From what I am reading right now it’s probably going to take a four year deal to land Beltran. He no longer has fear of his creaky knees and believes he can make it through a long term deal in the American League, where he can DH part of the time.
Beltran is 36 and despite him robbing David Ortiz of that grand slam in the World Series, his knees make him limited on defense. That is not a recipe for success in Fenway’s spacious right field. We all saw this year how much of a difference Shane Victorino made in the outfield with his defensive ability. It was like having a second center fielder out there.
If/when Jacoby Ellsbury leaves, the smarter play is to keep Victorino where he is and promote Jackie Bradley, Jr. to play center. I’d much rather have that outfield combo than have age at both spots. And this idea that Beltran can come here and DH at times to give him a break? When exactly are you going to sit Ortiz to accomplish this? I hope the Sox’ interest is merely a smoke screen to drive Beltran’s price up for other suitors, like the Yankees.
As for Hudson, the name is familiar and sexy and the production is still pretty good but he is 38 years old and coming off a broken ankle. You have to figure he will be looking for at least a three year deal. The Red Sox already have a very veteran pitcher on their roster named John Lackey. But there are rumors the Red Sox would like to trade Lackey as part of importing Hudson. Huh?
If they sign Hudson for three years he is going to be 41 when the pact ends in 2016. That’s not a good age for a starting pitcher.
Lackey is three years younger, coming off an outstanding comeback season, was big in the postseason and his contract is up after 2015. It includes an incredible $500,000 team vesting option for 2015 due to the surgery he had.
If the Red Sox are considering moving that now incredibly manageable contract, replacing him with a young pitcher is the way to go, not a 38 year old veteran.
The Hudson of 10 years ago in his prime would be a no brainer. He was one of the AL’s best pitchers back then. So even though I know Hudson won 17, 16 and 16 games in the three years before the injury cut his 2013 short, his ERA has also gone up each year. That’s not a trend I’m comfortable with.
The bottom line is the Red Sox just won an unexpected championship. If there was ever a time to import some of the many prospects the team has in the minors, this is it. The hangover from the World Series will last into 2014 with the fans.
As a result, management should be trying to build the next great Red Sox team with youth and diversity. They shouldn’t be trying to emulate the Yankees by adding age to their ball club.
There are other impact moves Ben Cherington can make this offseason. Just not these two, please.