It was the type of deadline that Theo Epstein would scoff at; “who needs a remotely quiet trading period when one can flex his muscles of corporate dollars and rock the baseball world in an acquisition that immediately makes my ballclub better.”
Alas, Theo is no longer on Yawkey Way and while he was quite busy in Chicago, stripping down his lowly Cubs in hopes of improving them in the next century, the Red Sox were indifferently opposite. In fact it was eerily quiet given the nature of transactions we’ve become accustomed to witnessing when Theo was in charge. But need I remind you, Theo ain’t in charge no more!
Rather this is Ben Cherington’s dog and pony show and he did what Theo never had the brass to do; remain quiet in a time that required solitude yet tempted valor. Instead of going out and making big waves in the trade waters, Ben merely kept his head afloat, patiently treading water and waiting to see whether his beloved ball club will sink or swim.
While one cannot predict if this Boston Red Sox club will make a strong, concerted effort towards the postseason, or fold like a cheap K-Mark suit remains to be seen. But this much we do know; a quiet July trade deadline could mean a busy off season lies in store for the Red Sox. One that could resemble that of a makeover.
Josh Beckett was the most popular Red Sox player at this year’s trade deadline and only because mostly every fan wants him banished from the bays of Boston. While this did not happen in July, doesn’t mean it won’t happen during this calendar year. Granted both the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers appeared to be the most likely suitors for Beckett and both upgraded via other trades. Meaning a waiver acquisition of the tall Texan remains a possibility, albeit an outside chance at this point. Like it or not Red Sox fans, Josh Beckett is likely to be here until the end of the year, making a winter trade our best possibility.
Not only does Beckett become expendable, but so do many other house hold names that the Fenway Faithful have become accustomed to cheering for. Jacoby Ellsbury becomes that much closer to free agency, begging the question if Seattle would consider a package centered around the speedy outfielder for King Felix.
Jon Lester along side his good buddy Beckett will likely make the rumor mill as potential trade pieces. Moving Beckett appears to be imminent and hanging onto the salvageable Lester just makes sense. Why part ways with both imbeciles when splitting them up could do wonders for one or the other?
Carl Crawford‘s name was mentioned earlier this month, only to learn that the Miami Marlins were the only team who had the fortitude to actually inquire on the four-time all-star. While unloading Crawford’s salary would be heavenly, it remains doubtful, but still fun to dream none the less. Surely Ben would earn his stripes with Red Sox Nation if he could somehow move the under performing and grossly overpaid Crawford.
Such prospects such as Jose Iglesisas and Ryan Lavarnway are surely to come up in trade talks given the clubs depth at the shortstop position and infiltrated talent behind the plate. A push for a legitimate starting pitcher appears to be atop the Red Sox wish list heading into the off season, even though we still have two months remaining in this season. We’ve heard all season long that it will take prospects and nothing but to land a team’s top starter ie: Matt Garza or Josh Johnson. Maybe it’s the winter when the prices come down that Cherington makes his move to better this ball club instantaneously. It’s funny how a struggling belief in the postseason leads one to look forward to the winter.
But none the less, the Red Sox being quiet this July and further stock piling their assets and prospects leaves this team in a better position to acquire those missing pieces for next season. While this season can still be salvaged with an October appearance, the majority are not holding out faith. Meaning any Wild Card birth is a bonus, but let’s start focusing on next year and what the potential could be once Cherington has the ability to make a trade or two with some quality trade chips; ones he held onto this year instead of giving it all up at the expense of overpaying for that one player that may or may not have made a difference.