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   101. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3944951)
Edit: I honestly don't get why Boston should be so worried about having a player one year past his expiration date.


Maybe it's because Crawford might be ours for six years past his expiration date?
   102. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3944952)
Unless they have serious undisclosed injuries, it's hard not to expect Crawford bouncing back big, and Lackey being at least a serviceable #4 starter.

As a Yankee fan I wish it wasn't so, but Boston will be right in the thick of it again next year.
   103. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3944953)
my offseason suggestion - trade Beckett and sign CC


CC Sabathia is the LAST guy I expect to age well: he's fat, and he averages like 120 pitches each outing. That is a DISASTER waiting to happen.
   104. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#3944957)
Do you fire Bill James?


I think as long as Theo's there, James will be too.

Well, let me qualify: James could retire or quit for his own reasons, but I don't think he'd be fired unless there's a complete change of administration, from the top.
   105. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3944963)
I wouldn't trade Beckett.

Going after CC is an interesting idea (should CC opt out). It would likely require about $30 million a year for 6-7 years, I figure. Drew's money coming off the books gets you part of the way there. Not re-signing Paps gets you pretty close. Swap Crawford for Wells to free up cash 3 years from now (when Crawford will still be a sunk cost), and I think it can be pulled off. (We also won't be paying for Cameron next year, or Varitek, or Wakefield, adding some spare change to the coffers.)

CC
Beckett
Lester
Buchholz

I could live with that.
   106. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#3944965)
By the way, looking at the topics (I believe they are all MCoA articles) on Sox Therapy hot topics is a pretty good illustration of the fortunes of this team over the last month.
   107. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#3944967)
I would give non-zero chances to Theo resigning for the Cubs job and Francona resigning as well. If you read between the lines/watch Theo's interview from last night, I don't see any way Francona's being brought back.
   108. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3944969)
It was John Henry who hired James, it wasn't Theo. The statistical / sabermetric bent of the club comes from ownership. Even if Theo were to go, he'd be replaced by someone extremely similar in approach and ideology.
   109. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3944970)
I still like the idea wherein we let Theo go to the Cubs, but the compensation is they have to take John Lackey's contract.
   110. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3944973)
I still like the idea wherein we let Theo go to the Cubs, but the compensation is they have to take John Lackey's contract.


I'd like some sort of massive cash compensation instead. John Lackey might become servicable in the NL.
   111. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3944974)
Obviously if Crawford and Lackey are cooked, they should be dumped. Determining whether they are is a difficult task, and you can never know for sure. I currently have no opinion one way or the other - and of course any decision would depend on (a) the possible return in trade / money saved and (b) the plan for what to do with the money and the lineup spot.

Getting rid of players isn't a plan. Replacing them with better players is a plan.
   112. SoSH U at work Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3944975)
CC Sabathia is the LAST guy I expect to age well: he's fat, and he averages like 120 pitches each outing. That is a DISASTER waiting to happen.


In contrast, I think CC's going to age exceptionally well (in part because he's already aging exceptionally well). He churns out 200-plus innings like nothing. Plus he's fat, which doesn't seem to be a hindrance to endurance among pitchers.
   113. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3944977)

In contrast, I think CC's going to age exceptionally well (in part because he's already aging exceptionally well). He churns out 200-plus innings like nothing. Plus he's fat, which doesn't seem to be a hindrance to endurance among pitchers.


I was always under the impression that athletic guys aged better than fat guys. Tim Hudson is a good example of this, but then, Mark Mulder is the counterpoint to this.

Edit: Nothing personal, but I hate the "he's already being overused so he'll continue to be good while being overused!" argument. I made that argument for Daisuke before he came over. My bad.

Mark Buehrle sort of belongs in the same boat, well, Daisuke came on a plane, but you know what I mean.
   114. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3944984)
John Lackey reminded me of early 2007 Curt Schilling: Losing velocity, losing stuff, and not adjusting his approach because he still thought he was 27 and could ride his fastball and blow hitters away. I remember Curt coming back from his injury, the stuff wasn't there, but he changed his approach, and started nibbling (successfully)

Lackey right now has really mediocre stuff that he's not locating optimally, and he's getting F!@#ed. Pitchers can pitch with declining stuff, but he's never had super command.
   115. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3944987)
MCoA--Just looking at the offensive stats, I would have rather had Wells than Crawford this year, even though both have terrible OBP. At least with Wells you get some power, and he can't possibly be worse in LF than Manny or Crawford was. I'm completely serious when I say I'd trade him for Wells in a heartbeat.

Bringing in Wells and saving $60 million down the road is both bringing a better player in and getting payroll flexibility down the line that I suspect we will desperately need.

I'd even be willing to toss in some non-top prospects to get this done. Saving that $60 million down the line is a huge, huge help. And I think you can reasonably hope (if you're Anaheim) that you'd be getting a guy with way more upside than Wells, and who may again flourish when out of the media spotlight.
   116. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:19 PM (#3944991)
#84 is a very good post, with which I largely agree.

Crawford is our starting LF next year, and people need to get used to that. He's not going to be traded, he's not going to be released. And he's not going to be as bad as he was this year. I would expect about .280/.320/.450 -- more or less what he did from May 1 on this year, with a slightly better walk rate.
   117. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#3944993)
It was John Henry who hired James, it wasn't Theo. The statistical / sabermetric bent of the club comes from ownership. Even if Theo were to go, he'd be replaced by someone extremely similar in approach and ideology.


I didn't say that the next Red Sox administration would be wholly transplanted from the Royals or Twins; the Red Sox are probably going to continue to be run by a statistical-beholden group for the tenure of Henry's ownership, and perhaps for longer.

But at James' age and with his track record, I feel that he won't be inclined to start at Square One with a new boss. I believe James has all of the money that he needs; he doesn't need this job to feed his family. And the new guy may want his own people in consulting positions; not holdovers.
   118. SoSH U at work Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#3944995)
I was always under the impression that athletic guys aged better than fat guys.


I think CC's an exceptional athlete. He just happens to be a fat guy also.

And I think Buehrle, if he decides to keep going, will have a similar run (he's big, though obviously not CC-sized, and also a fine athlete). If I had to pick two guys I expect to still be pitch well past their 40th birthday, those are the two I'd tab.

Edit: Nothing personal, but I hate the "he's already being overused so he'll continue to be good while being overused!" argument.


It's not that he's been overused (though obviously he has been a few times in his career (2008-09). It's that he's demonstrated his arm can handle a heavy workload. I don't think Daisuke, pitching in an entirely different situation, is comparable.
   119. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#3944999)
Lackey looks cooked to me. When Beckett had his bad years ('06/'10) there were signs that a rebound of some degree was in the offing. They have to pay Lackey though so bring him back, make him your mopup man/victory cigar and if he shows that he's still it, throw him in the rotation. But after this season there is no reason he deserves any more certainty than Tazawa, Doubront or even Aceves (though if they get the rotation straightened out I really like Aceves in the pen).

Crawford is a different kettle of fish. I can't get over how bad he looked this in every phase of the game but his age and his skill set make me think something is up. I have to believe there is something (injury, eye problems) that we don't know about. I think unloading him would prove to be a mistake.

Fire Bill James? I sincerely doubt James is doing anything on a decision making front. I assume he just sends notes to Theo/Tito/Cherington/whoever with some information for them to parse out.
   120. JJ1986 Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:24 PM (#3945000)
Who would likely replace Theo if he left? Would they go after Josh Byrnes?
   121. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:25 PM (#3945002)
I still believe that Crawford will make the All-Star team next year, and garner some MVP votes at the end.

Will this be for the Sox? I give it about an 80% chance.

But is he Edgar Renteria? A senior Sox administrator said that Edgar was "a good guy, a good player, but couldn't do it in Boston." There's another thread here in which Papelbon says that his career won't be defined by last night (I agree with him). Could Crawford's Sox career be defined by 2011? As Sox fans look at him, could he be emblematic of overpaid underproducers who didn't get the job done when the team needed it most?
   122. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3945005)
Who would likely replace Theo if he left? Would they go after Josh Byrnes?


Beane. Or Brad Pitt.

Either of which is about equally unlikely.
   123. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3945006)
Who would likely replace Theo if he left? Would they go after Josh Byrnes?


Hawk Harrelson's new contract has an out clause if he's offered the Red Sox GM job.
   124. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3945008)
When Beckett had his bad years ('06/'10) there were signs that a rebound of some degree was in the offing.


Even when Beckett was bad, his fastball had life. Lackey's fastball looked like [okay, I apologize for the previous page's rant, insert your own offensive joke]


It's not that he's been overused (though obviously he has been a few times in his career (2008-09). It's that he's demonstrated his arm can handle a heavy workload. I don't think Daisuke, pitching in an entirely different situation, is comparable.


Daisuke is actually quite an athletic guy too, but he was overworked at an early age (???, Seibu, etc.), I guess you're right as in Daisuke is a different situation from CC.

The difference between CC and Buerhle though is taht CC looks like he's throwing really hard every pitch, while Buerhle isn't cranking it every pitch. (maybe it's because Buerhle has a clean delivery), i don't know, a totally visual thing.
   125. Darren Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:30 PM (#3945012)
That's not really a fair comparison. Lackey is coming off a pretty mediocre 2010 before his disaster of 2011. Beckett's 2009 (212 IP. 3.86) was pretty good.


If you go by peripherals, Lackey's 2010 was pretty good too. 215 IP, 3.85 FIP, compared to Beckett's 212 IP, 3.63 FIP. That may give him a bit too much credit, and he had a worse bad year than Beckett had, but I still think the likely outcome is that Lackey goes back to being a pretty good pitcher.

No way in the world will CC be on the Red Sox next year.


I also disagree with MCOA that the new focus will be on the division. The team will continue to aim for making the playoffs and call that a success. It might change how they handle the stretch drive.
   126. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:31 PM (#3945015)
For better or worse, Drew hit the $14 million grand slam, thus making him basically bulletproof for the duration of his contract.** Crawford's done no such thing, so he'll be roasted until he does something akin to that.

**although it is worth noting that this didn't make most fans like Drew; I think it made them tolerate him/his contract--which is, of course, a different thing.

Renteria might be a good comp here. When Theo has badly ###### up--and Renteria qualifies (Lugo is another)--he hasn't shown any hesitation to get out from under if he can.

Crawford's contract just makes pulling a Renteria more difficult, but not impossible... Wells is an obvious challenge trade/fit if he wants to go Renteria on the situation. I'm not really sure there are other obvious guys to go after in a salary-dump-type move. None come to mind.
   127. The Essex Snead Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:31 PM (#3945016)
Someone give Textbook Editor a sedative (or a copy of Wells' Baseball Ref page).

What about:

1) Letting Big Papi walk
2) Moving Youk to DH / back-up 1B / emergency 3B
3) Finding a more durable semi-competent (defensively, at least) full-time 3B?

Step 3 is easier said than done, of course. The FA pickings are slim, according to Cot's; looks like Wilson Betamit and Aramis Ramirez are the cream of that particular crop. But if any line-up can weather having a Feliz-like caddy at the hot corner, it's this one, even w/out Ortiz.

EDITED to remove a comment about making the DH spot a rotational thing, since I'm suggesting Youk should play there most of the time.
   128. SoSH U at work Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#3945019)
Either of which is about equally unlikely.


Why would Josh Byrnes be an unlikely target? It looks like he did a nice job in Arizona (Towers' moves didn't really help), even if the results weren't apparent until he took off.
   129. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3945022)
No, either of my scenarios (Beane or Pitt) is about equally unlikely. I don't think Theo is going anywhere.
   130. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3945023)
For better or worse, Drew hit the $14 million grand slam, thus making him basically bulletproof for the duration of his contract.


I also recall in 2008 he hit that 2 run shot off K-Rod, and that big home run in game 5 against the Rays. He also drove in a bunch of runs in the 2007 WS. He's bulletproof.

No way in the world will CC be on the Red Sox next year.


I'll take that bet. Cross-Pacific coke?

But if any line-up can weather having a Feliz-like caddy at the hot corner, it's this one


Disagree. The Corner OF spots are already question marks, Jacoby might not be as good, SS offense is probably going to be average/below-average, and offense from our catcher is going to be probably average as well.
   131. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3945025)
1) Letting Big Papi walk
2) Moving Youk to DH / back-up 1B / emergency 3B
3) Finding a more durable semi-competent (defensively, at least) full-time 3B?


I don't hate that but it assumes that Youk can succeed as a DH and won't Pat Burrell us.

What would be good is if our backup infielder were good enough to play 40 games a year at third base and just enforce a day or two a week off for Youkilis. He'd probably hate it but keeping him healthy for six months would be great. If we could rely on Lowrie to stay healthy I'd say he's our answer but that's not happening. As good as Aviles hit he looks like a disaster in the field to me and he looks like a really dumb player, bad base running, bad decision making in the field.
   132. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3945029)
A Papi/Youk platoon at DH (with Youk manning 3B the other games) would possibly be a way to ease Youk's workload and also get Papi out of there against LHP. I think there's a decent chance they retain Aviles and use Scutaro at SS/3B depending on Lowrie's health/Aviles' production.

Wells for Crawford is all about $60 million of flexibility down the road. In my mind, you're taking the hit on performance anyway the next 3 years. Get out while you can.

What are reasonable RF options? They're not going to go with Reddick.

Re-signing Drew to a cut-rate deal (1/$4 or something) is also something I could see them doing... I mean, what team is going to give him a multi-year deal at this point?
   133. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3945031)
Textbook, if you're Ortiz and you just had the year you just had, would you sign to be a platoon DH?
   134. karlmagnus Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3945033)
1) Lose Ortiz and Papelbon, get 4 draft picks
2) Lose Theo, bring back Dan Duquette
3) Youk to DH/emergency 3B, Lowrie to 3B
4) Manny for $1 million, serve out his 100 games then return to the squad as DH in August
5) Keep Tito, at least for a year -- don't want to lose GM and manager simultaneously
6) Open negotiations with Ellsbury, but don't sign him until mid 2012
7) Keep Bedard unless he's unreasonably expensive
8) Go after Pujols and Fielder (trade Youk if you get either -- they will primarily DH.)
9) Spend any spare $$$ in the pitching market, but stay below ceiling to sign Ells and go after next big pitching deal available.
   135. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:46 PM (#3945039)
#133--If I'm getting $13-$14 mil a year for 2 years + an attainable option, then yes.

What would be the # of games he sits against LHP? 30? 40? It's not like he's be playing in only 80 games or something.

And in the 40 games he sits, I would bet he'd PH in at least half of them.
   136. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#3945044)
That assumes both health and consistent productivity. He's largely been healthy of late, but consistency is not his strong suit. If he's sharing a job and has one of those months where he hits .150 with no power to speak of, he'll get Wally Pipped.
   137. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#3945046)
How bad would Pujols be in LF? I ask this in all seriousness.

If you can't move Crawford, stick him in RF (yes, I know, the defensive f-ups would multiply exponentially) and go after Pujols to play LF.

I have too much coffee and not enough sleep.
   138. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#3945051)
There might be unintended consequences to such a thing. As someone who saw Youkilis go from an All-Star to injury-plagued lost player in one year after a move from first base to third base, you must be aware that you can't just successfully transplant a bat to whatever position is needed for the team.
   139. Darren Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:51 PM (#3945053)
Renteria might be a good comp here. When Theo has badly ###### up--and Renteria qualifies (Lugo is another)--he hasn't shown any hesitation to get out from under if he can.


If anything, the evidence points to them badly messing up by getting rid of Renteria so quickly. He held onto Lugo for a very long time considering his performance.

For a GM candidate, how about getting Friedman's righthand man, whats-his-name? Then he could show us how to get the never-get-injured-never-struggle prospects, the come-through-in-the-clutch Dan Johnsons, and the decent looking acquisitions that turn into superstars. He could also show us how to ruin your superstar players as they walk out the door to sign with your rival. Or maybe they should just all read Dayn's book.


The one thing I think they can't do is fire Bill James. Without him, how the heck are we going to know whether someone's temperature gauge is over 80 degrees?
   140. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3945059)

If anything, the evidence points to them badly messing up by getting rid of Renteria so quickly. He held onto Lugo for a very long time considering his performance.


Are you arguing that Renteria would have achieved in Boston at a similar level to what he achieved in Atlanta? I would disagree with that.
   141. Darren Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3945061)
And what's with all the talk of Youk's injuries being related to playing 3B (not just on this thread)? How is 3b more physically demanding? If anything, you have to make less plays and you don't have to stretch for balls. What's more, it allows Youk to avoid talking to people, which is something he hated.
   142. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3945064)
For me, correlation does not equal causality. But it shouldn't be ignored as a possibility, either. Youkilis was not the same player this year as he had been in the past. Is it entirely because of the position switch? I doubt it, but it should be considered a potential factor.
   143. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3945066)
   144. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3945070)
There might be unintended consequences to such a thing. As someone who saw Youkilis go from an All-Star to injury-plagued lost player in one year after a move from first base to third base, you must be aware that you can't just successfully transplant a bat to whatever position is needed for the team.


It's not a transplant, it's where he started
   145. Darren Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:00 PM (#3945071)

Are you arguing that Renteria would have achieved in Boston at a similar level to what he achieved in Atlanta? I would disagree with that.


Well, we don't know, but if we are going to guess (which we have to do to evaluate this decision), the safest conclusion is that he would have done about the same. The "he couldn't hack Boston" is a convenient excuse, but there's no reason to believe it, especially considering the source.
   146. Darren Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3945072)
For me, correlation does not equal causality. But it shouldn't be ignored as a possibility, either. Youkilis was not the same player this year as he had been in the past. Is it entirely because of the position switch? I doubt it, but it should be considered a potential factor.

He was hurt last year too while mostly playing 1B.
   147. booond Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#3945073)
the Lineup:

C - Salty/Lavvy
1b - AGon
2b - Pedey
ss - Scutaro/Lowrie
3b - ?????/Lowrie
Lf - Crawford
CF- Els
RF - Reddick/Platoon maybe
DH Youk

SP - Beckett, Lester, Buchh, Lackey, ???
RP - Albers, Aceves, Bard (Closer)

While it's tough to let Ortiz go it's time to let him go. He was a great hitter but he's on the wrong side of the aging curve. Plus, Youk can't play third.

Sox need three SPs but we'll bet on Buchh's health. They need an SP who is better than Lackey to move Lackey to 5th.

Bullpen needs overhaul but that isn't shocking.

Goodbye to Papi, Wake, Tek, JD and Papelbon; 2004 was fun but it's over.
   148. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3945074)
1) Lose Ortiz and Papelbon, get 4 draft picks


Good

2) Lose Theo, bring back Dan Duquette


Pass

3) Youk to DH/emergency 3B, Lowrie to 3B


I like it

4) Manny for $1 million, serve out his 100 games then return to the squad as DH in August


seems harmless

5) Keep Tito, at least for a year -- don't want to lose GM and manager simultaneously


Eh

6) Open negotiations with Ellsbury, but don't sign him until mid 2012


I like it

7) Keep Bedard unless he's unreasonably expensive


Hell yeah, at least he could be a bullpen option


8) Go after Pujols and Fielder (trade Youk if you get either -- they will primarily DH.)
9) Spend any spare $$$ in the pitching market, but stay below ceiling to sign Ells and go after next big pitching deal available.


Not a fan of Fielder
   149. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3945078)
RP - Albers, Aceves, Bard (Closer)


I just don't see how people can think this and then cavalierly advocate letting Papelbon walk. I mean, I get why the Sox can't just throw money at him but absent some kind of plan beyond prayer the Sox need to do something in that bullpen and letting your best reliever go is probably not a good part of that plan.
   150. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#3945079)
When is Theo's year-end press conference today? Should be some tea leaves to read there.
   151. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3945080)
Jenks has $6 mil guaranteed for next year--list him with the RP, I guess.

And yes, I want no part of Fielder.
   152. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#3945082)

I just don't see how people can think this and then cavalierly advocate letting Papelbon walk. I mean, I get why the Sox can't just throw money at him but absent some kind of plan beyond prayer the Sox need to do something in that bullpen and letting your best reliever go is probably not a good part of that plan.


I want the two draft picks dammit. Also, I really want Erik Bedard back next season.
   153. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#3945088)
Also, I really want Erik Bedard back next season.


Yuck. I've had enough of "if we can just 20 starts out of this guy" guys. I want some guy who is going to make 35 ####### starts. The last few years it seems like we are trolling for starters by Flag Day, enough. How about "hey, let's get a guy who can actually pitch without worrying that his arm is going to travel further than the ball on any given ####### pitch."
   154. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#3945091)


Yuck. I've had enough of "if we can just 20 starts out of this guy" guys. I want some guy who is going to make 35 ####### starts. The last few years it seems like we are trolling for starters by Flag Day, enough. How about "hey, let's get a guy who can actually pitch without worrying that his arm is going to travel further than the ball on any given ####### pitch."


I agree with you, but I make an exception for Bedard because he's left handed, so he could be pitched out of the pen.
   155. booond Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#3945093)
I just don't see how people can think this and then cavalierly advocate letting Papelbon walk. I mean, I get why the Sox can't just throw money at him but absent some kind of plan beyond prayer the Sox need to do something in that bullpen and letting your best reliever go is probably not a good part of that plan.


I'd keep Papelbon but not at the price he will command. He's no longer dominant. Bard scares me but paying Papelbon isn't the answer. Closers aren't made, they're found. Papelbon was found out of an inability to start. If Bard doesn't have the cajones, try Aceves. It's one inning. The Sox should worry about the other eight first.
   156. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:18 PM (#3945094)
If Bedard is cheap, I have no problem with bringing him back.

Are we sure Ortiz is going to net us 2 picks? Who would sign him and where are they in the draft order? No NL team would sign him, presumably.
   157. Dale Sams Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:18 PM (#3945096)
Papelbon was found out of an inability to start


If I recall he was used out of neccesity and then volunteered to stay in the role.
   158. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:19 PM (#3945098)
If you can't move Crawford, stick him in RF (yes, I know, the defensive f-ups would multiply exponentially) and go after Pujols to play LF.

I have too much coffee and not enough sleep.
Dude...you need a drink and a nap.
   159. booond Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3945108)
If I recall he was used out of neccesity and then volunteered to stay in the role.


You're probably right. He started a few in 2005 and moved to the pen permanently in 2006. That doesn't invalidate the point that closers are found. The Sox will find one. They need to find starting pitching which renders the bullpen less important.
   160. John DiFool2 Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:36 PM (#3945115)
I've deleted all my baseball bookmarks, and will not watch a single postseason inning. This will be my last post here for quite awhile. As I intimated before, it's not all because of the colossal swan-dive of this team, but that is a sufficient final reason. I won't be following this team in the future anywhere close to the level that I have for the last 10 years or so; the only thing that will spark my interest again is if a ton of kids come charging up from the minors and make an impact with the big club. I've got better things to do with my life than to follow a bunch of overpaid, mentally weak, out of shape pussies for an entire season only to see them all collectively wimp out at the end again.

I will be closely examining what the players look like when they enter training camp however, and every single last one of these sons of effing ####### had better be ####### ripped from head to toe and have worked with a personal trainer who stretches and bends them all to hell and back. Kudos for Ells and Pedroia at least for being in shape, but I'm primarily looking at you, Josh Beckett and your Big Mac gut.
   161. karlmagnus Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:42 PM (#3945123)
Bear in mind that Nomar was so ripped that he made the front cover of SI in spring training 2011. It's not everything.
   162. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:42 PM (#3945124)
I agree with you, but I make an exception for Bedard because he's left handed, so he could be pitched out of the pen.
That's true, Bedard can't stay healthy pitching 20 times a season, so having him pitch 75 times a season is a much better idea.
   163. The_Ex Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#3945129)
If at the start of the season I knew the Sox would fall just short, I would have bet a lot of money that JD Drew would be the main object of scorn. It says a lot about the Red Sox season that Drew is way down the list of suckitude thanks to Crawford, Lackey, Papelbon, Beckett, etc. How woulda thunk it?
   164. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3945134)
I can't find an easy, final 2012 draft order. Here are the AL teams in the first 15 picks as of 9/27:

#2 - Twins
#3 - Mariners
#4 - Orioles
#8 - Royals
#9 - A's
#13 - White Sox

First 15 teams in the draft are protected, right? So you'd get a 2nd round + sandwich if any of #1-15 signs Ortiz. That's sub-optimal.

So you want someone in the Jays/Indians/Angels/Rangers/Rays/Yankees/Tigers group to sign Ortiz. Are any of those teams likely to do so?

Jays - Maybe, but I can't see them offering 3 years/big money

Indians - No

Angels - Maybe, but it depends on other moving parts

Rangers - Likely not, though it would be interesting to see what Papi could do as a DH in that park

Rays - No

Yankees - No

Tigers - Probably not

It's not a given we get a 1st round pick for Ortiz. I don't think you can base the decision to let him walk on the assumption you'll be getting one.
   165. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#3945138)
Lackey and Crawford are not able to be traded. They could always have limbs fall off unexpectedly, though, and thereby render themselves incapable of performing, thus freeing us from their contracts. Spontaneous limb amputation probably has as much a chance of happened between now and March 1 as the Rays coming back did... So, I'll hold out hope for that.

Or maybe another satellite will fall to earth and tear off Lackey's right arm in the process?


There's always the chance he could taken up gardening with Bob Ojeda in the offseason.
   166. The Essex Snead Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3945145)
Re: Youkilis -- I'm not saying moving to 3B broke him, but he's getting dinged up, and he's not getting any younger. The less time he plays in the field, the (presumably) better chance he has to stay healthy. & I'd think Lowrie would be best served (assuming HE can stay healthy) making like a dollar-store Zobrist: give him about 400-500 PAs spread over 2-3 positions.

& are folks actually gonna take a "lol at fat boy" run at the guy that posted a WHIP near 1.00 and a sub-3.00 ERA over 196 IP? Why not just skip to the part where Ellsbury becomes the scapegoat because of that Andino inside-the-park HR?
   167. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:55 PM (#3945150)
Ah, it begins; I was wondering how soon it would happen--13 hours or so after the last pitch...

Abraham throws A-Gon under the bus

Right, because a player's reaction to the collapse after the fact somehow caused the collapse to happen in the first place.
   168. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:57 PM (#3945152)
ABRAHAM: BATBOY MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE; DID NOT CRY ENOUGH AFTER LAST OUT!
   169. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:03 PM (#3945165)
Right, because a player's reaction to the collapse after the fact somehow caused the collapse to happen in the first place
Gonzalez doesn't deserve to be thrown under the bus, but his response was laughable. The bit about God is whatever--God seems to have it in for Adrian since this has happened to him two years in a row--but blaming it on the schedule is absurd.
   170. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#3945176)
Just want to reiterate something about Crawford: He's not THAT good, even when he's "Carl Crawford". In his eight full seasons in Tampa, he had one season with an OPS+ above 117, and he had two seasons with an OPS+ in the 80s. Which seasons are these lines from in his career?

Season 1: 109 GP, 480 PA, 8 HR, 57 RBIs, slash line of .273/.319/.400, OPS+ of 89
Season 2: 106 GP, 435 PAs, 10 HRs, 50 RBIs, slash line of .279/.309/.449, OPS+ of 101

Season 1 is his entire 2008 season (age 26 season) in Tampa.
Season 2 is his entire 2011 season in Boston...minus the dreadful April.

If you take out Crawford's age 20 partial season, and his entire age 21 season (the two lowest OPS+ seasons of his Tampa career), you have the true "cream" of Crawford's reputation from his years in Tampa. In those seven seasons, his career OPS+ is...113.

The bottom line is that his 7 stolen base game against Boston a few years ago, his slashing, running style gets fans excited, and his best year - by far - was last year. He'll get a little better, and probably be a little bit above his post-April slash line in 2012. But he's not going to be any better than about a 110 OPS+ guy, and he's almost certainly not a guy you want to be putting in the top four of your lineup. He's been dramatically overpaid - I mean, dramatically - and the fans will never really be able to reconcile that with a guy who is not an All Star.
   171. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#3945178)
but blaming it on the schedule is absurd.


Agreed, but I just read the blog post, and it's apparent to me that he was not blaming the result on the schedule. I assume from his statement that he was answering a question about how the Red Sox season has been for him physically as opposed to toiling for the low-profile Padres. And his response is hard to argue with, unless you're in the Crash Davis school of never answering a question honestly. The blog post actually goes out of its way to specify that Gonzo said this on Tuesday.
   172. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:12 PM (#3945181)
So because he's not saying "it was us, we stink, I stink, I'm very sorry, and it will never happen again," he should be scorned?

I think Gonzalez was being philosophical about a situation where, really, what words are going to be able to describe what happened? I'm no fan of the "God had other plans for us" approach, but why in hell does Crawford get all this praise/credit for what he says instead of scorn for how he actually played. It's nutso.

This is Abraham headhunting, pure and simple.
   173. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:16 PM (#3945190)
I honestly thought I'd wake up to a thread or two in which Sox fans blamed the whole season on Joe Girardi for essentially having Cory Wade as his closer on Wednesday. I'm happy to be wrong.
   174. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#3945193)
I think Gonzalez was being philosophical about a situation where, really, what words are going to be able to describe what happened? I'm no fan of the "God had other plans for us" approach, but why in hell does Crawford get all this praise/credit for what he says instead of scorn for how he actually played. It's nutso.
Obviously this is somewhat subjective, but it seems to me there's plenty of scorn for Crawford in that piece. In fact, Abrham literally says that "Crawford will get nothing but well-deserved scorn for his season." And later he says that "by May [Crawford] was a player they had to hide in the lineup. His defense — by his standards — was brutal."

And Crawford gets praised for what he says, and A-Gon gets scorn, because people who own up to stuff (as Crawford did) always get praised and people who deflect and make excuses (as I think Gonzalez did, YMMV) always get scorn. That isn't just in sports--altough it's even probably even more so in sports--that's in life.
   175. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#3945196)
Do you guys seriously think Crawford is done? At 29?

Lots of players have had shitty seasons adjusting to big markets. Look at Carlos Beltran's first year with the Mets.
   176. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#3945198)
SBPT - Evaluating Crawford solely on OPS+ is going to underrate him. He has (or has had) a lot of value wrapped up in his defense and base running. Putting the bar at the relatively low 3.0 WAR Crawford 6th with 4 seasons of 3 WAR or better among outfielders since 2005 and 7th in total WAR in that time.

He had a horrible year and really looked bad in the process so assuming he's going to continue being a star is questionable. But if he's right, Carl Crawford is absolutely an All Star caliber player.
   177. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:21 PM (#3945204)
I honestly thought I'd wake up to a thread or two in which Sox fans blamed the whole season on Joe Girardi for essentially having Cory Wade as his closer on Wednesday. I'm happy to be wrong.


Glad to hear it. The Evan Longoria thread is saying otherwise it seems. I think I speak for a lot of Sox fans here when I say I understand why Girardi managed the way he did but it was INCREDIBLY frustrating as it unfolded. I think he did the right thing though.
   178. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3945216)
Do you guys seriously think Crawford is done? At 29?


Yes.
   179. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#3945220)
I honestly thought I'd wake up to a thread or two in which Sox fans blamed the whole season on Joe Girardi for essentially having Cory Wade as his closer on Wednesday. I'm happy to be wrong.


I don't blame him for Wade. I blame him for not going to Wade for Longoria's AB in the 8th. Ayala was done.
   180. Nasty Nate Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#3945221)
I don't think Crawford is "done," I think Lackey is done...
   181. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:28 PM (#3945225)
And be careful what you wish for, Girardi. It would be hy-sterical for the Yankees to be drummed out of the ALCS by the Rays. I would laugh and laugh and laugh.
   182. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#3945229)
Do you guys seriously think Crawford is done? At 29?


I don't think so but man did he look like hell this year. If he had had this kind of year at the plate but still played great defense and/or stolen 40-50 bases I'd think "OK, just make some adjustments and we're back on track next year." Instead, he looked completely helpless in every phase of the game.

What killed me, and I HATE making assessments of this sort about people I've never met, is the number of times he was on first base in an obvious steal situation and did not even flinch. He just looked like a guy who had completely forgotten how to play the game. This is a guy who probably has played 75 games at Fenway prior to this year and he played the Wall like a player who had never seen it before and that went on all year. He looked like a guy who had completely lost confidence almost from day one.

Gun to my head I'll say he bounces back with a good but not great year but I think it's far from a certainty.
   183. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#3945230)
Yes.

Wow!

He had this season in 2006 and came back to post 4.4 and 6.1 WAR seasons. It's very hard to believe he won't be at least a 3.0 WAR player for the next 3 years.

I think he's overpaid (signed off of a career year, and his defense/speed being less valuable in Fenway, and given the Sox baserunning conservatism). But he's still a very good player.

The concept of trading him for Vernon Wells is absurd.
   184. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:33 PM (#3945233)
Lackey is done, but that is because (as I am 95% sure we'll find out by December) his elbow is shredded.

There was a play last year late where Crawford was thrown out at 3rd base with nobody out/1 out in a key spot--maybe in one of the Texas ALDS games?--on such a boneheaded play I remember saying something to the effect at the time "see, this is why I don't want him" and was told then I was nuts, it was one play, etc...
   185. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#3945237)
#183--I'd rather have and extra $20 million a year in each of 2015, 2016 & 2017 than Crawford for 2012-2017. That's the only calculation I'm using. An extra $20 million would be well worth having.
   186. Nasty Nate Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:36 PM (#3945238)
That's the only calculation I'm using.


Why? It matters what player is on the team for the intervening years.
   187. tfbg9 Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3945239)
BTW, "clubhouse stuff" counts. Cannot be measured, but it helps/hurts.

I'm off to the liquor store, hopefully by sunset I'll be in my boxers and singing...cigar in mouth.
   188. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3945253)
Okay, challenge trade.

Red Sox send Crawford and Lackey and $7M p.a. to the White Sox for Rios and Dunn.

Money is even for the next 3 years, and Crawford is the only one signed beyond that.

Who says no?
   189. booond Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#3945267)
Okay, challenge trade.

Red Sox send Crawford and Lackey and $7M p.a. to the White Sox for Rios and Dunn.

Money is even for the next 3 years, and Crawford is the only one signed beyond that.

Who says no?


White Sox. I gamble Dunn isn't.
   190. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3945276)
#188-Interesting.

I haven't seen Dunn/Rios play this year, but each guy's BABIP seems way below average. Now, this could be because both have cratered. Or it could be they've run into bad luck this particular year.

Rios, of course, has no upside that I can see. He's basically Crawford v2011 for 3 more years--and that's if you're lucky. Dunn still has a decent walk rate, even with the bad average, but it's possible he'll be pitched to more aggressively next year which (you'd think) would cut the walk rate if he is, in fact, done.

We do need a DH, but it's possible he's not suited to DH (I think not playing the field and only batting is a skill, FWIW). Can he play LF at Fenway no worse than Manny?

So what's you're getting is $60 million in 2015-2017 to spend by getting rid of Crawford, , plus a sunk cost in Rios for 3 years, plus perhaps a new DH/LF... but while getting rid of Lackey and freeing up a rotation spot for a guy who might not suck.

There's no way I'd throw extra money on the table to make that deal happen. If they want extra cash, I'd say no. If they want to do it straight-up, I'd have to consider it.

And yes, I suppose that makes me nuts. But I hate Crawford/Lackey with the fire of a thousand suns.
   191. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:08 PM (#3945282)
And yes, I suppose that makes me nuts. But I hate Crawford/Lackey with the fire of a thousand suns.

Understood, but, if Lackey can pass a physical, I think that trade's a huge win for Chicago.
   192. cminsf Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:13 PM (#3945285)
No way I'd consider that trade from the Red Sox perspective.

I agree with TE about Rios. His best year was not much better than Crawford's worst years before this one, and he hasn't done anything much in 4 years. I also think Crawford is going to bounce back, even if it's to his more typical 3 WAR.

I'm not sure Boston will need a DH. I suspect Ortiz is coming back and even if he doesn't, it makes a lot of sense to move Youk over to preserve his health, as others have argued.

Yes, it would save money but it would make the team worse over the next three years.
   193. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:15 PM (#3945290)
BTW, "clubhouse stuff" counts. Cannot be measured, but it helps/hurts.
I have no doubt this is true, and I think the 2011 Red Sox are a good case in point.

However, the 2011 Red Sox are also good evidence that "clubhouse stuff" is so massively unpredictable as to be effectively unknowable. Who would have picked the Red Sox clubhouse to get messed up like this? You have a stable club with good relationships between the manager and the veteran leaders, you have a history of this manager and these veterans integrating kids into the roster and the clubhouse, and you add two proven stars with reputations as consummate professionals and good guys, and the whole thing goes to hell down the stretch. I mean, that's what happened, but what could possibly have been done about it before the fact?

Except in those few cases where it's clear that a player is legitimately disturbed, I don't think it's terribly useful to consider "clubhouse stuff" before the fact.

I do think, though, that once bad dynamics have developed among a group of people, it's going to be difficult to change them. This is one of the main reasons I support replacing the manager and the coaching staff - it's going to be a lot easier to replace them than to replace the players. I expect the Red Sox to spend quite a lot of time figuring out what went wrong in the clubhouse, and it may be justified to make some changes that don't necessarily make baseball sense in the abstract, in order to change the dynamics in the clubhouse. Since I don't know what those dynamics were - and one of the main things I'll be watching for this offseason are stories about this clubhouse - I don't know what the moves are that might change them. But I think we'll see some unexpected movements this offseason, all I'm sayin'.
   194. Darren Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#3945292)
The important thing to remember about the Gonzalez/Crawford answers is that only one of them should really be blaming himself. Gonzalez had a great year--he was one of the best players in the league. It's actually charitable for him to say that some divine force or the schedule--rather than his underachieving teammates--kept them from the playoffs.

I'd say a rather bold plan would be to deal Gonzo and a bad contract as a package. Then sign Pujols. The Cards look like they need a 1B. Maybe they think they can fix Lackey?
   195. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#3945293)
No way I'd consider that trade from the Red Sox perspective.

I agree. Just testing you guys' evaluation of Crawford and Lackey.

I think Crawford's still a good player, and if he's not badly hurt, someone like Cooper could turn Lackey around.

I do think Crawford's game would benefit from playing in a bigger, if not outright big stadium. Fenway, and a take-and-rake offense do hurt his value.

Put him in Coors, or Petco or Citifield, and let him run wild.

Crawford and Lackey for Bay and Santana?
   196. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3945299)

I'd say a rather bold plan would be to deal Gonzo and a bad contract as a package. Then sign Pujols. The Cards look like they need a 1B. Maybe they think they can fix Lackey?


I think they can fix Lackey.
   197. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3945308)
The Mets are simply not going to take on $ in the long-term, so the Mets never agree to any trade involving Crawford.

Hmmm... Gonzo + Lackey / sign Pujols... Gonzo has a partial no-trade; not sure who is listed.

An interesting idea, but in practice it almost couldn't work--you'd have to sign Pujols first and then hope St. Louis wanted your deal over just getting Fielder... I don't see that happening.

But I think we'll see some unexpected movements this offseason, all I'm sayin'.


Agree 100%. Last time there was a shitstorm at the end of a season akin to this was 2003, and that was quite the offseason. Should Theo stay, I would expect another wild offseason.
   198. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#3945310)
This is Abraham headhunting, pure and simple.

It's his job to report the players reaction to the loss/collapse. Seems newsworthy by the usual standards.
   199. tfbg9 Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#3945311)
It's actually charitable for him to say that some divine force or the schedule--rather than his underachieving teammates--kept them from the playoffs.



Agree 100%. Its his way of stating "It just wasn't in the cards. We played out as$ses off."

Does Lackey have some kind of "elbow clause" in his deal? Sorry if already asked, too depressed to look upthread.

"You beter watch out, 'cause Elbow Clause is comin' to townnnnnnnnn!" ;-)
   200. Dan Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#3945312)
I think Francona is quite obviously gone, along with the rest of the coaching staff. I think Theo at least finishes out his contract. I really think he has too much pride to leave after a year like this to take a job with the Cubs. And I think John Henry and Lucchino believe in Theo enough to give him a chance to fix this.

I'm sure people will respond to say my ideas are unrealistic, but I don't think they are and I'll explain why. As far as an off-season plan, here are my suggestions:

Catcher:

Platoon Saltalamacchia and Lavarnway. Maybe sign a guy like Shoppach to be the RH half of the platoon if you want to get a little more AAA time for Lavarnway.

First Base:

Gonzalez.

Second Base:

Pedroia

Shortstop:

Pick up Scutaro's option. He played really well down the stretch, and the option is only $4.5M over the buyout, and keeps you to a one year commitment. Also get Lowrie and possibly Aviles some ABs here.

Third Base/Designated Hitter:

SIgn Albert Pujols. He and Youkilis split time at third base and DH. This team has gotten screwed signing mid-tier free agents because they decline and then they aren't worth a spot in the rotation/lineup. So sign the guy that's a ####### sure thing. Ortiz is going to be looking for something like 3/$45M after the season he had. He's just too old to commit that kind of money to him. He is a huge downside risk, and even this season he missed significant time with injuries. Pujols had what for him was a "terrible year" and still posted a great year. Hell, he broke his arm and he still played in as many games as Ortiz did. Pujols playing some third and first would get plenty of rest for Youkilis and Gonzalez at DH to keep them healthier over the long season. If Pujols doesn't want to shift to third base or DH (if his arm can't handle third base, but I think his arm has healed enough that he could now play third regularly), then sign Fielder to DH. This team desperately needs to get younger, not re-sign a 36 year old DH to a 3 year contract.

LF:

Crawford, but for the love of god get him some serious counseling and eye exams.

CF:

Ellsbury. Try and extend him now, but doing it after seeing how much of his performance gain he can sustain in 2012 is also acceptable.

RF:

Going into spring training I'd prepare to go with a Reddick/McDonald platoon, but Kalish can obviously stake a claim to this job by busting out/staying healthy. Either he or Reddick should be fine as the long side of a platoon.


Bench:

Other half of catching platoon
Lowrie
Aviles
McDonald


Rotation:

Lester, Beckett, Buchholz at the front of the rotation, obviously. I don't know if Lackey's elbow needs TJ or if he's just a bad pitcher now, but he shouldn't be assumed to take a spot in the rotation next year regardless. I'd bring back Bedard, and hope for ~100 IP from him. But the big move for the rotation that I would make is giving Bard a shot in Spring Training as a starting pitcher. Yeah, he was terrible in the minors as a starter, but that was when he couldn't throw strikes. Since then he has cleaned up his mechanics and he is a completely different pitcher now. He has 3-4 solid pitches, giving him the repertoire to potentially succeed as a starting pitcher. He also seems too cerebral to be a closer. A closer needs to have a short memory, and be able to forget bad outings and just go out there and throw the ball. Bard seems too analytic and introspective to succeed doing that, and I think would be better served in the role of a starting pitcher. Hopefully he'd stake a claim to a spot in the rotation if given the opportunity next spring, but obviously that's not a sure thing. But I think between possibly getting a recovery from Lackey, getting 15-20 starts from Bedard, hoping Bard's conversion works, hoping Tazawa's control has come back with some more distance from his TJ surgery, etc. that you can fill out a rotation. I really don't think Edwin Jackson is going to be worth the money someone is going to pay him, and I really wouldn't feel good about signing CJ Wilson for $20M a year. Signing guys in that tier of starters to big contracts doesn't seem to work out well (Lackey, Burnett, etc.). I suppose Darvish would potentially be an option, but after how Daisuke turned out I think the Sox would be pretty gun-shy there. Plus, with how the posting process works, you really can't plan on signing him even if you want to.

Bullpen:

Sign Heath Bell to close. Not really sure about other signings here because I haven't delved into the list of free agent relievers.
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