As the rumors have been flying over the last few weeks, it appears as though the Red Sox are done making any big moves this off-season. With the addition of the $16 million-dollar-man, John Lackey and the acquisition of Marco Scutaro, Mike Cameron and Jeremy Hermida, the Sox have added some role players to their line-up without making a big splash in the strong outfielder market (Bay and Holliday). The Adrian Gonzalez trade appears to be all but dead, with the asking price being astronomical, and although the Sox are still in the Matt Holliday race, albeit peripherally, the likelihood the Cardinals and Mets can’t entice him with a $15-$17 million a year contract ($2-$3 million more than the Sox are willing to pay) is next to zero.
With most of the raucous behind them, Theo and the gang can now focus on bargain shopping and completing the stalled Lowell trade. Theo can be proud that, thus far, he has gone through the off-season without trading away any young top prospects and can use them as trade bait either before the deadline in July, or during next off-season. The Sox have one of the strongest pitching staffs in baseball, but would still like to add another set-up arm in the bullpen if possible, because you can never have too much pitching. In terms of offense, the Sox have a group of strong power hitters (Ortiz, Cameron, V. Martinez, J. D. Drew, and Youkilis), but Ortiz and Cameron have had trouble maintaining solid averages. The Sox have speed and above average on-base percentage guys at the top and bottom of the lineup (Ellsbury and Scutaro) and have 2008’s MVP, Dustin Pedroia, hitting in the infamous 2nd slot to set-up for the big guns.
Overall, the names in the Sox lineup are not overwhelmingly scary, there is a sense that the opposing pitcher can’t take a single at-bat off. Even a player like Mike Cameron, who doesn’t hit for a high average, can be dangerous because of hit ability to crush a mistake pitch onto the Mass Pike. That power, smart and aggressive base-running, and solid defense will put tons of pressure on the opposition. Only time will tell, but if pitching and defense win championships, the Sox will be playing deep into October.