A few off season signings and trades may be the trick to rejuvenating this Boston Red Sox roster. Lets take a look at what these might be:
After coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Red Sox decided to part ways with manager Bobby Valentine and look across the Canadian border to a familiar face. Former Sox pitching coach and Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell was signed to a three year deal and may have been brought in specifically to fix the Sox pitching woes.
As pitching coach for the Red Sox, (2006-2010), Farrel’s rotation was at its best, led by former Sox aces Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett. Beckett was a three time all star (2007, 2009, 2011) and ALCS MVP (2007). Now, with Jon Lester the head of this young Red Sox rotation, and former ace John Lackey returning from injury, Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves will be tasked with bringing both pitchers back to “elite” form.
The Red Sox have also brought back a key piece to the organizations success. David Ortiz was signed to a two year contract, worth 26 million dollars. Ortiz has been with the Sox for 10 years and has helped bring the franchise two championships in 2004 and 2007.
At 37, Ortiz has still been able to put up impressive numbers. Last season, Ortiz had 23 HR, 60 RBI and a .318 AVG before suffering an Achilles injury that kept him out for the rest of the season. Hopefully this latest contract will be worth every penny, due to his career numbers, veteran presence and leadership skills. Ortiz has been looked at by many as the “heart” of the Red Sox; without him, the Sox youth could be sheep without a Shepard. Hopefully Ortiz can return to top form, providing that needed punch to the middle of the line up.
Boston has also inquired about re-signing 29 year old star second baseman Dustin Pedroia for the long term. Though Papi is looked at as the face of Red Sox, Pedroia’s the guy who, during his 6 years with the Sox, has racked up a number of achievements to go along with his productive career numbers. Pedroia is a three time All Star, two time Gold Glove winner, Silver Slugger winner, World Series champion and was a 2007 Rookie of the year and 2008 MVP.
Pedroia seems to have done it all in his young career, and has many more years ahead of him; the Red Sox front office would like the rest of those years to be spent in BeanTown. If the Sox do decide to re-sign Pedroia long term, he may have the chance to become the greatest second baseman in Red Sox history.
Recently, the Miami Marlins pulled off a “Mega Deal” of their own, trading star players Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. Infielder Emilio Bonifacio and Catcher John Buck were also part of the package. Seeing that Miami is going on another “fire sale” and getting rid of everybody with a number on their jersey, the Boston Red Sox could ask about acquiring star slugger Giancarlo (a.k.a “Mike”) Stanton.
In Stanton’s young career, he has already been an All Star (2011) and had been looked at to be the face of the Marlins franchise. Historically, Miami is known for getting rid of their heavy, back loaded deals, so it’s possible that Stanton’s time with the Marlins may be short. If Boston wants to pique Miami’s interest in trading Stanton, they will need to present a deal that the Marlins can’t refuse.
With both major pitching and hitting holes in the Miami organization, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and pitcher Jon Lester may be the right pieces to sway general manager Michael Hill in that direction. Ellsbury, with large parts of his young career lost to injury, still possibly hasn’t reached his full potential. He has, of course, shown glimpses of super stardom when he hit 32 HR and 105 RBI, but missed most of the 2012 season due to a shoulder injury. If Ellsbury can stay healthy, then he will be a force to be reckoned with in a competitive NL East.
Left handed power pitcher Jon Lester would fit quite nicely into the Marlins diminished rotation, potentially being the ace of the organization. But this deal seems very unlikely, since the Red Sox are in dire need of good starting pitching, and Lester has been a mainstay in their rotation.
Justin Upton is another available name that may be a good fit for the Red Sox. Though he came off a sub standard year with 17 HR and 67 RBI playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the previous season he hit 31 HR and 88 RBI. Potentially he can be the answer to the Sox inconsistent outfield lineup.
In Ben Cherington’s second year as Sox GM, crucial transactions could either make him or break him. If the Red Sox decide to pursue these proposed trade ideas, then it may be enough to save the Sox 2013 season.