can allow the young gun in the system to mature and or use any number of combinations to trade for missing links on the major league roster....
What's Missing? A bonified top of the rotation starter! One that every time he takes the ball he says boys climb on board cause I got this. Every club needs a staff leader AKA Clemens to Pedro to Schilling to Beckett to job opening?
The Pen; This years group is solid and since most teams treat the bullpen as fluid each year it's not a long term concern. The only short term question is who's the closer for 2013 and beyond will they resign Hanrahan or let Bailey have another shot entering 2014. Not unlike the top of the rotation guy, the pen leads a leader too...The long term question of who that will be remains unanswered, the need is real...
Everyday players: Fact is they lack it! and it is defined as impact middle of the order bats...
Infield: Pedrioa is the only near and long term player that currently ranks in the top 5 at his position...Questions abound about the rest of the infield...
1B: Napoli is a bandaid and one that's perilously close to falling off...with no legit prospects on the horizon this could well be a position that remains fluid (Middlebrooks?)
2B; Pedrioa enough said.
SS: Drew's plyiong for a contract and could be a short term fix if he's healthly. Down on the farm we have multiple options...my guess is that they'll continue to allow Iggy, Marerro and Bogharts to show they have the ability to be an everyday ML SS...In the meantime continue to fill this on an as needed basis is search of the next Nomar. 2013 is IMHO Iggy last chance to show he's capable of being an everyday player...other wise he could well end up taking Ciriaco spot as a super utility guy...Bogharts is the one with the "it" the question is whether he can filed the position (3B?)
3B; It's Middlebrooks job to lose in the near term. If he hits .280 with 25 bombs and drives in 90 it's his for the long term too...Unless they move him to first to make room for Bogharts?
The Outfield; Let's not kid ourselves there's currently no long term locks on the roster and none of the current group nor the kids on the farm project to be impact bats...
LF; This is the 1# position IMHO where they have both the need and the roster flexibility to use thier resources to trade for and or sign an impact bat.
CF: The near term is Ellsbury & Victorino...the long term is Bradly JR. The only real question that remains is do they trade Ells or let him play it out...looks like they're going to let him play it out.
RF: Not unlike leftfield this is also a near term and long term position of need...what differs is that due to the spacious confines of RF in Fenway this is alos a position that requires a player that is a plus defender...one with range.
C; In the near term it's Salty's job to lose, the best prospect in out system, Swiihart is still "years away"...My guess is they they like SS postion our catcher of the future is not on our current roster...Near term I could see them signing Salty, if he continue to develop and Farrel buys off on him being the leader on the field...
DH; Ortiz then whom, this is another "impact bat position" where they don't have to place a premium on the players ability to field. One that they can use in many differing manners not a real worrisome long term nor near term issue...
The starting rotation in 2016.
#1 Job Opening
#3 Job Opening
#4 Job Opening
#1 Closer Job Opening....
#2....the rest of the pen...
The lineup in 2016
#1 Job Opening
#3 Job Opening
#4 Job Opening
#6 Job Opniong
#7 Job Opening
#8 JOb Opening
#9 Job Opening
End of the day, the Sox are positioned to remake the team in any manner they choose....Down on the farm we've got some decent prospects whom should fill a few of the openings....bottom line is the need is greater than any one teams system can supply the nessasary player to fill all of our voids....unless you're ok with losing 100 games and bieng the Houston Astro's a solid AAAA club...
Good post Bean, we really do have a lot of issues. I feel management lacks the creative insight to trade players we may not need for those who other teams might in order to solidify our future a bit better at all positions.
When you look at this club there are really only a few "every day guys" I would consider untouchable at the moment like .... Papi, Pede, Victorino, Ross, Clay, Middy and a few relievers. Then there are players like Ells, Lester and Lackey who need to prove themselves again to have any value at all. Everyone else besides a few good prospects are just pieces to a very sketchy "short term" puzzle.
No need to wait on issues we already know need to be addressed.
The roster will be somewhat fluid for the next two or three years...That's not to suggest they can't and won't win their share of games. It does mean that they'll likely not be a legit playoff team though...at least not on paper. The truth is that they're not that far away from being in the mix...Add a top of the rotation starter and a couple of impact bats and we'd be in the mix for all the marbles. The problem is that the free agent market in recent times has not yielded many of those types and the cost of aquisition is prohibitive when you're talking trades. In the end it will take a combination of players in our system both making the jump and as trade chips along with signing impact players that come to market...
The issue at hand is who represents the nucleus whom they'll build the lineup and rotation around. It was supposed to be Agon (Manny) & Beckett (Schilling)...That was then. Our current roster has two everyday players that represent the future around which they need to add impact players Pedrioa and young Middlebrooks who's yet to prove that he is the real deal. In our system we have a two top prospects in Bradley and Boghart that are projected to be above average major leaguers. Key word is "projected" if both realize thier full potential and make the jump in 2014 or 2015 along with Middlebrooks proving to be legit? They then have 3 players that are all under the teams control code along with Pedrioa to build around...if either falls short or Middlebrooks drops off and isn't a cornerstone, it places a higher premium on us aquiring players and cobbling the team together and places an even greater emphesis on signing impact bats in free agency...
Where we difer is that I do think that Cherington has a plan...first and foremost is he needed to purge the lockeroom of the malcontents and begin constructing the team with players and managers that buy into the mission statement. He inhereted a team with a ton of bad contracts, one that lacked on field leaders. My guess is that if all goes well and Henry and Luccino don't cut his legs out from under him. That come 2015 or 2016 the makeup of the roster and the quality of the team's play will be of championship mettle.