Sunday, April 07, 2013
2013 Should Be About 2014
In a watered down A.L. East, the 2013 Red Sox have an outside shot at the Division. A career year or two and some good luck can lead to October baseball in the Fens. But Yawkey Way should be planning to subtract rather than add to the club in July.
The Sox have a number of possible attractive pieces to trade. Free agents after the 2013 season are likely to be dealt. The most notable is Jacoby Ellsbury. The former MVP candidate, if healthy and productive, could command a piece to the 2014 puzzle. The others alone may not bring back a significant player but future assets are more valuable than Stephen Drew, Aaron Hanrahan, Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltimacchia.
As we look towards the middle years of this decade, the Sox options on the mound is relatively deep. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Allen Webster, Jorge De La Rosa, Felix Doubront, etc. provide enough options that at least three could become top of the rotation starters. The right side of the defensive spectrum looks strong with Will Middlebrooks, Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Xander Bogaerts or Jose Iglesias. The organization appears to be missing another possible middle of the order bat. Middlebrooks and Bogaerts may not become the next Manny-Ortiz. The Sox should target a slugging prospect to diversify their offensive assets like they have on the mound.
The Tigers could be the ideal trading partner. They are in win-now mode, do not have an established closer, could use an upgrade in left field and have hitting prospect, Nick Castellanos. He is a legit hitting prospect. A package with Castellanos, Ellsbury and Hanrahan as the principals could make sense for both parties. But the Sox would need to have both eyes on the future.