Who’s Staying, Who’s Going – Red Sox 2013
Gordon Edes kicked off the Red Sox off-season assessments with a post on who among position players are likely to be back in 2013 and which players probably won’t return.
Before we look at the players. Let’s start with manager Bobby Valentine. He should not return.
While Bobby V. is not totally responsible for the abysmal record – the Red Sox are behind the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners – the team plays and looks miserable with Bobby V. continually throwing gasoline on the fire.
Time for a fresh start in the manager’s job – and let GM Ben Cherington make the pick.
Takeaways for the Edes Forecast
- The Red Sox don’t have a lot of talent. Gone are the days when opponents would fear Boston deep into the lineup. Expect bouncebacks from Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury (more on him later). And David Ortiz still carries a big stick. Cody Ross and Will Middlebrooks are good – not great – hitters. Adding a couple big bats needs to be a priority.
- Don’t expect a lot in return for the players the Red Sox may be willing to trade like Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Aviles. Salty had a strong first half but has done nothing in the second half. And while Aviles is younger than Marco Scutaro – remember the return on moving Scutaro was only Clayton Mortensen. Expect the off-season acquisition strategy to revolve around free agency and the Red Sox acquiring players on the cheap who have priced themselves out of small markets.
- First base needs a complete do over. James Loney and Mauro Gomez are not 2013 solutions. Adam LaRoche could be a good fit as a free agent – if he does not resign with Washington. Or maybe Mike Napoli as a first base/catcher/DH combo.
Three big decisions for Cherington
- Go two years in an Ortiz deal? Maybe at market rate (read: paycut for Big Papi – which we know won’t fly with Ortiz); no if it includes raises from his current salary. The Ortiz injury is a good example of how older players are more likely to get serious injuries (he got hurt running the bases on a home run). Love Ortiz; an all-time great Red Sox but it may be time to move on. Let’s hope the team and Ortiz find some middle ground.
- If the team can’t sign Ellsbury to a long-term deal during the off-season – should they trade him? The answer here is yes. As noted above, the Red Sox don’t have a lot to trade. Ellsbury may be one of their best trading chips – to bring in some young talent. That’s a quicker return than getting draft picks for Ellsbury if he leaves in free agency. But the task could be tough – there is a strong group of center fielders in the upcoming free agent class. Cherington may find teams asking why trade players to acquire Ellsbury when you have attractive free agents?
- Go three years to re-sign Ross? The answer here is yes. Ross is a gritty player who produced this season. The Red Sox don’t appear to have a near-term power hitting outfield replacement in the minors – maybe Bryce Brentz in 2014. Keep Ross in Fenway.
What moves do you see likely related to Red Sox position players?