How the Red Sox Could Build an Offensive Machine
Two straight seasons with the Red Sox finishing first in the A.L. East, and two straight seasons barely making a dent in the ALDS.
Should the Red Sox keep waiting for consistency from their young players Bradley, Betts and Bogaerts? Should they hope one day they all click at once in the playoffs? Then, could the Red Sox finally make the run their payroll demands?
Or is it time to stop waiting? Should the Red Sox finally do away with the old, and bring in the new?
The very thought has half of Sox Nation calling for my head, as the official unofficial Armchair General Manager of the Red Sox. This is not a democracy people! I appointed myself, and only I will dethrone myself! Before you go “Louis XVI” on me, allow me to entice you with an improved offense, because perhaps it’s time.
Let me start by saying I am not of the belief that JD Martinez will be leaving the National League. Had he been available in a hypothetical world, perhaps I make a different move, given the history of our President of Baseball Operations, and the flexibility that comes with being an organization like the Red Sox.
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF + Michael Chavis 3B + Alex Scherff P + Tanner Houck P
First, allow me to dive into the haul that I have chosen for Giancarlo Stanton…
We know what Jackie Bradley, Jr. provides, so no need to discuss him. Michael Chavis, Alex Scherff and Tanner Houck, are three of the top five prospects in the Red Sox system. Yes, this is a lot, but allow me to break it down:
Michael Chavis has been playing the best baseball of his life in the Sox system, but is being blocked by Devers, he is an easy move.
I consider Alex Scherff to be a rather easy move as well, considering the Sox aren’t giving up their top prospect here, Jason Groome.
Tanner Houck could be special. He is the one that hurts here, hurts bad. He has ridiculous upside, but remember former Red Sox #1 pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza? The Sox gave him up for Pomeranz, and everyone was irate? He was pitching poorly for San Diego, and went on to have Tommy John surgery. I know, hindsight 20/20, but allow history to put it into perspective: Prospects are prospects, and Stanton will be crushing fifty bombs a season over the Monster for the next ten years (no bias here, I swear!!!).
Overall, it is a pretty hefty trade, the top five of the Red Sox farm is going to need some new faces for sure. They were able to keep their #1 prospect Jason Groome, (ace potential) and Sam Travis.
This next move seems almost too good to be true. Keep in mind, The Red Sox may need a Designated Hitter after next season, with Hanley most likely gone. Even with Stanton, and Pedroia, missing a substantial amount of time, there is a lack of power.
Xander Bogaerts SS
Brian Dozier 2B + Jorge Polanco SS/INF
Many will view this as the Red Sox giving up a young, and unbelievably talented SS, who was raised in their system. What do your eyes tell you? After watching the World Series, does slapping singles to right field look valuable on the big stage?
What I will call it, is the Red Sox trading a young SS who has hit his ceiling. I hate to say it, but the power isn’t coming. Stop having false hope. He has yet to show up in the playoffs. In return, a power hitter in a contract year (good thing), could play 2B while Pedroia is out, then play Designated Hitter, or potentially First Base, if the Red Sox work at it. Given Dozier’s small ($6M) cap hit this season, the way is paved for the Red Sox to pay him well, once Hanley is off of the books after next season, when Dozier is up for a renewal.
Jorge Polanco showed his undeniable upside, as he tore up the majors towards the end of the season. His hot ending was needed after he struggled during the beginning and middle. At the very least, he could play 2B while Pedroia is out, or be a depth player while he hones his craft.
The Red Sox could go with Jorge Polanco as their full-time SS, but I see them wanting to develop more first. With that being said…
Re-sign Eduardo Núñez SS/3B/2B/OF
The Red Sox have their starting SS, for probably the next three seasons. Núñez was obviously a hit with fans, due to his amazing production. Putting Núñez’s speed atop the lineup with Betts, Stanton, and Dozier, is mouth-watering.
This new-look offense certainly has some sparkle to it. Adding Stanton and Dozier provides stability in the power department, while at the same time shores up the DH position, after Ramirez is gone. Dozier could also play 2B, while Pedroia is out. Núñez at full-time SS, for likely three years, gives the Sox time to either draft, or prepare, Jorge Polanco for the gig. This offense remains young, but gains powerful veterans to help put them over the top.
C – Sandy Leon/Christian Vazquez
1B – Hanley Ramirez/Brian Dozier
2B – Dustin Pedroia
3B – Rafael Devers
SS – Eduardo Núñez
LF – Andrew Benintendi
CF – Mookie Betts
RF – Giancarlo Stanton
DH – Hanley Ramirez/Brian Dozier