When my teams are eliminated from post-season play, I just don’t care very much anymore. I love the Sox, but the final 3 games in Cleveland were just spring training games in the fall.
I am glad they won 2 of 3, but still.
So with the season done, and the players scattering all over the world, what will the 2013 Sox look like? I really have no idea, but I do have my own ideas.
Catcher: I go back and forth on this one, but I am leaning toward thinking the Sox should let A.J. Pierzynski leave. A.J. will be 36 at the end of December, and has caught over 1000 games. He rarely takes a day off, and is almost never hurt—–BUT—he is still gonna be 36 at a demanding position. Was this season an aberration, or has he found the fountain of youth? I’ve always heard that it’s better to let a player go a year early, than a year late. This is the toughest decision the Sox will make.
If A.J. hits the open market, he is gone. He’ll be in LA or NY. My opinion.
The starters job should be a battle between Tyler Flowers and Josh Phegley, two guys that are as opposite in stature as there is. The Sox should bring in a veteran, who won’t mind backing up–a Ramon Castro type. Kelly Shoppach or Gerald Laird maybe.
1st: Paul Konerko. It’s the last year of his contract, so just play it out.
SS: Alexei Ramirez. No brainer.
3rd: The Sox shouldn’t pick up Kevin Youkilis‘ 13-million option. However, how about 2 years at 7-million with a team option for the 3rd?
Right: You all are gonna think I am crazy, but I would deal Alex Rios. His stock will never be higher than it is right now. It would not only shed 25-million off the Sox’ bloated payroll, but it would possibly bring quite a haul of young studs.
Dayan Viciedo will take over in right. He has to be resigned, but that’s a formality-I think.
Center: Alejandro De Aza did a great job, but I still think it should be an open competition between De Aza, Wise and Jordan Danks.
Left: Without knowing what deals or free agent signings the Sox might make, Danks, Jared Mitchell and even a guy like Trayce Thompson could be in the running. They should get a stop-gap guy just in case those options don’t work out. Could the Sox take a chance on Delmon Young or even Melky Cabrera?
Starting Pitchers: Jake Peavy is gone. Once he hits the open market, some team is gonna break the bank for the 31 year old.
Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and the hopefully healthy John Danks will be 3/5 of the rotation. Hector Santiago and Dylan Axelrod should get a shot, as should Charlotte’s Charlie Leesman. I would kick the tires on Jeremy Guthrie, Dan Haren (if option not picked up) and Joe Blanton.
I would also try to restructure Gavin Floyd’s option, with a lower base, but a lot of incentives such as innings pitched, wins, quality starts, etc. I am worried that his recent elbow issues could be a warning for future problems.
Bullpen: Is Addison Reed the dominant guy we saw in the first half, or the struggling guy in the 2nd? I’ll go with the former. So we’ll say he’s the closer.
I would not pick up the 10-million option on Brett Myers. Unless, they see him as the closer.
Matt Thornton’s back. His salary is doable and he is still a hard-throwing lefty. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Sox deal him.
Jesse Crain is back.
The young guys. Liked Jones & Ommogrosso and at times, Septimo. Wasn’t sold on Veal, and didn’t see enough of Heath to make a proper judgement.
Bench: Other than Wise, was there one? A character guy like Johnny Gomes would be a great fit, and he could play left all the time if the above options don’t work out.
The Sox may lose a coach or two so they will have to replace them as well.
DH: Adam Dunn.
The Sox need to start fitting in some of their young offensive guys to see if they can play at the big league level. Can’t keep signing aging guys, or one day they’ll all be aged.
The guy to keep your eye on, and the one I think that’ll eventually play 1st for the Sox, is 2012 #1 pick Courtney Hawkins. He is a man-child, and a future star.
Spring training is just 4 short months away.