There aren’t many people who know the Red Sox front office better than Peter Gammons and Gordon Edes do, and this morning they provide their views as to what that front office is going to do this offseason. Their thinking:
- They both think that Jason Bay will stay in Boston, mostly because the Mets don’t have the cash to beat a Boston offer and none of the other potential suitors — the Giants, Mariners, Angels or maybe the Cardinals — don’t really work for a number of reasons. I agree. Bay has a pretty comfortable job in Boston. Anywhere else he goes his defense will be a bigger issue than it is in Fenway. I think he stays.
- Despite declining Alex Gonzalez’s option, he’ll stay around too, yielding to Jed Lowrie if Lowrie proves that he can stay healthy, and generally providing some insurance for a position that always seems to be unsure in Boston. My view: not sure there are any better options out there. Omar Vizquel maybe? Either way, cover it with a glove and wait for Jose Iglesias to mature.
- Forget the Adrian Gonzalez speculation. Jed Hoyer knows who the best Sox prospects are. The Sox don’t want to trade their best prospects. They just don’t match up. It’s way more likely that the Sox will convince the Blue Jays that their second tier prospects are really top shelf guys and pry away Roy Halladay. My view: there’s too much risk with a Sox-Padres trade right now. Whoever loses the trade is going to be accused by talk radio and the local papers of giving a gift to their buddy, and no one likes that kind of garbage.
- The Sox are going into 2010 banking on a rebound by David Ortiz, a healthy Mike Lowell, and having Victor Martinez around all season. My view: they are about 33% likely to realize an overall offensive improvement from that strategy. Could be a tough year on offense for Boston.
- They’re likely to once again explore the high-risk, high-reward scrap heap for some pitching depth, with Gammons and Edes both mentioning Ben Sheets and Rich Harden. Actually, Edes calls this “low-risk, high reward.” That makes no sense to me. Maybe it’s “low money,” but anytime you commit a roster spot to a guy and exclude other possibilities, you create at least some risk. If you use that roster spot on guys with injury histories like Sheets and Harden, you’re creating high risk. One would think that the Smotlz-Penny experience of last season would have hipped Edes to this.
Right now the odds favor a stand-pat kind of offseason for Boston. Which, given the relative dearth of high-quality free agents and trade bait, is probably the most prudent move. There’s no shame in playing for the Wild Card Red Sox fans.