The Boston Red Sox have already let Victor Martinez sign with the Detroit Tigers. While most fans and media are up in arms, remember one thing. While the Red Sox have not been good with free agency throughout the years, they have known when to let players go. Pedro Martinez. Manny Rameriz. Nomar Garciaparra. Jason Bay. Victor Martinez?
The Red Sox have confidence in Jarrod Saltalamacchia to be their everyday catcher, and I am starting to warm up to the idea. Bring back Jason Varitek to back him up, and then they also have prospect Ryan Lavarnway waiting in the wings. But even though they have some catching options, no one is going to live up to Martinez’s bat.
That’s where free agents and trades come in. The Red Sox were in on Justin Upton, but scoffed when asked for both Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Bard. They have always been conected to Jayson Werth, and I have always thought that was the best option for this Boston team. Adrian Gonzalez, also linked to the Red Sox, I believe will be a Red Sox at somepoint. Just not this season. Boston is not going to sell their farm system for a player who will be a free agent next season. This season, they should go for a Paul Konerko/Lance Berkman type of player. Berkman may be the best fit. He will only get a 1/2 year deal for not too much, and can still be productive.
Then the case for Konerko, who I also like a lot. The problem here is years. The Red Sox can not give him too many years if they want Gonzalez, and they also have prospect Anthony Rizzo ready after this season. And then you have that other guy, Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis is willing to play third base, which helps the Red Sox immensly.
What will their roster look like out of training camp? If I had to predict it today, this is what it would be.
SP- Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka
RP- Daniel Bard, Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Taylor Buchholz, Scott Downs, Jason Rice, Felix Doubront, Andrew Miller
IF- Dustin Pedroia, Lance Berkman, Kevin Youkilis, Marco Scutaro, Jed Lowrie, David Ortiz
OF- JD Drew, Jayson Werth, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron, Daniel Nava
Does not look too bad. Remember, they also have Ryan Kalish and Josh Reddick who could be up at certain points. For the pitching side of that, Junichi Tazawa could be up as well.