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The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Cherington’s Shopping List

Courtesy+of%26%23160%3Bkevin_sanjuanislands+on+Flickr%0A

Courtesy of kevin_sanjuanislands on Flickr

 

November is here, the World Series is over, and it is now every baseball fan’s favorite time of the year—the free agency period. At winter meetings teams declare whether they are sellers or buyers. Red Sox GM Ben Cherrington needs to express himself by selling high and buying low. In his favor, new manager John Farrell promises a guiding light, a reputation on and off the field that makes Boston more attractive to free agents.

The first order of business is to fix the pitching staff, and I say the Sox should make a big splash. Jacoby Ellsbury is valuable right now, so let him and agent Scott Boras be someone else’s problem. Cherrington should offer Ellsbury and a few of our top prospects to the Seattle Mariners for Felix Hernandez.  If Cherrington lands King Felix, we will have a starting rotation of Hernandez, Lester, and Buchholz, with Felix Doubront, John Lackey, and Alfredo Aceves battling for the last spots.  

With the front end fixed we attend to the bullpen. Cherrington should explore the idea of Joakim Soria from Kansas City.  He was once a highly regarded closer but is coming off Tommy John Surgery. This is the buying low. Before Soria gets a big contract, he will need to reestablish himself, so a one-year deal should be fine. The next pitcher, for a longer deal, is Rafael Soriano. This looks viable because Mariano Rivera is planning on returning to the Yankees. Soriano has proven that he is a marquee set up man and possible closer. Assuming this works out, we will have Soria, Andrew Bailey, and Soriano to anchor the pen.  

In the field, if this all goes to plan, there will be holes in centerfield and shortstop. Pedro Ciriaco proved to me that he deserves a shot at the starting position at shortstop. Jose Inglesias isn’t ready for the job yet. How long do we want to wait? The organization waited too long on Lars Anderson and his value dropped to that of a fungo bat.  For first baseman, James Loney is a good stopgap until another option comes along.  For a bigger bat, Mike Napoli is an option but his asking price might be too high.  However, he is a player that does well in Fenway Park and he would be a better substitute if anything happens to Saltalamacchia.

To start in the outfield, I think Cherrington’s first priority is to re-sign Cody Ross.  He is above-average on defense and provides a little power at the plate.  If he can contribute 75 RBIs and 15 to 20 home runs, I’ll be happy.  On top of that he is a great clubhouse guy and that is really important during this offseason—Cherrington needs to recreate a harmonious clubhouse that can attract other free agents. Three other outfielders that really interest me are Cameron Maybin of the Padres, Melky Cabrera from the Giants, and Nick Swisher with the Yankees. Let’s please not waste time with Josh Hamilton.

Maybin is young at 25 years old, and though he hasn’t hit well, he has created scoring opportunities by stealing almost 70 bases in his first two full seasons. Remember that we’d go after Maybin only if we acquired Felix Hernandez, so we’d still win in that deal.

I have liked Melky Cabrera since he played with the Yankees. He can hit for contact and power, and can play all three outfield positions. The suspension is an issue, and he has been traded several times, but his stock is down. He needs to recreate himself, so it seems like an easy buy low.

Looking at Nick Swisher, how can you not love ‘Swish’?  He hits for contact and some power and in a short right field I like his arm. With Swish you’re getting that clubhouse guy like Cody Ross.

While Cherrington is out shopping this winter, let’s hope he keeps these ideas in mind to help the team.  He needs to find quality players who are seeking to reestablish themselves for a cheap price. He needs to find players to reinvigorate the clubhouse. Most importantly, he needs to give Farrell the tools to win.  After all, he is the manager everyone wanted, so let’s help keep him here for more than two seasons.