5 Realistic Moves the Boston Red Sox Could Make This Offseason
5 Realistic Moves for the Champs
Heading into this offseason is a complete polar opposite compared to this time last year for the Boston Red Sox. Last year at this time was the fall out from a disaster of a 2012 last place finish. This year they are World Series Champions for the third time in a decade.
The good news for the Boston Red Sox and their fans is that the organization is in a good place. Yes, there are key decisions that do need to be made before camp, but it could be worse. In addition, the farm system is rated in the top half of the league.
If the 40-man roster is examined pieces are there to try and make a run at back-to-back World Series rings. The overall payroll is still top five in the league, but this could be an offseason where Boston does not have to spend a ton of money to fill needs. The bullpen security guard is signed for next season as well.
On the field, areas that are locked up are the second base position and designated hitter. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz are two of the best at their respective positions. They are leaders in the clubhouse and on the field, and the intangibles that they possess cannot be measured by any sabermetrics.
A bonus move that needs to be done is replacing the duck boat from the parade that Jake Peavy bought and took with him back home.
Here are five moves that the champions could make before Spring Training.
5. Addressing the Backstop Position
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a free agent and David Ross is not an everyday catcher. The Red Sox do have a decision to make to either bring Salty back or go out and get a new backstop. Top targets out there would be A.J. Pierzynski and Brian McCann. Both of them are left-handed bats to take aim at Pesky Poll. One of the three should be penciled in next season.
4. Adding a Bullpen Arm
Boston certainly had some adventures fielding a healthy bullpen in 2013. Losing two closers to injury, they struck gold after turning to Koji Uehara in the ninth inning. An under the radar and possibly bargain buy would be Brett Myers. He has both starting and closing experience. He could be a nice insurance policy if there was an injury in either the rotation or bullpen.
3. Re-signing Mike Napoli
If you would rank the current Red Sox free agents Mike Napoli would likely be the second most important on the list. He is improving defensively at first base and is great right-handed protection for David Ortiz.
2. Re-signing Jacoby Ellsbury
No. 1 on that list of Red Sox free agents would be Jacoby Ellsbury. Yes, he will likely have one of the highest price tags out on the free agent market this year and yes he can be an injury risk, but he is the table setter for the offense. He plays great defense and has some power. But when he gets on the bases his speed and ability to create runs for the guys behind him is an essential part of the Boston attack.
1. Finding a Jacoby Ellsbury Plan B
If Ellsbury does decide to walk away the Red Sox will need to fill that void. They may be able to fill it internally with Jackie Bradley Jr, but if they want to go out and make a signing Carlos Beltran could be the man. His left handed bat would play right field and Shane Victorino would move to center field to fill out the outfield.