Thursday, August 3, 2017

Early 2018 Red Sox Plans

It's been awhile since I last wrote about baseball. I've been on a Celtics kick this years, as well as wrestling. I'm back with baseball however and it's about the good old Red Sox. Currently the Red Sox sit in first place in the AL East but only by half a game. They only made one big move at the trade deadline but boy has it been a good one. They brought over Eduardo Nunez from the Giants and he is currently batting .500. They also called up top prospect Rafael Devers, who has also better than expected. There is however plenty of concern about the rest of the season. I have faith that they will keep first place and make a deep playoff run. The offseason has many question though. What do they do about extensions for Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley? Who's going to play first base? Do they need bullpen help? Then the big one, what to do with David Price? We'll start with Price because that could lead to everything else being solved.
David Price has been disappointing and a bad teammate to say the least. He has a large contract and it would be tough to move him. I do have an idea however. Package Price with Eduardo Rodriguez, Sam Travis and Michael Chavis for Freddie Freeman of the Braves and a player to be named later. Possibly throwing in an extra prospect or Brock Holt or a bullpen arm. With the Braves mainly using Matt Adams at first base and their desperate need for pitching, that could make it easier to part with him. Freeman would bring a big left-handed power bat that the Sox desperately need. He easily would slot right into the cleanup spot. He is also under contract until 2022. That would solve two big problems for the Red Sox.
Next is the bullpen. To me that's simple. Just wait until next year. With Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly already dominating, they will add Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg who are both fantastic strikeout pitchers. Add a solid Matt Barnes, lefties Robbie Ross and Robby Scott and long reliever Brandon Workman and you have potentially the best bullpen in baseball.
That brings us to the extensions. This should be fairly easy. Mookie Betts is the Red Sox MVP so I'd give him the best deal, likely a seven year contract. Bradley and Bogaerts are great as well but aren't quite at his level. I'd say each get five year deals with Xander getting slightly more money. For Jackie I believe that there should be incentives in his contract for if he wins the Gold Glove.
Now with the big problems all fixed up there may be slight issue with the rotation. Chris Sale is the number one but Porcello and Pomeranz are both number three pitchers in my opinion. While that's not bad I believe an extra arm will help. That's when they sign hometown boy Alex Cobb of the Rays. Cobb is 28 and plus pitcher. He has a good strikeout rate, a plus ERA and a solid WHIP. All of those make him quite enticing. Plus since he's from Boston that could be an incentive to sign for less money. A four or five year deal should be perfect.
Everything should look like this
Batting order
  1. Mookie Betts
  2. Andrew Benintendi
  3. Dustin Pedroia
  4. Freddie Freeman
  5. Hanley Ramirez
  6. Rafael Devers
  7. Xander Bogaerts
  8. Christian Vasquez
  9. Jackie Bradley
  1. Chris Sale
  2. Alex Cobb
  3. Drew Pomeranz
  4. Rick Porcello
  5. Steven Wright/Brian Johnson/Jalen Beeks
  1. Craig Kimbrel (CL)
  2. Joe Kelly
  3. Carson Smith
  4. Tyler Thornburg
  5. Robbie Ross
  6. Matt Barnes
  7. Robby Scott
  8. Brandon Workman
  1. Brock Holt
  2. Sandy Leon
  3. Rusney Castillo/Bryce Brentz
If you ask me that's an elite Red Sox team not seen since 2003-2004. Being able to bat Devers sixth take a lot of pressure off a 21 year old. Rusney Castillo has been great in AAA and I believe he can translate that to the big leagues now being a solid situational bat. If Steven Wright comes back the way he was last year he could easily be the number two on the staff. If not both Brian Johnson and Jalen Beeks look ready to take that spot.