Thursday, November 01, 2007
The Sox do not project to have any major holes next year. Clay Buchholz takes Curt Schilling’s 25 or so starts without much of a drop off, if any. Mike Lowell’s departure would move Youk back to his natural position, Big Papi / Manny / Ellsbury / Brandon Moss or Jed Lowrie rotate between first, left and DH. This platooning arrangement would hurt both at the plate and with the glove, although it would not be a Grand Canyon size hole. Normal years at the plate from Coco, Lugo, and Drew would pickup the offensive slack. The infield corners would give up more, but Ellsbury in left would vastly improve the outfield defense on the road, which is more important given the Sox flyball starters.
The Olde Towne Team’s internal options should allow them to plan beyond the 2008 season without significantly jeopardizing their chance of playing October baseball. By not giving Lowell, Schilling or any other free agent more than a one-year deal, the Sox will have the financial flexibility combined with a healthy farm system to take advantage of any opportunity. And the likes of Johan Santana, C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira or Miguel Cabrera will likely become available within the next 12 months or even sooner.
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