This offseason can go either one of two ways: Triumph or tragedy. That’s not hyperbole, and it might not be seen which way it’ll go for three or four years. Today was non-tender day in the Major Leagues (also known as the day that the Twins gave up David Ortiz for nothing), and things have started to roll. Hopefully it will pick up like a snowball going down hill. If this year really is a “bridge year” as Theo puts it, down hill might be the operative word there.
The first order of business is that whole left field thing. Jason Bay, the incumbent man beneath the monster, has apparently “moved on” according to his agent. This may be a ploy to drag a few million more dollars out of the Sox, but it also mean that the team is going to lose out and be left to the ravages of Scott Boras, in trying to get Matt Holliday to town, or the dreaded platoon. Odds are that Bay has moved on to the Mets or some other crappy team, meaning the Sox will have to come up with another answer (I want this to be wrong very badly) A wise man once said that if you have two quarterbacks you have none, and in the AL east, it is the same way with every position player. If the team is forced to go with a platoon for a year then that will show that they are throwing away a season in the hopes of spending that money on Carl Crawford.
Then there is third base/first base (whichever one Youk isn’t playing). With the trade of Mike Lowell, the Sox are missing a guy to play one of the corner infield spots (don’t give me that casey Kotchman crap, he’s a good player for a mid level team, not a starter on a World Series team, especially with his bat). The door is open for a big trade, say for Miguel Cabrera or Adrian Gonzalez (I get the feeling I’m starting to repeat myself, but until another option is shown to me I’m sticking to my guns), or a signing of Adrian Beltre. There aren’t any exciting free agent corner infielders set to be on the market after this season, so I really don’t see the plan there if they do wait.
Other than that, I’m pretty happy with the way the team looks as constituted today. Scutaro was a good move to “bridge” the gap between today and Jose Iglesias (another “prospect” for whom Theo is leveraging the present), but other than that there has been no step forward, only a step back, and if the Sox win the World Series for three years in a row over the next decade that’s fine, but for now it sucks.
That is why I didn’t go to “Christmas at Fenway” (should have been Chanukah) today and buy tickets, spending part of my (way too small) paycheck on a team that hasn’t shown me that they will spend their tremendous revenues on me. When and if that happens, you will find me scouring the web for tickets and calling in all of te favors that I have earned over the past year, but until then, i’m mostly just an interested observer, not an invested one.