As the calendar flips to December, it reminds us all that Christmas is just over three weeks away. While many of you are sure to be like me, which is haven’t started their gift shopping, I can assure you that procrastination isn’t the answer.
But that can wait. Again a sign of my procrastination. For Red Sox fans the team is still in need of some repair. Yes our prayers were answered when we finally received a manager. Bobby Valentine wasn’t the first choice for some Red Sox fans, but none the less a decision was made which proves the powers that be are capable of making one, albeit it took over two months.
With the annual Winter Meetings taking place next week, it is sure to dowse a little gasoline on the hot stove. The Red Sox are one team that continues to be linked to many free agents, yet we have nothing to show for it. That being said, things could really heat up for the Red Sox next week and with that here is a wish list compiled by this Red Sox fan, should Christmas come a little early.
Starting pitching – the latest free agent name to be linked to the Red Sox is Mark Buehrle. The former White Sox ace continues to draw interest from many clubs and the Miami Marlins have by far been the most aggressive. His price tag is sure to be high and Ben Cherington has stated he’s not afraid to gamble on some lower value free agents, including some that may be coming off an injury plagued season.
Regardless, the Red Sox need help in their starting rotation. The number one through three holes are filled with Lester, Beckett and Buchholz. After that it’s pretty bleak.
#1 Wish – Matt Garza. He won’t come cheap if the Red Sox can get him at all, but consider that the Cubs still owe Boston for the Epstein compensation and maybe, just maybe two or three prospects would be enough to “call it even.”
Bullpen – so many questions and it appears we have so little time. With the Toronto Blue Jays appearing to be hot on the tail of closer Heath Bell, Cherington may be forced to overpay if he wants the former Padres closer in Boston next season.
Of course no one really knows if Bard will be given the reins as the new closer for the Red Sox and with the possibility of him joining the rotation, the bullpen definitely needs some attention.
Bobby Jenks isn’t the answer and Aceves is best used as the ultimate setup man. Decisions, decisions, decisions hey Ben.
#1 Wish – Heath Bell. For obvious reasons he’s my number one choice.
Other Wishes – Jose Valverde, Ryan Madson.
Right Field – this decision is one that will depend on what happens with DH David Ortiz. If the Sox resign Big Papi, then right field will likely be platooned between Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish. There is an outside chance that Michael Cuddyer could still be in the mix, but a Carlos Beltran signing depends on the Ortiz status. A big bat like Beltran would be a possibility should Ortiz fly the coup for Baltimore.
#1 Wish – Michael Cuddyer. I’ve been an advocate of Cuddyer since the first day of free agency and that hasn’t changed. He brings grit and character and would be the player that Bobby Valentine loves.
Other Wishes – Carlos Beltran, Martin Prado
Designated Hitter – this one is simple. Big Papi needs to be resigned by the Red Sox. This club is getting ripped in the public eye and their image isn’t real great right now. First Papelbon is allowed to walk away, then it takes two months to find a manager after an apparent power struggle is taking place. Resigning Ortiz will show Red Sox Nation that the management can be trusted.
Not to mention the power and production that Ortiz can still deliver, it makes the signing a logical one. Ortiz has made it public that he wants a three-year deal, which would put him at 39 and likely the end of his career. This will no doubt be a little rich for Cherington so a two-year deal with a club option is likely to be the offer.
#1 and ONLY Wish – David Ortiz
Some of these wishes may become true in the next week or so. They could also turn into empty, hollow dreams, leaving speculation and finger pointing. I realize they could be exactly what they’re titled – a wish.
Regardless, I’m holding out faith that there will be a Heath Bell, David Ortiz and/or Michael Cuddyer under the Red Sox tree this holiday season.