There's a somewhat kind-hearted debate between fellow producer Jim Louth and I in regards to the Red Sox off-season. It's pretty simple at the heart of it, but remains interesting. Question is, will the Red Sox do anything big or will they stand pat? I don't want to try to explain Jim's view for him, so I'll just say it's his opinion that the Red Sox will be mainly quiet.
I, on the other hand, vehemently disagree. Yes, I'm aware that David Ortiz (I'm doubting they pick up that option) and Mike Lowell are both going into their final years and that the Sox could wait another year, until the true financial windfall besieges them. I think, however, that there's the possibility that one of them is not playing for the Red Sox come April.
The Sox need a bat, even if they resign Jason Bay. With GM Theo Epstein coming out and saying that Victor Martinez will be the everyday catcher of this ballclub next season, I think the obvious next step is to find a 1B to account for losing out on one last year. Even with Jason Bay in the fold last year, Epstein and the Boston front office still tried to land Mark Texeira.
It's my feeling that Adrian Gonzalez will be a Boston Red Sox by Christmas. There's just too many factors that can help facilitate this move. There's the fact that San Diego is in big financial trouble and won't be able to handle Gonzalez' hefty demands following his current contract. Epstein is after Gonzalez, this much is known from his attempt to land the first baseman during this past year's trade deadline. Finally, Epstein's former right hand man Jed Hoyer is now the GM of the Padres and knows the Sox prospects better than anyone other than Epstein. It all adds up...
With the Sox dealing many top prospects for Adrian Gonzalez, the other big name will likely come via free agency. I'm thinking that the Sox will come to an agreement with either Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. My bet is Bay. This leaves the final piece to the puzzle - trading Mike Lowell or David Ortiz. I'm not sure which one is the guy to be dealt, but I'd expect the Red Sox to have to pay at least some of the freight. It'll be well worth it, if your lineup looks like this next season:
1) Jacoby Ellsbury; CF
2) Dustin Pedroia; 2B
3) Victor Martinez; C
4) Kevin Youkilis; 3B
5) Adrian Gonzalez; 1B
6) David Ortiz/Mike Lowell; DH
7) Jason Bay; LF
8) JD Drew; RF
9) Alex Gonzalez/Replacement; SS
A man can dream, can't he?
Nick Cattles, Producer