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Designated option

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff October 22, 2008 09:33 AM

So, who’s untouchable?

Jonathan Papelbon, certainly. Same for Dustin Pedroia and Josh Beckett. Most likely, Jon Lester.

Hmm. Seem to be missing somebody.

It’s going to be classified as an overreaction by many still stinging from a Game 7 ALCS loss to the Rays, but as Theo Epstein and the Red Sox brass try to build for 2009 and beyond, the most daring, yet proactive, option they will have to at least discuss is what to do about their designated hitter.

And do you dare try to trade David Ortiz?

Allow yourself to forget about the past, an inherent must in looking to the future. Put aside the memories, the plaque honoring him as the Greatest Clutch Hitter in Red Sox History. Forget about 2004, the 54-home run season, and the constant reflections of "He did it again," and rewind to your most recent memories of Ortiz, a 2008 season that was subpar by his lofty standards, indeed, and a postseason that gave a quick glimpse of his past in Game 5 of the ALCS, but little else.

Look at the Red Sox as being heartless, concerned about nothing else but putting the best team together on the field. Ortiz certainly fits into that equation, on one hand.

On the other, if the Red Sox do indeed make a push for Mark Teixeira, that leaves an awful crowded middle of the lineup with Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and Kevin Youkilis in the mix as well, and only three positions to play all four.

Youkilis would obviously be the most attractive trade value for other teams, making only $3 million, at an age of 29. But dealing Youkilis makes little sense for Boston because of those reasons. Lowell is coming off labrum surgery, which is going to make teams queasy about dealing for a player who will be 35 years old with $24 million remaining on his contract.

With Ortiz, certainly there is an injury concern as well. The wrist appeared to remain an issue right through October, and there’s always the fear that the knee is going to act up again at some point down the road. Still, his home runs have decreased each of the last three seasons, from 54 to 35 to 23 in ’08, when his OPS (.896) slipped below 1.000 for the first time since 2004.

Maybe Ortiz will arrive in Florida come February healthy, in shape, and ready to go. Whether it’s with the Red Sox or not isn’t even a topic for discussion.

Should it be?

If Ortiz were the same player he was even a season removed, this wouldn’t be up for debate. But with injuries piling on, he's at an age (he’ll be 33 next season) when players other than Barry Bonds don’t exactly see a spike in productivity. At Baseball Reference, the top two batters whom Ortiz is most comparable to at his age are Carlos Delgado, who just hit 38 home runs at age 36, and Mo Vaughn, who had his final somewhat productive season at age 34.

Too bad Ortiz can’t field, which is part of the overall problem. If Jason Varitek is on his way out the door, and the Dodgers' Frank McCourt loses Manny Ramirez, you can imagine that he’d be willing to work a deal for the likes of Russell Martin – a 25-year-old catcher who’s already among the best in the game - and a mid-level reliever for another Boston player to fill the voids left by Ramirez and fellow free agent and former Bostonian Derek Lowe. But that’s part of what makes this a non-reality, Ortiz’s market is limited to the AL by his inability to play the field, and further squeezed by his 10-5 trade rights.

Still, based on what we know of these Red Sox at the tail end of the season, which would you predict as a better heart of the lineup going forward not just for 2009, but 2010?

Ortiz-Youkilis-Lowell

Or

Youkilis-Teixeira-Lowell

Youkilis to third, Teixeira to first, with Lowell as the DH, a three-way rotation that ensures one of the three Gold Glovers the non-fielding role periodically.

From a fan perspective, you also have to wonder if trading Ortiz isn’t the best move. If his best years are indeed behind him, dealing him now avoids the risk of a love affair ending at Fenway Park between player and nation. Ortiz is the quite possibly the most beloved player in Red Sox history, yet watching him fade into his mid-to-late 30’s could put a strain on that relationship. Bill Mueller can walk into any bar and get a Harpoon bought for him immediately. Keith Foulke would have a harder time. And forget about getting a Whopper without some wise guy altering its contents in the kitchen.

Are you a better team by dumping cash into a premium free agent and trading your renowned slugger for other pieces you need? For ’09, maybe. For ’10, ’11, etc., the answer, most likely, is yes.

That is why you discuss it at the very least, leaving out the memories that he brought to the table so many times. Greatest Clutch Hitter in the history of the franchise.

The plaque will remain. Will David Ortiz? Most definitely.

But the fact that we even wonder if the team would be better off without him says something to the concern that his best days have passed him by.

89 comments so far...
  1. The fact is, everything is an option. The last time the Red Sox lost in game 7 of the ALCS, Theo put Manny on irrevocable waivers, and when nobody claimed him, he attempted to trade Manny (and others) for ARod (and others), spent Thanksgiving with the Schillings, and signed a proven closer so the manager wouldn't keep his starters in too long....and probably lots of other things I can't remember. Then, mid-season, he traded the best shortstop the franchise has ever had. These guys don't sit around and certainly do not take loyalty to players into account, and they shouldn't. That said, if Papi's wrist can heal fully, trading him might come back to haunt us. That's a big if, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. Papi will be back and will be devestating to opponents in 2009.

    Posted by Ben October 22, 08 10:20 AM
  1. What rock did you crawl out from under Wilbur? Can't we give the man a chance to get healthy and see how he does in spring training before throwing him under the bus? I knew you Globe hacks would have to find someone else to bash now that Manny Ramirez is gone but Big Papi? You're playing with fire now?


    EW: Sorry, at what point exactly did I "bash" him? By wondering if he's not the hitter he once was? If that's the case, color me guilty.....I guess.

    Posted by elccpa24 October 22, 08 10:32 AM
  1. What about Youk, Ortiz, Teixiera? I mean, if you're throwing money around anyway, why not eat some (but not all...or make the amount contingent on how much Lowell can play) of Lowell's contract, throw in a pitching prospect (I say Bucholz-he'd be better in the NL and other teams have seen him pitch) and ask the Dodgers about Martin. Thing is, this would not be like the Manny deal, where teams knew the Sox were desperate and so made the Sox pay the rest of his contract plus give up people. I like the idea of pursuing Martin, though.

    Posted by CatsDuck October 22, 08 11:53 AM
  1. As great as Teix is, do we really want him for the $140 million it might take to sign him?

    Remember this was a team that made it to Game 7 of the ALCS with an injured Ortiz, without Lowell, a banged-up Drew, a banged-up, relatively ineffective Beckett, and a worthless Varitek. Trading away a player who, while declining, should at least be given another season to get healthy, would seem a bit rash.

    I am salivating over the Russell Martin possibilities.

    Posted by Justin R. October 22, 08 11:55 AM
  1. How about the Sox send Ortiz to San Diego in exchange for Jake Peavy? Peavy has said he would agree to come to ANY AL team and can you imagine his attitude toward an offensive line up like the Sox have for run support? Peavy has been toiling in San Diego, praying that guys like Brian Giles can get a big hit in the no. 3 spot of that line up. Then the Sox go out and sign Teix, and the payroll would not even increase much, as Peavy still has a few years left on his contract.

    Beckett, Peavy, Matsuzaka, Lester, ______? We wouldn't even need an offense...

    Posted by Brandon October 22, 08 12:11 PM
  1. A worthless Varitek, Justin? Worthless? His intagibles alone are worth more than most players full skill sets. Yea, he struggled greatly at bat, but just imagine how much different that pitching staff and team would be without him. He is probably one of the least expendable members of this team. I am confident in that assessment.

    Posted by Paul October 22, 08 12:13 PM
  1. The reason you're salivating over the Russell Martin possibilities is exactly the reason the Dodgers would never part with him. He's the heart and soul of that LA team. He's as untouchable as all those guys Wilbur mentioned at the top of this column.

    The wrist injury Ortiz had this year was not one that happens to people because they're getting long in the tooth. The knee concerns may be valid, but it didn't come up this year, so how about we just see how he comes back next year after dealing with his wrist?

    Posted by J-Bone October 22, 08 12:18 PM
  1. I agree with Justin R. Teixiera would be very expensive, and as great as he is, he was not enough to get the Angels past the current Sox in the ALCS. I know that Lowell's surgeon is an ace. If the operation is as successful as reported, we should have a healthy Mike Lowell next year.

    Seeing Big Papi in another uniform would be as awful as having to watch Bobby Orr end his career in Chicago. Please keep Ortiz for the remainder of his contract and hope that he is healthy next season.

    Posted by TC October 22, 08 12:18 PM
  1. There is always the possibility of trading for Matt Holliday since the rumors are always floating around. Bucholz is going to be a good number two pitcher someday, but that may not me in the AL. Package a combination of Bucholz, Coco, Bowden, Bay and get Holliday in return. Holliday is an above average fielder, smart base runner and an exceptional hitter. Also the fact that would could add our 4th ace to our rotation; Jake Peavy. The padres are asking for two pitchers and an outfielder; Bucholz, Bowden, Coco. With that rotation, you do not need to worry about the lineup as much.

    Posted by Jared M October 22, 08 12:18 PM
  1. About Ortiz: he was injured most of the year. You're seriously talking about trading him?

    That's kind of ridiculous. What a lack of perspective....

    Sure, he's not going to put up the numbers that he put up 2004-2007, but he's still a hell of a hitter.


    Posted by Russell October 22, 08 12:18 PM
  1. Can't we cut Varitek a little slack? I mean, come on, the guy went through a divorce in the middle of the season!

    Posted by Concerned About V-tek October 22, 08 12:25 PM
  1. Easy solution...Keep Papi...sign Teixeira...Send Youk to Left field...trade Bay to the Braves for TOP prospects, package them to the Dodgers with Bowden (if needed) for Russell Martin...Now Tex at first Lowell back at 3d youk in left,..Martin catching..lineup Ells Pedroia Ortiz Teixeira Youkilis Drew Lowell Martin Lowrie
    Sign AJ Burnett, and we have: Beckett Lester Burnett Dice K Buchholz
    SO LONG AL...you have no chance

    Posted by Harvey Ludwin October 22, 08 12:25 PM
  1. Are you actually serious, Brandon?? Peavy for Ortiz? Like the Padres would actually think about making such a stupid trade. Geez. Some people in this town should actually try to grow a brain.

    Posted by D October 22, 08 12:25 PM
  1. Great, let's have the Red Sox get rid of their most high profile player of color ever (Ortiz) to bring in another white guy (Teixiera).

    Posted by Ken R. October 22, 08 12:30 PM
  1. I love it how in this town we always find a way to bring somebody down. Ortiz only has been the heart & soul of this team, the catalyst of this new red sox nation but all of a sudden he's garbage and he should be traded?
    I see another ex sox disgruntled player leaving the team as Pedro, Nomar & Manny. I guess that's what we are we love you when its good for us but when you're down we dump you and move on to the next flavor of the month. The Yankees are not the evil empire, the evil empire reside in boston and write for the globe and herald and call sports radio. I hope pedroia, and youk are paying attention because they will be next to be driven out of town

    Posted by Gus October 22, 08 12:33 PM
  1. All emotional attachment to Ortiz aside, I think putting effort into getting rid of Lowell to make room for Teixera makes the most sense. His trade value is low right now, but honestly so must be Ortiz's. Both guys probably have their best years behind them but Ortiz is a little bit younger still. His wrist could still heal and he could still be somewhat productive, which I feel might be more than can be said for Lowell.

    Honestly, I hope the Sox shop both guys around. Certainly no one should be immune to potential trades.

    So to answer comment #4, the answer yes, a $140 mil contract to get Teixeira is definitely, definitely, definitely worth it. He's worth more than that. It's worth it because he's young, it's worth it because he's not only the best free agent out there but one of the best baseball players period, and it's worth it to keep him away from the Yankees. They should do practically anything they can to get him, considering the cash that will be freed up not paying Manny and Schilling. If in addition they could also draw Martin away from LA, then wow. Lock them right back in the ALCS next year.

    Posted by JeffR October 22, 08 12:33 PM
  1. Brandon - Nice plan, but why the hell would an NL team like San Diego trade their ace pitcher for a DH that hasn't played the field regularly in five years? Oh and their current 1B hit .279/36/119...otherwise, great plan - let's call Theo!

    Posted by Jason October 22, 08 12:33 PM
  1. EW, I see your point, but c'mon, at what point do we sell our souls and become the Yankees? I want the best baseball team out there just as much as the next Sox fan but at what cost? Ortiz had good numbers (109 games, 89 RBI, 23 HR) in an injury riddled season. I'll admit, he looked lost and intimidated in the post season but teams get relievers just to face him. How many other batters are there in baseball that you can say that about? The guy is the heart and the soul of the team, along with Varitek, and now we're writing articles about how we can dump him to another team and sign Tex, who by the way, is most compared by age to Kent Hrbeck on Baseball-Reference.com.

    You have a well written article and it raises some good points, but please be a little more subjective and give an argument to keep Ortiz before you use every negative stat you can find to bury him. Unfortunately, we can't forget about the past like you recommend, we're Red Sox fans, we don't forget.

    Posted by Dan G. October 22, 08 12:43 PM
  1. Regarding Varitek.

    His intangibles didnt help most of the staff this year. He cant catch a Knuckleballer and great catchers supposedly can catch anybody.
    His bat speed is gone....literally . Its too bad he has to come to the plate.
    I like him myself but the Sox hurt thier own chance for developing a catcher due to NOT finding one 4 or 5 years ago, knuckleballer or no knuckleballer.

    Dont let Boras take the Sox to the cleaners.... I wouldnt ,,,,

    Posted by John October 22, 08 01:03 PM
  1. He is just thirty-two years old and injured for much of the season. He will have a monster year next year.

    Posted by Harrybosch October 22, 08 01:08 PM
  1. how about this - the sox sign Manny! and trade him to the dodgers while eating most of his salary for Martin - straight up. how's' that for creative thinking? :)

    Posted by dw October 22, 08 01:15 PM
  1. Ortiz not only had a sub-par year by his lofty standards, he had a sub-par year by any standards. His lack of bat hurt us more than Variteks, since he only hits (and did not do enough of it when it really mattered).
    If we land Texeira (which is highly doubtful) then trading Ortiz makes the most sense to me as well. Just can't figure where he would go and how much he could bring in return. To Texas for Teagarden or Saltalamacchia?

    Posted by parhunter1 October 22, 08 01:22 PM
  1. Trade Bay? His numbers nearly mirrored Ramirez's and he didn't melt under the lights of Boston, I say he's a keeper. I'm a little tired of hearing people say Bay should be traded. He's only making $7.5 million next year, a bargain for what he should produce (30+ homers). I think he did really well in the short time he has been here.

    As for Varitek, he wants Posada money, which he doesn't deserve. I'd rather have Mirabelli for $2-4 million than Varitek for the $12 he probably wants. He may be the Captain, but just once I'd like to hear him say somebody stank instead of sugar-coating everything. Honestly, I don't like Varitek at all and I hope he leaves. Bring back Mirabelli if offense doesn't matter and defense does. A good catcher should be able to handle the knuckleball, no?

    Also, if we're on the subject of who lost the ALCS - not having Julian Tavarez while having Byrd could be one of the many reasons. I loved watching Taz's antics while being a starter, he's awesome. He is a better #5 or long reliever than many in the game, plus he was fun to watch - yes, fun to watch - unlike watching Byrd give up run after run, Dice walk after walk, and Buchholz game after game, Tavarez gave you a chance nearly every outting (not that I'm saying Dice isn't good, he's great, it's just hard to watch him pitch at times)..

    As for Ortiz, he's not going anywhere, but I like the Youkilis-Teixeira-Lowell for a 3B/1B/DH rotation because they can all play the field and not just hit, but who knows if Teixeira can handle Boston. And for trading Lowell - too dumb for words, the guy is outstanding and should rebound from his hip issue. I'm more concerned about Ortiz's knees, wrist, eyes, whatever is ailing him in 2009.

    Posted by David October 22, 08 01:24 PM
  1. John (post number 19) is right, I think. Sure Tek has been great as the Captain, but he's also been taking down a handsome $10million/year in doing so. Aside from the intangibles, he's both an offensive and defensive liability. And let's not make anything of the fact that he's a switch hitter. Face it - he's a weak hitter from either side of the plate. Absolutely nothing personal here. I like the guy. But, MLB is a business, and the Sox should do whatever they feel is in the best interest of winning.
    I feel less strongly about Papi. As many have pointed out, he's still a formidable opponent when he spits and slaps those palms. I think I'd miss that schtick the most, LOL

    Posted by Doug P. October 22, 08 01:26 PM
  1. The Lugo bailout plan is not included into the mix. A few mil for that great signing to disappear. I was thinking along your line with Ortiz back in the Summer. Like Pedro, Garciaparra, Lowe et. al. there is a time to let go.

    Posted by Fenwaymark October 22, 08 01:47 PM
  1. Keep tek. Better chance he would bounce back and be more valuable to the team than Big Papi on a rapid decline. We all love Big Papi, but based upon the last 2 seasons, he doesnt cut it anymore. And, even if he came back healthy, without Manny to protect him, how effective would he be?

    Try to get Texeira or Holliday.
    And make sure Beckett is healthy before the winter meetings. Otherwise, if he is hurt and we passed up an opportunity to get someone like a Jake Peavy, it might be a long summer in 2009.


    Posted by keng October 22, 08 02:17 PM
  1. #12, putting youk in left field would get rid of a GREAT defensive infielder who is fully versatile. There is no way he should leave 1st/3rd.....i think he may be one of the most underrated 1st basemen in the league.

    Posted by paul October 22, 08 02:19 PM
  1. Took the words right out of my mouth, Eric.

    1B: Mark Texiera
    3B: Kevin Youkilis
    DH: Mike Lowell

    Posted by Andrew Coniglio October 22, 08 02:32 PM
  1. Hell no to the no.

    It is not yet time. Ortiz does more than just hit, he acts as a team morale builder. Its been more than clear time and time again that he is a central part of keeping this team together. His time is not over, he's only temporarily injured, let him go get healthy and see what happens next year.

    Posted by Amanda October 22, 08 03:59 PM
  1. There´s a guy up there (#23), that is actually saying that Boston missed Julian Tavarez. Yes, Julian "I´m as crazy as they come" Tavarez!!
    Some people really write a lot of nonesense. But, this guy beat them all.
    He actually says: "I loved watching Taz's antics while being a starter, he's awesome. He is a better #5 or long reliever than many in the game"...
    I mean....what!?!? Are you his agent? No, not even his agent would say something like that. Absolutley amazing

    Posted by Steve O October 22, 08 04:11 PM
  1. Get off of the Matt Holliday bandwagon. He is nothing more than a Coors Field wonder. Look at his home and away numbers they are a joke. Do we really need another Dante Bichette with his bloated Denver numbers??

    Posted by Tom October 22, 08 04:16 PM
  1. You gotta be kidding me! Tavarez?? I liked him too, but hee was a nightmare to watch... that is a truly stupid comment.

    Posted by nate October 22, 08 04:19 PM
  1. e contract then we cans sign Tex. If you look at the issues the Sox are facing Mike Lowell's health is the biggest killer because not only do you lose a hitter but a fielder also which is harder to replace than a hitter, a DH at that. Aside from all the sentimental crap Ortiz is much more valuable to this team than Mike Lowell. Plus by trading Lowell and signing Tex you get younger at the corners and you pick up Power in Tex. But by letting Papi go you lose power because lowell will not replace David's bat plus a line up of1. Dustin, 2.Youk, 3. David, 4.Tex, 5. Drew, 6.Bay and whoever else will be in the other spots I find that line up more dangerous

    Posted by Jason October 22, 08 04:25 PM
  1. C'mon let's do this the old fashioned way get the farm team to provide
    us with the next superstar hitter. How much better did Texiera play
    for Anaheim. Better than Youk?, Bay?, Pedroia? He's a waste of $$$, he did'nt even want to play with the BoSox when e was offered a contract. Besides we already have the best first base in the league.

    Posted by Chris October 22, 08 04:27 PM
  1. yeah, tavarez was excellent this year david, you nitwit: ERA: 5.10 W-L: 1-5
    Man, the sox really blew that one. Get a clue, go play tennis or something.

    Posted by chris October 22, 08 04:38 PM
  1. I can't believe some people are even talking about trading away Bay already and how quick people are to throw players under the bus. Can't we give Bay a full season in the Red Sox uniform to show that he will put up 30hr 100rbi and Ortiz will be back to his regular self? Bay will put up similar numbers to Manny while playing LF and running the bases a hell of a lot better. Some of the ideas people are throwing out are so far fetched too, we aren't playing a video game here....there is not a chance LA will give up Martin. Some times the comments on this site make me want to gouge my eyes out.

    That said, Theo will do what needs to be done.

    Posted by Mike October 22, 08 04:39 PM
  1. I don't see why they don't keep all 3 AND sign Tex.

    Think about it....what's the likelihood that both Lowell and Papi stay healthy?

    A four man rotation for 3 spots would be juicy.

    and they have a lot of money available with Schilling, Manny, and Timlin coming off the books.

    Posted by jerseysanta October 22, 08 04:41 PM
  1. There are so many options … here’s one to consider that mixes it up a bit:

    1. Drew – CF
    2. Pedroa – 2B
    3. Texiera – 1B (Switch Hitter)
    4. Ortiz – DH
    5. Youkilis - RF
    6. Lowell – 3B
    7. Bay – LF
    8. Lowry – SS (Switch Hitter)
    9. Veritek – C (Switch Hitter)

    Starting Pitchers: Matsuzaka, Beckett, Lester, Byrd, Burnett or Peavy
    Bull Pen: Lopez, Wakefield, Delcarmen, Okajima, Papelbon, Masterson
    Bench: Ellsbury, Kotsay, Cora, Cash, Cassey
    Trade Options: Lugo, Crisp, Buckholtz

    Assumptions:
    Can trade Lugo, Crisp and/or Buckholtz for a pitcher of Peavy’s caliper or sign Burnett.
    Sign Veritek (as long as Boras is realistic)
    Sign Byrd
    Sign Kotsay or someone of the similar caliper
    Major Signing of Texiera

    Posted by Reggaepuppy October 22, 08 04:41 PM
  1. If Tek went thru that divorce as mentioned, then let's cut him some slack. Tek is good with our pitchers. Having said that, Boras better be reasonable in negotiating which we all know is not possible for him.

    As for Ortiz, give him a year. The thought of not having his name in the lineup will make opposing pitchers finally breathe.

    As for Teixiera, I was not impressed with him in the Angels series. Good glove at first, but I figured this boy was going to kill us and he didn't! Yes, we need another power behind Ortiz, but Teixiera isn't it I don't think. Matt Holiday is an interesting idea but we need outfielders, not infielders.

    Can't wait to see what Theo does because I am not sure there is a trade out there that is the right answer to our needs.

    Posted by Doug October 22, 08 04:42 PM
  1. The only way I wouldn't hold on to Ortiz and see if he's healthy next spring is if I had a chance to bring in Texeira and Holliday to take the 3/4 spots in the line-up.
    Of course Bay would have to go . If Lowell was healthy and you could trade him then of course bring in Tex/Holliday and keep Ortiz.
    In the end Ortiz isn't going anyway.

    Posted by J.D.Clark October 22, 08 04:50 PM
  1. David Ortiz is old, slow, can't field and now can't hit. He can only pull the ball to right. He's not a leader anymore. He's just Big, not Big Papi. If he sticks around Boston for a couple more seasons it'll be two more lackluster years. Papelbon should get out while he can.

    Posted by Johnny October 22, 08 04:52 PM
  1. this is how i seeit. Sign Texiera to keep him away from the Yankees. Put hhim at first youk at third papi at DH still. Trade Lowell and a few prospects to see what catcher or pitchin we can get!

    Posted by dre.heat October 22, 08 04:54 PM
  1. Sorry Folks but Papi gets a Lifetime pass from me! He definitely needs to get himself in shape for the 2009 season; let's see how his wrist recovers, too. Also, there is very little Power coming up from the Red Sox Minor League system over the next 3 years. Having a lot of promising young arms[ Bard, Bowden etc.] gives Theo the luxury of being able to deal young prospects for Power bats. # 34 has a couple of big years left [ 35 + HR's, 120 rbi's] and he is a huge part of the good " clubhouse chemistry", along with Lowell

    Posted by clemente21 October 22, 08 04:57 PM
  1. I defend you a lot Wilbur, but I think this one is a litle half baked. Ortiz was hurt this year. I'll take a guy who hits 35 home runs in a "down year" and 23 in a year he's battling injuries any day. I think Papi still got a few years of pop left.

    Posted by LizSD October 22, 08 05:03 PM
  1. The catcher the Bosox should try to get is Benji Molina of the Giants. He is a good hitter - 90 rbis in one of the weakest lineups and toughest hitting parks in MLB. The Giants have a good young hitter who could replace Molina and are rebuilding, so they might take prospects. They have a huge hole at 3rd so Mike Lowell could be part of the package provided the Red Sox eat some of the salary. Molina costs $6 million and is very slow, but durable and a very good defensive catcher. He could be a 100 rbi man at Fenway.

    Posted by Chalton October 22, 08 05:23 PM
  1. You bet I'd buy Bill Mueller a beer. But Eric, I'd buy Keith Foulke the brewery if I could. He was the right guy for the right time; forget about the afterlife (meaning after '04). And as for the most beloved Sock of all-time, Eric, you must be showing your age a bit. Yaz is the MAN, and will always be the MAN.

    Posted by Milligan October 22, 08 05:30 PM
  1. Papi is still a feared hitter. Its obvious hes on the decline, so instead of 40-45 hrs and 120-130 rbis well have to settle for 30-35 hrs and 100-110 rbi (which is roughly what his # projected to be if he hadnt got hurt). Ill take it. And so would many other clubs.
    Reguarding texeira, he epitomizes the red sox "dream player" great paitence, great obp, great defensive player, young, in his prime, consistent and can perform under pressure (has played for several different teams and has been great for every last one of em) I know hell be super expensive, but if we were gonna pickup mannys options at 20 mil per, y not give it to a younger, better 2 way player and far more proffesional in texeira, (even if it costs 22 mill a year)

    Posted by Gary October 22, 08 05:33 PM
  1. Everything should be an option including trading Ortiz or Lowell or Ellsbury. There are very few untouchables on the Sox. After all the injuries last year the one thing that SAVED the Sox was having so many versatile players ... Youk, Coco, Kotsey, Lowery, etc. I'm sure Theo & Co. will continue on that theme. I would keep Bay, he's still a bargain & he'll eventually wear out the Green Monster ... good defense & decent speed. If Ortiz would use the Papi shift & take the free hit (& advance the runner on base) ONCE IN AWHILE I'd say keep him at all cost but he doesn't. A lot hinges on the Tek $$$ ... if they ask for too much then catcher via trade becomes a top priority.

    Posted by drahcir61 October 22, 08 05:53 PM
  1. To me, Big Papi is the heart and soul of the Sox so he should not be made to leave. He needs to come back next year fully healthy and recovered. I can remember countless times when he delivered, usually in the clutch, so I don't agree with those comments that he's now too slow, heavy, can't hit, etc. He's a team leader with strong character.

    Posted by AskeeLicheeSox October 22, 08 06:13 PM
  1. I'd be shocked if the Sox trade Ortiz before his contract is up in 2010. Would also be shocked if the Sox give Varitek a Posada contract. He will get a raise, but no more than 2 years and under what Posada is getting. Sox overall are in solid shape. Priorities are another big bat, a 15 win starter, and find Tek's replacement.

    Posted by Bdog October 22, 08 06:16 PM
  1. Why do the Sox need to trade for anyone? Have you taken a look at the FA market? I say let those who had an off year or got hurt (Ortiz, Lowell) and see how they comeback in March.

    I drool over thinking of the possiblity of having Teixera's bat in the lineup. This is of course, if Lowell would like to split time, which in my mind would be too good to be true. Have Youk go from 3rd to 1st and be their everyday guy and then switch in Teixera and Lowell.

    As for trading Bay, everyone is out of their mind! He is a perfect fit in Boston and has proved it already. If you trade away anyone it would be Crisp and if you did go in that direction, then trade him for prospects, no big names! I see the possiblity of the Sox keeping Tek and doing the 50/50 thing with him and Cash. I don't have a problem with Cash at all and think it would be beneficial for him to play more often than not.

    What I would like to see the Sox pursue is if they do go after a catcher and don't resign Cora and think of trading Crisp, is for them to go after the following:

    Baldelli - He will be Crisp's replacement, a good bench player, good bat, fast, strong arm, local boy and cheap.

    Burnett over Peavy - Why? Because Burnett is a proven AL pitcher. He is very dominant, especially against the East. I do like Peavy, but Burnett is a FA and Peavy has only proven himself in the NL.

    Olivo - Obviously a good catcher's choice. He's strong defensively, young, and a decent batter.

    Punto - The only replacement I would want for Cora. Very solid defensively and quick.

    Posted by Andrew October 22, 08 06:21 PM
  1. I like the post that said Tavarez was fun to watch. That is the problem with the Red Sox now. NONE of them are fun to watch. It is the most boring team I've seen. They are like the yankees. BORING! I would rather watch highlights from the 2004 season than a current redsox game. If they aren't going to sign anything good, at least bring back Pedro to be the pitching coach, Damon to be the outfield coach, Millar to be the infield coach, and let Orlando Cabrerra and D-Lowe coach the bases. When no one signs Manny for 250 million and 4 years, let him come back and be the hitting coach. It would be the most watched team in the history of sports.

    Posted by Bud October 22, 08 06:53 PM
  1. If the Sox brass know for sure that Big Papi will be fully healthy and that his health was the reason for he declining production, next year the offseason should go like this...

    1) Trade Bay
    2) Sign Texiera,
    3) Put Youk in left.

    This is probably the best solution. Bay is a great offensive player but if we are able to get an intimidating hitter like Texiera to bat behind Big Papi then that brings our offense back to form and hopefully even better. Youk has played in left before and he has shown that he is capable of switching to different positions without being a liability. We definitely need to try to trade Lugo and Crisp should be good trade bait as well.

    Posted by SoxIn2009 October 22, 08 07:02 PM
  1. I don't think that the Sox need to worry about their offense at all. We scored tons of runs with our current lineup. With a healthy Lowell and Big Papi back in the mix, and Ellsbury recovered from his post-season funk, our lineup is great from top to bottom with the exception of Varitek (so valuable defensively and at handling pitchers that any batting average is a plus). What the Sox need to do is regain their form as the best pitching staff in the AL. The Team's ERA was shamefully high this year, so the addition of another quality starter (Peavey sounds good) would be a move in the right direction. The target should be to have 4 guys win 15 or more games, throw close to 200 innings apiece, and notch a team ERA around 3.50. That would put less pressure on the offense and the relief staff and would make the Red Sox a better team all 'round.
    And get off all of the "trade Bay" talk. This guy is a great player and has already shown what he's capable of. Give him a whole season with the Sox and he will knock your socks off.

    Posted by Arthur P. Reilly October 22, 08 07:47 PM
  1. I'm sorry, I just can't bear the idea of David Ortiz someplace else next year. For that matter, I'm not interested in being without Lowell either. But I hear what you're saying...we need a reliable huge bat in that order to replace Manny's production. But are the corner infield spots and the DH really the soft spots? I don't think so.

    Don't get me wrong - I'd love to have Texeira - but it seems to me that rather than worry about Ortiz/Lowell/Youkilis, the places you could *really* use an upgrade offensively, without casting aside Red Sox heroes like those three guys and turning Red Sox nation on its ear, are at shortstop and catcher.

    I think Lowrie's great, but if you could get a Miguel-Tejada-in-his-prime-type guy there, I'd gladly give him to a team looking to dump salary.
    Let's face it, we're now complaining about the Hanley Ramirez deal to an extent. Sorry, you can't have it both ways, people. "Win NOW!!" was the cry in 2006, and it worked out great. Now we're looking at 2009..you get the picture.

    Catcher: I don't even like to think about our Captain leaving town...I hope he is involved with the Sox forever. But I'm at a loss. His bat is just...dead. So who's out there? Mauer ain't goin' anywhere...We blew it dealing Kelly Shoppach (I hated that deal). If we could somehow separate Russell Martin from LA, that would be worth big time young players or prospects. That kid is a STUD. the Dodgers loooove pitchers, and I bet Theo & Co could work out a deal for Ross or Kottaras along with Bowden, Bard, or Buchholz (forever henceforth to be referred to as "Generation B-K?") and maybe someone cheap and good like Coco Crisp, or even Lowrie, in exchange for Martin. You could tolerate Lugo back at Short if you have a catcher Hey, they owe us...we paid Manny to hit over .400 for them for 2 months for the love o'Pete!

    Should be a very interesting offseason in any event.

    Go Rays! They earned it, man.

    Posted by Settie's all about the bullpen October 22, 08 07:52 PM
  1. Hey Bud, what's so boring about winning? Oh, the Sox didn't go to the World Series, so now they're boring? Boring is August '06 when they disappeared off the face of the earth.Boring is the post-Yawkey era when Haywood Sullivan and Buddy Leroux 'owned' the team. Boring was Luis Tiant pitching for the Yankees. As for other comments on trading or letting people go, I think the way Pedro, Nomar, Johnny Damon, and Derek Lowe were allowed to go speaks volumes about how the current Red Sox management approaches things. Pitching first, second, and third, then work through the rest of it.

    Posted by Marc October 22, 08 07:54 PM
  1. #38 you should learn to spell if u want anybody to take you seriously and #41 shut the F**K up, are you in the club house with big PAPI everyday? I'm sure you know he isn't a leader. who cares if he can't play the field, doesnt have to unless we are in the WS, we are in the AL in case you forgot

    Posted by redsox October 22, 08 07:57 PM
  1. I don't know why so many people are so down on this team. Tampa Bay is a good team and will beat Philly. We were very close. My untouchables would be Beckett, Lester, Papelbon, Dice-K, Masterson, Pedroia, Bay, and Youkilis. I think that Ortiz will bounce back next year and I'd hate to see him leave. I'm a little bit more worried about Lowell, but I think there is a reasonable chance he'll be productive next year. I would keep Veritek, but only if he's willing to take a pay cut. I don't think Texeira or Holliday are the kinds of players you sell the farm to get, but worth considering for the right price. Another top notch starter like Peavy would be nice.

    Posted by aad October 22, 08 08:05 PM
  1. Thanks for the invitation Eric, but frankly, no. I will not forget about Big Papi's past. I will not forget everything he has done for this franchise. EVER.

    Posted by Caren October 22, 08 08:53 PM
  1. Martin? are you sure about that? This is from ESPN's Peter Gammons just last month:

    "Russell Martin may have slid backward, and had his attention to the defensive preparation called into question, but he remains a tremendous talent who wants to play every day, and his workload may have impacted his attention to game preparation. There has been some talk that the Dodgers may go after a Varitek or a pitcher-oriented catcher, which would free Martin from behind the plate and take his athleticism to third base, where the coaches feel he could also be an All-Star, a move Torre, Todd Zeile and Craig Biggio all made successfully."

    Oh, and #19, John:

    "His intangibles didnt help most of the staff this year."

    Where have you been? Did the Sox not just make it to Game 7 of the ALCS less than a week ago?

    Posted by DaveCobern October 22, 08 08:56 PM
  1. Dave (above) may be right with the Russell Martin idea. Both the fans and media write/post without actually checking what is really going on!

    From the New York Post today:

    "You want a surprise name that could end up out on the trade market? How about Dodgers catcher Russell Martin? Rival executives say the Dodgers are not overly enamored with his makeup and at a time when front-line catchers are hard to find, Los Angeles could decide to see what his value is. The Tigers, Marlins and Reds are all looking for catching, and the Red Sox would be, too, if free agent Jason Varitek departed."


    The part you have to zero in on is "Rival executives say the Dodgers are not overly enamored with his makeup and at a time when front-line catchers are hard to find, Los Angeles could decide to see what his value is. "


    Are you sure this is the catcher you want behind the dish in Varitek's place? I don't!


    Posted by TomD October 22, 08 09:26 PM
  1. Are you kidding me with this? Someone above said Big Papi has been going downhill for 2 years? You do realize he hit .332 with 35 homers and 117 rbi's last year!? You do realize he missed a full 3rd of the season this year and had a major wrist injury (which will screw up anyones batting year) yet still projected to 33 homers and 135 rbi's for the full year?! What if Albert Pujols misses 60 gams next year and gets off to a very slow start from his elbow surgery? Should the Cardinals dump that sorry slug of a player? I cant believe im reading this stuff.

    Kudo's to post #38 above....thats an option I dont think anyone has thought about and makes sense.

    Put Drew in center, Bay in left, and Youk in right.....Drew will probably be out for a 3rd of the season (he has never played a full 600 at bat season) and Ellsbury can play center in his games he is out and also spell Bay and Youk as needed.

    1. Speedy Shortstop we get in trade or FA-- SS
    2. Pedroa – 2B
    3. Texiera – 1B (Switch Hitter)
    4. Ortiz – DH
    5. Youkilis - RF
    6. Drew- CF
    7.Lowell – 3B
    8. Bay – LF
    9. Varitek – C (Switch Hitter)

    Can trade Lugo, Crisp, Lowery and/or Bucholz for shortstop with 30-40 SB potential, and/or young (offensive) catching help, pitching help as needed.

    Sign Texiera

    that lineup would be a murderers row, and would work if we got a shortstop with bigtime speed at the top of it (Furcal?)

    Posted by Dante October 22, 08 09:37 PM
  1. Well, if Derek Lowe somehow comes back to the Sox, which is what he apparently wants to do, he may want 'em to keep 'Tek around and not go with Martin....lol

    I wonder what Russell thought of his comments a couple weeks ago?

    "He's definitely come a long way," Derek Lowe said. "I was fortunate, in my opinion, to play with the best catcher in all of baseball, especially in calling a game in (Boston's Jason) Varitek. I think Russell is eventually going to get there. You can't expect him to be at Jason's level this early in his career."

    Posted by george October 22, 08 09:43 PM
  1. Ellsbury & Bucholz and TBD for Santana is looking pretty good to me right about now

    Posted by Frankie Brimsek October 22, 08 10:08 PM
  1. OH MY GOD, Ortiz was HURT this year. Remember when Lowell had a bad year? He bounced back. Give Varitek a break too. He was going through a divorce. Remember Drew last year with his son? He bounced back.

    Don't you think these guys deserve SOME loyality to at least see how they are once they are fully healthy? If they just "dump" guys, what kind of message does that send to other guys on the team that might get hurt.

    Jeez, Wilbur, you are such a Globe PUKE.

    Posted by Susan October 22, 08 10:18 PM
  1. I think you make some good points and I have also discussed the options of dealing Ortiz with friends. The problem is, Ortiz likely only make sense for AL teams due to his lack of recent experience and defensive concerns. Several people here have expressed some very unrealistic ideas of dealing Lowell, Drew and Buchholz in exchange for players that are not likely available for huge discounts like Peavy, Martin, Holliday and others. In addition, putting Youk in the outfield, although he has played there in a limited role, does not make sense. While Youk has done great things in Boston, is a fan favorite and is cheap, at some point we need to realize that the Sox are not going to sign all of the internally developed players and it is more likely than not that dealing Youk does make sense. We seem to fall in love with players in this area and hate the idea of dealing them. The reality is that we might be a little too emotionally involved with the team and need to step back to look at the dynamics of the team. Would it suck to deal Youk, yes, however, dealing Lowell is not likely since he spent time injured and is coming off surgery. Do the Sox really want to eat all of his remaining salary in order to deal him? I would think that is not a wise financial move. Dealing Drew and Lugo are also unlikely and not just because of his recent injury woes.
    While I think Holliday is clearly a good thought in left field, Bay was acquired at a steep price and comes cheap for 2009. I don't think he is going anywhere and I anticipate that he would be signed for a few more years.
    Let's be honest with what WE asked for last offseason and that was for Theo to sign Lowell to a long-term deal. At this point, the Sox might have been better off signing Feliz to a one year deal and none of these questions would have come up.
    Acquiring a power hitter is pertinent for the 2009 Sox, but the Sox need to consider what they already have signed. In an ideal world, Mike Piazza would be 28 again and be ready to sign with the Sox, but he is not and the Sox need to consider alternatives. At the same time, the Sox could always need some top pitching and signing Teixeira and utilizing Youk to acquire a top pitcher might be in the cards. What we need to realize is that dealing key/impact players will need to be considered for the Sox to move forward.

    Posted by Mike October 22, 08 10:32 PM
  1. Anyone who would even consider trading Ortiz should be committed! That means you Wilbur. He's not that old (3 years younger than Manny). He had one bad year b/c of injuries. He is one year removed from a career-high OPS of 1.066 in 2007. And if he played 150 or so games this year like other years then he would have had numbers almost identical to 2007 (except for the large drop in batting average). Get this guy a new cleanup hitter (Teixera or Holliday) and let him get healthy. And Wilbur lets not be told to push recent Red Sox memories out of our mind. Sports should always sentimental otherwise we truly are just rooting for laundry.

    Posted by Jim A October 23, 08 12:25 AM
  1. You should color yourself guilty. get a grip man, ortiz played 40 less games...had a 133 less atbats, and still hit 23 hr, and still managed 89 rbi's, while being under 100% physically. This team is now on his shoulders offensively, and hes never had to deal with that, hes always had manny. hes clearly untouchable, he will be back into form... one offseason doesnt kill your bat... his injuries did... he will smacking the ball again next year aslong as its injury free.

    Posted by Ryan October 23, 08 12:26 AM
  1. Why does everyone want to blow this team up? They came within a few runs of the WS for Chrissake... producing runs was NOT a problem for the 2008 Red Sox! We need more pitching (another starter-possibly D Lowe), we don't need Teixeira, a healthy lineup as is will produce enough runs to get this team to the postseason. Also, like it or not, nothing will keep Hank Steinbrenner from signing Tex and CC Sabathia for the Yanks next season, he'll do everything in his power (his wallet) to make sure they don't miss the playoffs again as they move into a new stadium. Why get into a bidding war with 6 teams for Teixeira, when we have a gold glove caliber fielder in Youkilis? I'll stick w/ a healthy Lowell and Ortiz again. Aslo the Red Sox need to ffocus all of their money on future signings: Lester, Ells, Youk, Pedroia, Masterson. Keep this team together.
    Assuming Lowell and Ortiz are finally healthy they should be given another chance,
    chance,

    Posted by Hyde Park October 23, 08 01:28 AM
  1. I love Mike Lowell as a person, and he is still a decent player and despite the injury and surgery, I think he will come back next year and do a pretty good job. With that said, I didn’t want the Sox to sign him last year after the World Series. He’s getting too old and while he can still hit decently and does play a great 3B, I feel we can do much better by having Texiera at 1B and Youk at 3B and possibly even keeping Lowell as a guy on the bench. When was the last time the Sox had an actual GOOD player off the bench who hit well AND could get you that extra base hit or homer when you’re down by 1 in the 9th? But I don’t think the Sox would keep a guy making $10+ million a year on the bench as a backup or platoon player.

    Why isn’t anyone talking about trading or signing a big bat at SS. It is by far the weakest position we have (except catcher). I like Lowrie defensively and think he will be halfway decent at the plate, but why can’t the sox try to trade for someone who can hit a little better and has a little more pop in his bat that plays SS? I know the market isn’t that great but it’s worth looking into.

    And Tek needs to go. Aside from Lowrie/Lugo (or whoever else is playing SS), he is by far the weakest hitter we have on the team. You would think a guy that big and that strong could hit a few homers here or there, or at least make contact once in a while. Maybe he is forgetting that the object of the game is to HIT the ball. He can’t throw runners out anymore. For God’s sake, Cash threw out a better percentage of runners and he caught the slow Wakefield all the time. Sign Pudge Rodriguez to a 1 or 2 year deal if you can’t get a guy like Salty or Martin through trade or whatever. Sign Pudge while you develop a catcher in the minors or wait a year or 2 until the market is better. He’ll be making roughly the same amount that you paid Tek for the last 4 years ($10 mil).

    I actually wouldn’t be mad if the Sox got rid of Ortiz. I think he will come back next year and do fine ( I mean c’mon, the guy still had 23 HRs and 89 RBI in 109 games. That’s still pretty good, despite his low average, but he never really was an average guy, he was all about power. Put him in the #5 spot in the order and put Drew in the #3 spot. I think Ortiz will do even better than last year’s stats in the 5-hole than in the 3 spot. However, I don’t see why we have a guy that can play only DH when we can get a guy like Tex and have Lowell/Youk/Tex who can all rotate and DH. But the Sox wouldn’t trade Ortiz anyway and his 10-5 makes it tough to do it even if we wanted to.

    The #1 concern is a quality starting pitcher. No Derek Lowe or any of that crap where we get the veteran guy to be our #4/5 starter. We need a Sabathia, or Sheets, or Burnett or Peavy that can be dominant in a rotation that already includes Lester, Beckett, and Dice-K. That will get us to the World Series.

    Posted by go Sox October 23, 08 02:16 AM
  1. Everyone that thinks Ortiz should go is just crazy. The problem with Ortiz is that he is batting in the 3-spot, and he is DEFINITELY NOT a #3 hitter. The 3-spot is ideally reserved for your best all-around hitter, and Ortiz is not that. That spot would go to Youkilis or Drew. Aside from Pedroia, Youkilis is the best hitter on that team, and he showed a lot of pop this year. Put him in the #3 spot. Or you can go with Drew. I think Drew has a great swing and if he is healthy the whole year, will do wonders out of the #3 spot in that order. Put Papi down to 6th, in between Bay/Youkilis (hits for average and power) and Lowell (decent average and decent power) and Papi will strive. I would love to see as a 2,3,4,5 order of Pedroia, Youkilis, then Bay, then Drew (but that’s 3 righties in a row and Francona wouldn’t do that) Here’s the lineup that I would have put out there this year.

    Lineup
    1. Ellsbury – CF (L)
    2. Pedroia – 2B (R)
    3. Youkilis – 3B (R)
    4. Bay – LF (R)
    5. Drew – LF (L)
    6. Ortiz – DH (L)
    7. Lowell – 3B (R)
    8. Varitek – C (S)
    9. Lowrie – SS (S)

    Posted by Dave October 23, 08 02:45 AM
  1. 1. Sign Tex. 2. Put Lugo, Crisp & Buch. on the table for either Martin or Salty. 3. Pursue CC or Sheets, but don't go for an over the top long term contract.
    C-Martin/Salt & Cash 1B-Tex/Youk 2B-Ped 3B-Youk/Lowell SS-Lowrie DH-Papi/Lowell LF-Bay CF-Jacoby RF-Drew OF-Carter. Nothing wrong with multiple goldglove infielders and a platoon DH for two guys with potential health issues. The Tex contract is good. Rotation: Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, Wakefield, Masterson without CC or Sheets. With, send Justin to the Pen.

    Posted by Peter Douglas October 23, 08 03:54 AM
  1. AJ Burnett should be a top priotity for Theo. Just a great pitcher, and I truly feel Dave Ortiz is a natural for Fenway Park, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt on his injuries.. Cpmplete rest and then we willl\ learn a lot in spring training.

    Posted by joshua October 23, 08 04:52 AM
  1. No trading Popi..but It's time for an **intensive** off season rehab for the hobblers and retraining program for the boys. Mandatory weight, or nautilus type programs to improve muscle tone and strength to prevent injuries, that also include LOTS of eye-hand coordination exercise training for Popi, JD( gotta take care of that back NOW..end the Greenwell-Mattingly syndrome before it rears it's ugly head again next august) and Lowell. Who knows maybe Jed will end up hitting 20 dingers on the Freddie lynn weight training program

    Posted by ctsoxguy October 23, 08 06:43 AM
  1. You may be right on Ortiz. Remember Vaughn. As to Tec - he is the most over-rated catcher in the majors. His bat speed wouldn't let him play for a good college team. As to his intangibles, why do so many pitchers keep shaking him off? He can't move to his right, this is why he uses what is really a first baseman's mitt, and seems reluctant to block the plate the way he did a few years ago.

    Posted by bbigjack1000 October 23, 08 08:54 AM
  1. From what I saw, Ortiz just didn't seem that happy to be here after Manny was traded. Every comment was "of course we miss Manny" in reference to his bat, or was it? In favor of moving him down into the lineup, Youk should hit third because he can control rather than just pull the ball. By that time, David's long fly-out's can at least drive in the runner at 3rd, that the top of the order should accomplish.

    I am hoping for an improved attitude in the new year, but being a 10/5 man he's in control of his situation more than the team for a non-fielding, aging DH with two more years is it at big $?

    Posted by JMacDonald October 23, 08 10:33 AM
  1. forget it. how would you feel if the celts traded bird and mchale in the early 90's? i think we owe it to these guys to see them through if they're willing to stay here. can we really ship him out of town after taking what was at the time presented as a hometown discount contract? look at what the cheap bastards did with bronson arroyo.

    Posted by jasonejh October 23, 08 11:51 AM
  1. Somehow get the Phillies to trade Chase Utley and move Pedroia to SS.

    Posted by Thomas R October 23, 08 11:57 AM
  1. Have we turned into the Yankees? These comments are beyond ridiculous. All of these fantastical scenarios about getting Texeira and Holliday and Peavy and Burnett and Martin for Lugo and a bag of baseballs wouldn't even work in a video game. And who in their right mind would move a great defensive corner infielder to the outfield just to fit in another bat? Answer: the Yankees. Is this what we've become? There was nothing wrong with run production this year. The problem was pitching: inconsistent starters, and horrible middle relief. Outside of Lester, Papelbon and maybe Masterson, you had no idea what you were getting. Tampa beat us because their pitching was significantly more reliable than ours. In the games we won, their starters gave up 2 (Shields), 0 (Kazmir), and 3 (Shields) runs. These guys aren't stiffs; they did this all season. This is what we need -- better, more consistent pitching that holds up in the postseason. What we don't need is mindless speculation about what we could get by trading the guy who anchors the lineup. It's Steinbrenneresque, all this pissing and moaning because he didn't hit a homerun every other at-bat.

    Posted by bubba October 23, 08 12:12 PM
  1. I believe we will all be surprised come Spring training. Theo hasn't let us down! (well, except Gagme-Gagne) He will do the right thing for the BoSox. But in my opinion, it still remains the BoSox fans are the toughest around. You all do know these are mens lives with families you are all talking about. And there are situation in the dugout, bullpen and at home that effect there lives everyday. YES, they have a job to do and that is to WIN. We love to see them win, but even if Theo came back with the same team i believe we will once again we would win the World Series. Yes i truly believe it. Of all the players you all would want to play for us, they too have to stay healthy. And for Tek--- if you haven't notice Theo has a soft spot for the good ole boys. (whether you like it or not) I dont care what you all say TEK has been and still will remain with the REd Soxs for a couple more years. The man has like 5% body fat. He is not a 36 year old body. ALthough he did suck this year. I believe TEK will make the transition to play less for less. He will end his career with the BoSox. I am sure we will all stay tuned to see what is in store for the boys come February.

    Posted by 4tek33 October 23, 08 12:29 PM
  1. Interestingly, I've yet to see anybody suggest that maybe Youk should switch to Catcher. Youk was pretty bad in LF a couple of seasons ago when the team put him out there because of injuries to others. I don't want to see him anywhere in the outfield; that's just absurd. I get absolutely nothing out of seeing losers propose acquiring Chase Utley or any other great player; why would Philly make that trade?!? [answer: they wouldn't] I liked Bubba's post (#79) because I feel the same frustrations as he does. None of the bozos that want to trade Lugo for a SP have the responsibility to tweak this team; that's Theo Epstein's job and so far he's done an excellent job of it. I actually think that Kevin Cash (the much-despised catcher to those of you who know nothing about baseball) could probably play everyday and bat 9th (and suck with the bat, but he's a better defensive catcher than Tek or whichever washed-up has-been like Pudge you people are thinking of signing). Bring up the best catching prospect (Dusty Brown?) and split time with Cash. That's better than re-signing Tek.

    Posted by dicky October 23, 08 02:49 PM
  1. Trade Big Papi????????NO NO NO. THAT WOULD BE A CURSE................
    TEXEIRA WAS A BIG BABY FOR THE TEXAS RANGERS, NOT A TEAM PLAYER, PRIMADONNA, ANOTHER BORAS GUY...NO TEXEIRA... YEA GODS. I LIVE IN DALLAS TEXAS AND THE RANGERS ARE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HIM. PS; I STILL LOVE MANNY, SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR BADMOUTHING HIM ON AND ON. MVP #24 - NOT THE SAME WITHOUT HIM. NO WORLD SERIES..THEO.

    Posted by jane October 23, 08 03:47 PM
  1. These comments make me realize that we truly have become the Yankees. People are proposing insane trades that only an idiot would make, and are ready to jettison good players at the first sign of trouble. It's sad.

    Sign Tek to a 2-year deal, and groom another catcher to take over in the meantime. The other option is to sign a mediocre catcher who isn't as good calling games.

    Give up on Papi and Lowell? I don't think they're done yet, I really don't. Lowell is expected to make a full recovery by spring, and Papi's wrist should be better by then, too.

    Tex is a great player, but it's going to take really, really big money to sign him. I'd rather see them focus on pitching.

    Posted by JimR October 23, 08 04:27 PM
  1. Varitek would not start for any major college team. Time for hin to retire.

    Ortiz should be traded now while he still may have some trade interest.

    Posted by R Kirschner October 23, 08 06:28 PM
  1. 1. Furcal SS
    2. Pedroia 2B
    3. Teixiera 1B
    4. Ortiz DH
    5. Youkillis 3B
    6. Bay LF
    7. Drew RF
    8. Varitek C
    9. Ellsbury CF

    SP - Beckett, Burnett/Lowe, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield
    SU - Okajima, Masterson
    CP - Papelbon

    Bench - Balldelli, Casey, Cora, Punto, Cash
    RP - Lopez, Delcarmen, Bowden, Marte

    This under the asusmption we make big FA splash and trade Coco and Lowell for prospects.

    Posted by Andrew October 23, 08 07:39 PM
  1. Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie played since May with a sprain and a small non-displaced fracture in his left wrist, aliments that worsened as the season wore on, general manager Theo Epstein said in an e-mail. The minor injuries were revealed Tuesday when Lowrie underwent an MRI. The wrist has already begun to heal itself, Epstein said, and should be back to full strength with three weeks of rest.

    Posted by Kenny October 23, 08 11:26 PM
  1. God! I've read some of the most idiotic ideas ever.
    Do some of these people know a baseball from a hole in the ground?
    Why would ANYONE suggest trading Jason Bay? This is a very good player,, who could be here for years. He does everything.
    Put Youk in the outfield? Someone has to be on crack to suggest taking a Gold Glove winner and putting him where he doesn't belong.
    As for Holliday, don't these people know they use the humidor, to limit the flight of the baseballs in Coors? Holliday's splits are no different than any Red Sox player away from Fenway.
    Mark Texiera is a very special player. The Sox have a rare chance to puck up an elite player for only money. They have around 60 million to spend. Go for it!
    Theo loves Texiera, and what Theo wants, Theo usually gets.

    Posted by Roger October 24, 08 12:17 AM
  1. i would add Youk to the "do not trade " group. just keeps getting better & better with "Manny " like numbers this past year. IMO there are many catchers who can call a game well, hit better, & cost a lot less than Varitek. this option should be explored. getting Texiera should be a very high priority. if we don't, the yankees will. Tex at first base & Youk at third is best option, either trading Lowell,or rotating him at third & d.h. against lefties.ortiz is big question mark. who knows what his health will be, he has the physique of someone who will go downhill fast as he ages, ala moe vaughn. i would have more confidence in his future if he worked out more diligently in the off-season
    bernie

    Posted by bernie miller October 24, 08 07:48 AM
  1. Sign Pudge Rodriguez!!! Why the hell would we want to resign Tek when he can't hit, can't catch and can't throw out runners? Sign Pudge Rodriguez for a 1 or 2 year contract if you want to sign a veteran and wait until the market is bettter. Otherwise, try to trade for Martin or Saltalamacchia or someone good and young. Tek has declined every season. He's gotta go. And so does Wakefield. WHy does everyone want Derek Lowe back? I liked Lowe but there are plenty of other better pitchers out there we can get. I dont want another "veteran" who will be our #4 starter. Sign Sabathia, Sheets, Burnett or someone of the sort, and kick Wake's butt out of there. He stinks.

    Posted by SOXXXXXX October 25, 08 01:32 AM
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