Free agency is here. Mike Timlin, who Buster Olney is promoting as a Trevor Hoffman-esque closer for the Sox in 07, and Tim Wakefield are already re-upped for next year. There were no exits in Gorilla suits reported on Yawkey Way on Halloween. The previously mentioned Buster Olney has already called-out Derek Jeter for not supporting A-Rod. Buster, you are the MAN! One word of support was all that was needed and the Captain, the MVP, the Lord of Intangibles (or as he is referred to in my house: the most over-rated player in baseball history since Joe DiMaggio) could not do a small act for the betterment of his team. I still say the Yankees trade A-Rod, get pennies on the dollar, and buy some new choker who cannot handle the pressure at the hot-corner (Joe Crede?, Aramis Ramirez?) and have fans waxing philosophic for A-Rod by July. But who cares about the Yankees dysfunctional issues in November? It is time to spend the hard-earned cash of John Henry as Red Sox GM for a day:
Quick analysis: the Sox need a #5 hitter to protect Manny & Papi, another starting pitcher or two, a back-up catcher, some power to add to the infield, and help in the bullpen. Here we go:
Bullpen: Mike Timlin goes to six and seventh inning duty. Craig Hansen, Keith Foulke, and Manny Delcarmen fill the seventh and eighth. The Sox then go out and sign four relief pitchers: Justin Speier (Who? Go ask Buster Olney.), Kerry Wood, Eric Gagne, and Dustin Hermanson. Roll them out there in the spring, and one will take over as closer (well, Speier is a set-up guy only).
Catcher: Sure, we could bring back Doug Mirabelli to have my wife drool all over of him, but for purely team purposes, it is time to go get the eventual replacement for Jason Varitek. Trade with Atlanta and snag Salty: 21 year-old top prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia, buried all year in AA.
Outfield: I wanted him three years ago: Carlos Lee. Boom. Power in the five-hole. Trot Nixon replaced in right field.
Starting Rotation: Daisuke Matsuzaka: I have no idea if he is any good or not. But hey, it is not MY money! Dontrelle Willis: why not? If he is available, go get him. Then, go after the old-timers: Tom Glavine (aka the pride of Billerica) and the Rocket.
Infield: Sure, Aramis Ramirez may not handle the pressure, but he brings power back to the corner infield (even though I love Mike Lowell, I fear that both he and Mark Loretta will be gone in 07). Then, grab Julio Lugo to play 2b.
There, that is about the best best-case scenario I can come up with. Realistically, one or two of these moves would have me dancing in the streets like Mick Jagger and David Bowie (umm, on second thought, scratch that). What can I say, all I want for Christmas is a closer.
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