2020 has been an unusual sports year. From the bubbles to other sports having unusual offseasons cc: NHL and NBA. Over the last week we’ve focused on many moves and decisions by the Celtics and their rivals that we have forgotten that another team has started their offseason as well. That team is the Boston Red Sox. Recently the Red Sox re-hired Alex Cora which was step one for a lot of fans and observers of the team in the process of becoming relevant again. Now here comes the interesting part. The Red Sox are always viewing the local sports landscape and see how other teams are doing compared to them. Probably for the first time since the early 2000s the landscape and focus is wide open and not focused on the Patriots.
A Unique Opportunity Here
This is a unique opportunity for the Red Sox to take the headlines and attention of the Boston sports world. Patriots are at a major crossroad and face huge organizational structure for the first time since the winter and spring of 1993. The Bruins are at crossroads as well. But with the uncertainty of when the NHL season starts, they may be unfortunately on the back burner for a while. Now for the Celtics, they are relevant and are a contender, but they clearly are not the favorite and maybe still a year or two away. This is a golden opportunity for the Red Sox. By our nature this is a baseball region where the Red Sox are good. Everyone watches even the most casual of fans when the team is good.
As I said, this is a golden opportunity and this offseason seems different than the past after a disappointing season in 2020. They aren’t planning to throw big money at high price free agents. Instead they are going to spend smartly, but aggressively and they are going to be creative in the trade market. Hot stove is starting to cook and your Red Sox are in some serious rumors: Kris Bryant? Blake Snell? Yasiel Puig?JT Realmuto? Even the Cora connection to Franscio Lindor and Carlos Correa has raised some eyebrows about whether Boston might make that kind of trade this offseason or pursue via free agency next winter.
Here is my take on all the rumors: Make one or two of these moves! Become relevant again! Even if you have trade from players from the big club to do it. You have the money this offseason and the next two offseasons. You are the Boston Redsox, the game is great when you are good.
I know we criticize the Mookie Betts trade every chance we get and we should, but fans forget we threw in David Price and his contract in that deal. In hindsight throw in that contract might have been your get out jail free card(thanks again Dodgers). Also that trade should motivate and scare the Redsox ownership and front office to build a championship team ASAP. Trading generational talent can damage an organization for a generation, but throw in that David Price’s contract may have been their path out to become a top tier team again.
Again we have been given a second chance to quickly build a contender. We have flexibility. Given that your rivals and other teams are cutting payroll, you have a golden opportunity to announce to the baseball world that you are back. Here is my wishlist to make the Red Sox relevant again.
This is simple, the Cubs are looking to cut payroll and retool. Kris Bryant has had contract disputes with Cubs for the last couple years doesn’t that sound familiar. I understand people would be concerned about him being on the last year of his contract. He also had an injury plagued year a season ago. But when he’s healthy, he is one of the best players in the sport. As the Red Sox envision him as their future left fielder, which would lead me to believe that if this trade happens Bryant will sign an extension with the Red Sox and Andrew Benintendi’s days as a red sox might be numbered. If you can get an extension you will probably be willing to give up a little more rather than giving up a good haul for Bryant only to get one year from him, but it’s worth it in my eyes. A former MVP entering his prime and looking for a fresh start sounds like a no brainer to me.
I know a lot of fans were shocked to see his name come up in trade talks. But the Rays are one of those teams cutting payrolls. Blake Snell is one of the top pitchers in the game. The price is reasonable just like it was for Chris Sale when you traded for him. A move like this would be bold and creative. Plus, it would be worth the risk to speed up the timeline. You are getting Chris Sale and Edurado Rodriguez back at some point in 2021. Even when they come back there are question marks. Getting someone like Smell would and could cost a lot especially with a team that doesn’t have a stockpile of prospects.
This trade will require creativity if the Red Sox want Snell. Rays could include Kevin Kiermaier to load off some of the asking price. But if you acquire this first guy on my list would you be willing to trade Benintendi and if you don’t acquire said first guy would you be willing to trade Christian Vazquez as the Rays have asked for a top tier catcher in return especially if you have serious interest in the guy who is lower on my list. Another option would be if you are willingly trading both in order to hold on to some of your prospects. While you don’t have a deep farm system you do have some legit prospects and a logjam especially at the corners of the infield.With Devers as your 3B for the foreseeable future. Would you be willing to trade guys like Bobby Dalbec and/or Jeter Downs. In my opinion Tristian Casas isn’t getting traded no matter the circumstance. So the Red Sox will have a tough decision here. A lot of teams will pursue Snell. But if they really want him, they know they will need to be creative.
This is really simple the dude can rake. Adding a .300 plus hitter that hits 20-25 bombs and drives in over 90 runs to a lineup that is good already will be an additional bonus. Also he plays multiple positions and the Redsox traditionally like that. Finally it’s even better to steal from the Yankees.
I think if they are going to spend money on bats it’s either Realmuto or DJ. This makes sense especially if you are moving Vazquez to get some quality starting pitching. He would be worth the contract in so many ways.
Out of the guys on the wishlist this might actually be the first guy and the most likely guy to sign with Boston. He is a Bloom guy from his Tampa days. The Red Sox are going to spend big on the bullpen this off season which is a big speculation around baseball. If that is the case this is a win win situation for the Red Sox.
In the end this offseason will be a stepping stone to make the Red Sox a consistent contender year in and year out instead of it being a toss up year in and year out like it was in the 2010’s.
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