Recently Jason Bay and the New York Mets reached a settlement that made Bay a free agent. After leaving Boston, Bay had two terrible years in New York where he was plauged by injuries and watched his numbers decline. Many people were suggesting ways for the Mets to dump Bay’s contract, but the Mets decided just to take on the contract and basically release him. Now this makes Bay available and cheap. With needs in both corner outfield spots, the Boston Red Sox bringing in Jason Bay on minor league deal would not be a bad idea.
Obviously Bay would play left field for the Sox, whether as a starter or as a fourth outfielder would be dependant on who else is on the roster. The Sox look like the favorites to land Torii Hunter right now, so for these scenarios I will assume Hunter is on the team. If the Sox sign a legitimate everyday right fielder, like Cody Ross, Hunter would likely be the everyday left fielder. Since Hunter can play all three outfield spots if Ellsbury (assuming he isn’t traded) or Ross is injuried or needs an off day Bay can slide into the left field spot while Hunter moves to center or right. In this scenario the Sox add a cheap fourth outfielder who has proven to be a great hitter at Fenway Park and knows how to play the Green Monster very well.
If the Sox fail to add a legitimate starting right fielder other than Hunter, Hunter will start right. This opens up left for Jason Bay. I think he’d work well in a platoon role. Bay could start in more hitter friendly ballparks and a better contact hitter, like Ryan Sweeney, could start in more pitcher friendly ballparks. Although I’ll admit Sweeney wouldn’t be the greatest for that role, it’s just a hypothetical and a better player could fill the role. In either of the two scenarios I’ve just mentioned the Sox add a solid power bat either to the lineup or the bench at a cheap price, and if he doesn’t work out he’s easy to dump if he’s on an affordable salary.
Now many people would argue that even if they give him very little money it would go to waste because of injuries and declining numbers. I disagree with them, because in both my two scenarios the workload on him would decreased significantly and not too long ago he had a career year for the Red Sox. In 2009, playing in hitter friendly Fenway Park, Bay set career highs in home runs and RBI, was an All-Star, won a Silver Slugger, and finshed seventh in the American League MVP vote. That was not very long ago and if he only plays in ballparks that play more favorably to his skill set, he will put much better numbers than he did in his time in New York.
To sign Jason Bay would be a little difficult. He said he was open to returning to Boston, but much preferred to sign with a west coast team. In order to land him the Sox would need to offer him an incentive laden contract that could earn a good amount of money if he could hit certain milestones. Also a good idea would be to add a vesting option as well. This benefits both sides because it provides Bay with a little security and if he performs very well the Sox can keep him for another year at a fair price.
All in all I don’t see any downside to bringing Bay back. He could provide a huge lift off the bench or even in the everyday lineup. Also if he fails, the contract would be very easy to get out of and wouldn’t hurt the Red Sox finacially. This move to me sounds like a no-brainer.
Today is one of my favorite days of the year, the MLB non-waiver trade deadline. Today many deals will be made, one was already done, but I’m here to discuss what the Boston Red Sox may do before 4 P.M. today.
Now the Sox are stuck in the in between spot where it could be buy or sell. Someone who could very likely go is backup catcher Kelly Shoppach. Shoppach has blocked Ryan Lavarnway all year, but he’s said to be ready and they want him up now. The Mets and Nationals have been most involved in talks for Shoppach, but other teams could take a shot a great defensive back up catcher. The only problem is that the Sox value his defense, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Lavarnway being far behind Shoppach defensivelly Salty could be the catcher that’s moved. If Salty is shopped I think they’ll be more interest and a greater return. Either way I expect one of them to be moved and Lavrnway to be recalled today.
Now the biggest name that the Red Sox have shopped around is Josh Beckett. It was said that the Sox called the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves about Beckett, but the Braves weren’t a fit due to salary concerns and talks with Texas are said to be dead. The odds are he’s moved today are very, very small, but trades can still be made in August and Beckett will pass through waivers so watch out for a deal around mid to late August.
Outfielders could be on the market too. Ryan Sweeney, Cody Ross, and Scott Podsednik could all be in play today. Last night Sweeney likely took himself off the market by injuring his hand by punching a door which will hold him out for 8 weeks so he’ll likely stay put. Ross is also unlikely to stay as well, because of his huge contributions and he’s also a great clubhouse guy. Now Podsednik is the most likely to be moved, but interest is minimal so he may also stay as a depth guy. Any of the 3 have a chance to go, but I’m not expecting anything. Like Beckett, they may be moved in August especially if the Sox fall completly out of contention for the final wild card spot.
Now on to the fun part, what the Sox could acquire. The biggest need is starting pitching and there’s plenty of it. Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, and Josh Johnson are the best pitchers available, but I don’t think the Sox are in on any of them. But the Cubs say the Dodgers are out on Dempster and the Yankees and a mystery team which could be the Red Sox. Another guy who could be picked up is Joe Blanton, but it looks like the Orioels may have him. Now two guys who I really like for the Sox are Jason Vargas and former Boston Red Sox Justin Masterson. Both are young controllable arms who post quality numbers. They’d both provide a huge boost to the rotation which is desperately needed. The difference between the two is just that Vargas is a lefty and Masterson is a righty. Vargas has been the better of the two this year but Masterson is having a down year, but he could get a boost from a change of sceenary. The Sox have been higher on Masterson probably because he came up through the Sox’s system, but either guy would be huge.
Now this part is pure speculation at this point, but I love this idea. Stephen Drew to the Red Sox. It had been discussed, but nothing has really come together, yet. Drew would be a great piece to add to the lineup which would help propel this team forward. Plus the Diamondbacks are shopping him so something could go down.
Tonight the Sox wrapped up their fourth straight win with a 9-3 win over the White Sox. Sadly it wasn’t all good news today as we found out Carl Crawford will be out for up to three more months.Now this sounds terrible, but there is some bright side to it.So far this the two of the teams hottest hitters are Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney. With Crawford returning one of them would’ve had to been benched despite their hot starts which is more than you can say about Crawford in his Boston start.
Sweeney to many was a pleasant surprise, but not to me. If you have read here before you’d know that I had faith in him since we got him.He’s currently on an eight game hitting streak and has been hitting great all this year. Ross on the other hand has been a pure power hitter. He’s come up with some critical homers so far.I love the way they’ve both been hitting and they both have been an upgrade from Crawford thus far.
To look at it from a numbers stand point, Sweeney has a disappointing .286/.344/.386 career line, but this year he’s off to a great start with a .383/.406/.583 line. He’s also fourth in the entire MLB. You can’t put up numbers like that playing with against the pitching that the Sox’s have faced and call it a fluke. He can pound nighties even with his limited power. He’s learning to hit lefties and becoming a more complete hitter. Batting him second could be wasting his talent as a pure doubles hitter, robbing him of several RBI chances, but he does set up those chances for Pedroia, Gonzalez, and Youk.
Looking at Ross, he’s just a great pure power hitter. You give him a fastball belt high and you don’t see it again. Actually any fastball he gets wood on has a good chance of going for extra bases. This year he’s got a nice .267/.328/.567 line which tops his .261/.323/.458 career line. His five homers have him tied for eighth in the majors. He can hit and I expect him to continue to go deep. Overall I prefer Sweeney to Ross, but either way they both add value to the Sox’s lineup.
As I watch Jason Varitek retire it inspired me to get back to writing on my blog. Also as the month turns over it seems like a good time to an offseason review, so here it goes:
Subtractions:Jonathan Papelbon, J.D. Drew, Jed Lowrie, Hideki Okajima, Josh Reddick, Marco Scutaro, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Kyle Weiland, and Dan Wheeler
The biggest loss was Jonathan Papelbon. He was force at the back of the pen, but when your biggest loss is you’ve had a good offseason in terms of losing guys. Lowrie and Scutaro hurt the Sox infield depth, but with three guys (Punto, Aviles, Iglesias) who can handle any position in the infield They should be fine. Drew, Reddick, and Wheeler won’t hurt at all considering they found better players to replace them. Kyle Weiland might be a huge loss or nothing at all, we have to wait and see. It’s sad to see Wakefield and Varitek go, but they weren’t going to be key players this so they aren’t huge losses at all. All in all this list could be much worse.
Andrew Bailey, Chris Carpenter, Aaron Cook, Mark Melancon, Clayton Mortensen, Ross Ohlendorf, Vincente Padilla, Nick Punto, Cody Ross, Kelly Shoppach, Carlos Silva, and Ryan Sweeney
I like who the Sox added this year. Bailey, Carpenter, Melancon, and maybe Mortensen will provide much needed help help in a weakened pen. Sweeney and Cody Ross will platoon in right. Punto will provide nice infield depth, or maybe even become the starting shortstop. Cook, Ohlendorf, Padilla, and Silva will all compete for a shot at the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. Shoppach will be an alright backup to Saltalamacchia. Like I said before I like this group. A lot of them are hit or miss guys, but they can end up being key players down the stretch.
I’d give this offseason a B. They didn’t lose any real key players, and filled the necessary holes with good enough players, but nothing spectacular. Although none of the additions are sure things they could become huge players or huge failures. All in all nothing great, but nothing bad.
Since the end of the season the Sox right field picture has looked hazy. With several options no one knows where Bobby, Ben, and the Sox will go.
Ryan Kalish: Kalish was the favorite to land the opening day nod until today. Today he annoucced he had surgery on his throwing (left) shoulder. Once he’s fully healthy which, will be in May or July, he’ll most likely start a rehab stint in Pawtucket then platoon in right.
Ryan Sweeney: Sweeney was part of yesterday’s Andrew Bailey trade. Sweeney is an average outfielder, but don’t expect to see him out there opening day. The reason I say that is because he’s a lefty who can’t hit lefties, the oposite of what the Red Sox need. I expect him to be an effective fourth outfielder.
Darnell Mcdonald: Mcdonald is a longshot, and even that’s an understatment. He’s just not good enough to start everyday. Maybe Bobby will surprise us, but I doubt it.
Johnny Damon: How crazy would it be if Johnny Damon came back. He’s not a horrible fit, but he still doesn’t work well. If he comes back he’ll recive mixed review and heavy scrutiny from the fans. I’m not a Damon hater anymore, but he’s a questionable fit.
Coco Crisp: Here’s another former Sox who could return. I loved Coco when he was Sox. He brings a great attitude and a quality bat to the team I wouldn’t mind seeing him back in Boston.
Ryan Spilborghs: Spilborghs is a great fit in Boston. He’s a cheap effective outfielder. I really wanted the Sox to get him at the deadline, but now they can get him to play everyday in 2012. He’d make an excellent right fielder.
Cody Ross: Ross had huge expectations for a contract only to have them shattered. This is where the Sox come in. Once his asking price is reasonable they could pick him up. Ross is a guy with warning track power so he’d benefit from playing at Fenway. I’m not a huge fan but if he produces I won’t complain.
Seth Smith: I like Smith. He’s a lot like his former teammate Ryan Spilborghs. A cheap effective outfielder. Smith is a better player then most of the guys above, but he’d cost prospects which isn’t ideal.
Carlos Quentin: Quentin is the best player on this list without a doubt. He’s a fantastic hitter who brings a lot to a club. He’s a perfect fit, provided that he can handle the strange right field corner. The only stipulation is it’s via trade so it takes something to get something. I’d like to see him playing for the BoSox, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
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