Red Sox 2005 and beyond
I am a Red Sox fan. I lived and died through 2003 and 2004. After the 1986 series I was so sick I couldn't go to school for 2 days. Not saying it's healthy, it just is. Injuries killed us in 2005 and hopefully 2006 will be a return to health. Lots of questions. For anyone who may not have read this
First of all it's a great message board for Red Sox fans. Schilling posts there when he has time. Several other past and current players have done so as well. The above thread is worth a look as John Henry, Red Sox CEO, actually takes the time to answer a lot of questions, both regarding the front office, player decisions, etc. Haven't seen an owner other than Mark Cuban take this much time to address the fans directly in a public forum, so it's worth a read.
As to Josh Beckett: This is a trade you have to make. He's 25, relatively inexpensive (even if you half Lowell's salary and apply it toward Beckett, 8-9 million is relatively cheap; heck it's less then we are paying Clement), and given the absolute lack of Free Agent pitching to be had, almost a necessity. Now if you assume Schilling/Foulke are healthy, then the Sox have a legit staff for the season and for a short series.
Three way trade proposal: As much as I'd hate to see Manny go, assuming he has to, send him to the Mets, the Mets then send Lastings Millidge, Victor Diaz and some other considerations to Florida, who then sends Carlos Delgado & Guillermo Mota to the Sox. Use the savings to resign Damon for 4 years 40 million with a 5th year option assuming he reaches certain incentives by the end of 3 years (1500+plate appearances, whatever is deemed appropriate). You can also use Wells and/or Youkilis as a chip for an outfielder to play Left and provide some defense to help out Damon. Your lineup then is as follows:
Leadoff/CF Damon L
2/SS Renteria (who we are just stuck with, deal with it) R
3/DH Ortiz L
4/1B Delgado L
5/3B Lowell R
6/RF Nixon R (As an aside, Terry, let him try against some lefties, huh?)
7/C Varitek S
8/LF ??? Perhaps a Jacque Jones type on a two year deal would be a good fit here. he plays good defense.
9/2B Graffanino R (Yes Graffanino made that error, but he plays serviceable 2nd and is cheap and gives us a place to hold a salary spot cheap)
You can move Lowell down the lineup a bit if necessary. The dynamic duo both being lefties can make you vulnerable to a premier lefty specialist in a late inning situation, but how many of those are there?
Bullpen Top 3
have Mike Myers as a situational Lefty specialist (25 innings over 45 appearances a year and he does fine, you use him for more and that's where the trouble starts).
Also have Wade Miller sitting out there assuming he is healthy finally. Still could use a Lefty in the pen (perhaps package Miller and Wells to a team if you truly believe Schilling and Foulke are healthy) or instead make a run at B.J. Ryan and package Foulke for a bigger threat in left field. And don't forget if the Giants aren't doing well by the All Star break, Jason Schmidt will be out there for a 2nd half run...
Either way it ain't half bad assuming Clement isn't going to pitch scared again like he did after the beaning last year. It still gives Lester at least the first half in Triple A to get a bit more experience. If he's ready by the All-Star Break, then you have more strength to address the inevitable injury somewhere.