With 2 Jokers, Sox need an Ace for Wild Card Pot–or they should fold now


The abject failure of their #1 and #2 rotation Jokers, The Lester and The Josher, forces the hand of the Red Sox to “go all-in” to acquire an “ace,” for any chance at the Playoff Pot, or start re-shuffling the roster, now.

Forget all this Happy Horsesh/t Talk about trade rumors;  trading for the likes of Dempster, Garza, Rodriguez, Saunders and any other “sub-ace” pitcher is a waste of time; the Sox need to make a big move for Greinke, Hamels, or King Felix Hernandez.

But are Ben, John & Larry willing to face their fundamental problem: their “Ace Hole”?

Not likely:  the Sox have been in the “budget conscious” mode and Cherington has not been inclined toward risk, rolling the dice in his first year as GM.

But, if, after lowering the bar to a Wild Card, one-and-done, playoff ticket, the Fenway Brain Truss and Gentle Ben were to make a Franchise move, it might look like this:


Hamels and a big contract.  5-years: $15 million per annum = $75-82 million. [age 28-33]

Theo paid Lackey 5 yrs. $82.5 million.


Brentz [OF], Iglesias [SS], Vitek [3], Swihart [C], Britton [LHP]


Greinke and a big contract.  5-years: $15 million per annum = $75-82 million. [age 28-33]

Ben and Co-GM Hoyer paid Beckett 4 yrs. $68 million.


Anderson [1b], Iglesias [SS], Brentz [OF], Swihart [C], Ross [OF]


Felix Hernandez and a big contract.  5 years = $123 million

The street says that King Felix would expect “Sabbathia money’ in his next contract; that would look like this:

Hernandez is signed through 2014:
2012 $18,500,000

2013 $19,500,000
2014 $20,000,000

New 5-year deal:

2015 $23,000,000
2016 $25,000,000
2017 *$25,000,000

2018-19 *$25,000,000

If you acquired Hernandez and decided to extend him for a new 5-year contract, starting in 2015, he would be 29 at the start and 33 at the end; compare that to Sabbathia, who would be 34 in 2015.

If we take WAR values as a yardstick, Fernandez can make the case that he is worth “Sabbathia money.”

Sabbathia: 12 seasons: 2.441 career avg. Best season: 2009, 4.0.
Hernandez: 8 seasons: 3.575 career avg. Best season: 2010, 6.8.


Lars Anderson [1B], Brandon Jacobs [OF], Kolbrin Vitek [3B], Jackie Bradley [OF], Jose Iglesias [SS],Blake Swihart [C]

If the Sox fail to acquire one of these three bona fide “aces,” they are telling you that they are putting a new coat of paint on a car that they know needs major work and expect to sell-out the Fenway anyway.