Posted by Chris Cue
8:00 am Sat, 11/21/09
Hello again! Having recently crawled out from underneath the rock I’ve been hiding, I thought it might be a good time to start talking Hot Stove Baseball. Now that all the free agents are allowed to discuss their future with teams other than the one they played for last season, getting some predictions in now before things start to happen seems like a good way to make a fool of yourself….sooo, being the glutton for punishment that I am, here you go.
Let’s start off with the Red Sox. I’ll be happy to tick off some of my evil empire friends later with some Yankees predictions, but for now I’ll tackle the hometown team.
I should mention that I’ll be impressed with myself (from a prediction standpoint) if
even one of these predictions comes to pass….(I don’t have a great track record in this dept. 🙂 With
that in mind, here’s what I think has a good chance of going down.
I think the ground work to resign Bay is already in place. The caveat
to the current situation is nobody is yet sure what else may be out
there for him. As long as years or dollars don’t get too stupid (the
Sox won’t go 5/85), I think he’ll be back in Boston. I have no
predictions regarding what may go down if that doesn’t happen except to
say I don’t think the Sox will be players to sign Holliday. He has the wrong agent, there is too much
money required, too many years and too many questions about what he may or may
not bring that will keep the Sox out of that race IMO.
2). Even if the
Sox do land Bay, I believe the FO thinks we still need another bat
(thus their pursuit of Tex last year). Therefore, I’m pretty sure that
they will go hard after Gonzalez if Hoyer indeed makes him available.
However, I DON’T think that they will be successful there. I think
there are too many obstacles in the way for that deal to go down. (I could
give a lengthy list but won’t unless asked) Because there appears to be a lack of
premium players with bats on the trade/FA market coupled with the fact
that the Sox currently have limited spots to put a player like that in,
I think the Sox will turn to another area that could be addressed to
strengthen the team and that’s Pitching.
3). While the Sox
starting rotation appears to be set, we have several issues going
forward that could be addressed now if they choose to do so. Becketts a
FA next year, There are uncertainties with Dice-K and Wakefield’s health
issues are all questions the Sox have to think about now and with an eye on
the future as well. No matter what, the Sox will be signing one or two
insurance pitchers that they hope will have bounce back years (Sheets,
Harden, etc…types), but I’ll go on record now saying that after their
interest in Gonzalez is shot down, they will go just as hard after Doc
Halladay. Lot’s of moving pieces to that kind of deal too, but in this
case I think the Sox may have a better shot at landing him as opposed
to landing Gonzalez. It may never happen, but I really think the
interest is there and that the Sox will be motivated. The big obstacle
with that one? LOL take a guess……The New York Yankees. I don’t think Cashman
will just roll over and let the Sox get Doc without making them pay big
time. In fact, I think the Yanks may have an even better chance to land
Doc if they should decide to go that route themselves. This could very well be the
big Sox-Yanks battle of the off season…..it at least appears to have
all of that kind of framework in place. We’ll have to see.
Once again (i’m sorry to say), I don’t see the Sox going long term to
fill the SS position. I think there may have been some interest in JJ
Hardy, but since he is now signed I think we’re looking at another stop
gap player. I’d like to think that Gonzo would be back, but from what
Ive read a sticking point may be that he’d like more than just a one year deal. I also think the Sox
would consider Marco Scutaro, but not for the length of time he’s
looking for either. There could be a trade out there that Theo is
looking at, but short of that I think Gonzo will be a Sox player in
2010. I say that only because the SS market doesn’t look like it’s
going to give him a 2 or 3 year contract so he may very well settle for
a 4MM one year deal in Boston….which is something I think they’d
5). Billy Wagner. I don’t think he’ll be back in a setup role.
I believe all the “I may accept arbitration” talk was only a rouse that
attempted to make the Sox gun shy in offing him that. Can’t say as I
blame Wagner or his agent for floating that one. Wagner is a lot more attractive to other teams if draft picks aren’t
involved, but I think the Sox will stick to their guns and offer him
Arb. At that point, he’ll turn it down and wind up closing for someone
at less than he would have made via arbitration…..It’ll be “Varitek
Part 2” if you know what I mean. I think the Sox will be content having
Bard and Oki for setup to Paps. The middle relief guys is where the
action might be. Tough to call who and what goes on there because some
of what we currently have may end up being trading pieces (DelCarmen
& maybe Ramirez). I’m fairly comfortable saying the back end of the
Sox BP will be Oki, Bard, Papelbon. Absent a trade, DelCarmen &
Ramirez will most likely be back so it’s guys like Wagner and Saito
that will be the possible holes to fill. That’s going to be a challenge
if our BP is once again going to be considered a strength. The glaring
hole I see is absent Masterson, the Sox don’t have a long man. We’re
going to need one.
I have more, but this is already enough hot air. For discussion purposes only, I’ll put my 2 cents in regarding The Yankees later. For now, let the criticisms begin 🙂
Cheers & Go Baseball!
By Chris Cue
April 18, 2009
What was it we were saying about hoping the bats would wake up? What a great effort by the Red Sox last night. Down 7-0 in the second inning, Brad Penny tossing up meatballs for the Orioles to clobber and the good guys didn’t give up. The bats came alive at the right time and pulled out a victory from what looked to be a certain defeat. Some stellar pitching from the Bullpen by Manny DelCarmen and Ramon Ramirez helped stop the bleeding. Combined, they pitched 4 scoreless innings allowing only 3 hits from the 4th and into the 8th inning. That proved to be enough for the Boston offense to finally come alive and score the 10 runs needed to rob the O’s from a win.
While this was no “Mothers Day Miracle”, it was a great comeback lead by Jason Bay, J.D. Drew and a clutch hit by Nick Green. Patience at the plate, a walk here, and key hit there and the Sox were in business. That was by all accounts a team win. After Penny’s poor performance, it seemed like everyone took this game on their back and brought it home. Good stuff and great to see the Sox put one together. Now all we need is to see Big Papi come to life. From what I understand, he’s got that well under control….
“Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it
very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear
from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come.”
(Pedro Cerrano from Major League)
I’ll drink to that 🙂 Today they’ll be looking to add another “W” with Beckett on the mound facing Orioles RHP Adam Eaton. Game time is 7:10pm est and will be shown on NESN.
Let’s go for 2 in a row!
Enjoy the game and GO SOX!!
By Chris Cue
February 26, 2009
The first of the Spring Training games got underway yesterday in Lee County Florida. The Red Sox in game one against Boston College wasn’t televised, but the night game vs the Twins was on both NESN and the MLB Network. For what it’s worth, although thankful that some portion of the BC game was able to be followed through Adam Kilgore’s posts on Boston.com, it left a lot to be desired. No offense intended to Kilgore, but that was not the up to the level of MLB’s Gameday version of following a game. What was particularly annoying about it was weeding through all the posts Kilgore put up by fans ALREADY complaining about certain players efforts during that game.
For crying out loud people, it’s the first game of Spring Training.
What did they expect? July form from a team in February? Some members of the Red Sox fan base truly make you want to shake your head in amazement that they can call themselves fans of the game. Otherwise, Kilgore’s posts were better then getting no information regarding what was taking place on the field, so thank-you BDC for that much. In case you missed it and are curious to read first hand how the players in that game performed, you can read the entire BC – Red Sox blog session from Kilgore HERE.
The Second game, which was telecast vs the Twins was pretty much what you might have expected with a few notable (but not major) occurrences. Every player was showing a certain amount of rust…that was expected. The pitchers seemed to fair better then the batters for the most part….that also was expected. If anything, it showed that some guys looked to be a little further along then others, but again, it was one game. That’s an extremely small sample to make any worthwhile judgments on. Still, you may have noticed that Wakefield suffered from a certain amount of rust himself and that the guys behind him didn’t help out his cause in the game by showing similar rust issues in the field. Overall, the teams pitching looked good. Masterson, DelCarmen, Rameriz, Lopez all looked relatively sharp. Traber has some work to do as he was tagged pretty well by the Twins.
Jeff Bailey continues to swing a pretty nice bat. When it comes to who will fill in for Kotsay opening day, Bailey may give Wilkerson a run for his money for that spot. You may have also noticed that Bard suffered a few passed balls (without runners on) and that he failed to catch a number of Wakefield’s pitches cleanly. It’s not worth getting concerned about yet. Certainly he and Wakefield will have much more time available in the coming days to get their work in with each other.
It was the first day of the Grapefruit League. Let’s not rush to judgment just yet on anyone. Try to be thankful that Baseball can once again be viewed on TV and save the criticism of players for when the games matter. Right now, they don’t. If nothing else, it’s fun to watch some of the Red Sox prospects play in games that don’t mean anything to the standings. It’s nice to see players like Reddick, Anderson, Brown and others try to impress. For some, these games allow a first glimpse at the prospects we have all heard so much about, so watch them for what they’re worth. Afterall, this is February not October
The team will be at it again today when the Sox take on the Pirates at 1:05ET. Boston.com’s Adam Kilgore will be doing live updates from the game.