What Condition Is Boston’s Condition In? Plenty of Hard Work Lies Ahead in Offseason.


Aug 30, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder

Jacoby Ellsbury

(2) prepares to bat against the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

September 29, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder

Cody Ross

(7) during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

As promised, since the end of the 2012 season the Red Sox have set about swiftly fixing problems (John Farrell and Torey Luvollo’s hiring and Tim Bogar‘s release) and stabilizing some potential thorny issues (David Ortiz‘ new contract) that if left unattended would do not nothing but throw salt in a wound continuing to fester.

These moves, however, are but the first trenches to be dug if the team is to rid itself of the raw sewage that came to rest between Van Ness and Lansdowne Streets in 2012. The Red Sox still have a lot of work to do. And with the free agent market less than inspiring, especially regarding Boston’s key holes to fill, some creative moves will need to be made by GM Ben Cherington and company

Today Boston’s starting lineup would look like this.

1B: Hole. James Loney is a free agent and it’s looking more doubtful that he’ll be back.
2B: Dustin Pedroia
3B: Will Middlebrooks
SS: Hole. Jose Iglesias isn’t the answer. Pedro Ciriaco‘s career stats don’t indicate that he can fill that void for an entire season.
C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway
LF: Hole
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
RF: Hole if Boston doesn’t sign free agent Cody Ross, one of the first players Farrell said he was reaching out to.
DH: David Ortiz

No. 1 Starter: Jon Lester
No. 2 Starter: Clay Buchholz
No. 3 Starter: Hole
No. 4 Starter: Felix Doubront
No. 5 Starter: John Lackey
Depth starters: Hole
Closer: Andrew Bailey
Set-up men: Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, Mark Melancon

In rapid-fire fashion to create even more roster flexibility and salary wiggle room Boston should deal:
Alfredo Aceves (trade or non-tender). One valued now non-value add hot-headed malcontent.
Aaron Cook, (non-tender). As the old football saying goes, unable to perform.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, (non-tender). See above.
Ryan Sweeney (non-tender). A lightweight hitter who proved to be a lightweight thinker in the dugout.
Jacoby Ellsbury (trade). Ellsbury will walk after his 2013 contract expires. Get what value he has now.
Ryan Kalish (trade). Health.
Vicente Padilla, (non-tender). Started strong, fizzled.
James Loney, (non-tender). Does Boston need another low power first baseman?
–  Scott Podsednik (non-tender). Nice guy. End of career.

Click here for a list of the 2012-13 free agents.

I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in
– Fixing a Hole, The Beatles