So we have an important offseason coming up that can shape the future of the Red Sox for the next few years. Theo is a great GM who has put together an impressive team, but he has some important decisions to make in the coming months, especially in regards to free agent signings. Over the next week or two I'll just go over some of the positions that have questions surrounding them (3rd base, Shortstop, Catcher, Outfield, Bullpen) unless no one wants me to or cares; I can always go back to my hole. :(
Anyways, the first position is the vaunted "hot corner" or as the British once called it "ye corner of ember" (source). It's a lonely place where all the right handed hitters slap red-hot missile baseballs at you, and you have to catch it or else you just weren't worth that contract. However the Sox just had a guy who would always catch the missiles, and who also did a couple things with the bat. A couple things like hitting monster moon shots on one knee, and hitting over .300, and in general just being a very solid ballplayer. But that guy most likely won't pick up his option for next year so let's look at out options.
1. Adrian Beltre- He's a really good player who had a monster season. Almost MVP caliber. But the last time he had a season like this he was getting ready to finish up his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He then went on to play in Seattle where his bat was solid but unremarkable while his defense remained exquisite. This winter he will get a big contract thanks to this season and his agent, a guy named Scott Boras. Scott Boras likes money, so the Sox will have to give a lot of it to an aging player who is likely to hit 15-42 home runs next year while playing baseball. I'm not crazy about retaining a guy who is on teh wrong side of 30 whose offensive numbers throughout his career can only be described as "bi-polar." He's a big bucks, big upside, but you just don't know kind of guy.
2. Jed Lowrie- We all love Jed Lowrie, some of us just don't know it yet. He's an incredibly solid hitter, a strong fielder, and he's young and cheap. Many people would like to see him at shortstop next year, something I can't argue with, but if Beltre leaves for greener pastures (get it? Greener? Like money. You better be ROTFLing right now) Jed is the best in-house option to stick at the corner.
3. Kevin Youkilis- Cuz like, A-GONZZZ is gonna be a SOX next year fo sho, Kelly and Larz straight up for A-GONZ, LULZ. Obviously Adrian Gonzalez will be a Padre next year, but the Sox might look to a more affordable place holder at first base for a year or two until Tony is ready or another 3rd base option is ready. Overbay, Laroche, these kinds of guys could on a cheap 1-2 year deal. Not as likely to happen, but Theo isn't afraid of bridges. Also there is always the possibility Theo just says "throw Lars at first, he's cool." Now we all knew Theo isn't going to do that, but then again the guy left Fenway in a gorilla suit when he first retired. So yeah...
4. Mark Reynolds- From everything I hear Kevin Towers don't like no strikeouts. He likes that crisp smell of contact, and Mark Reynolds has a strikeout fetish. So Kevin Towers is thinking about shipping off Mark Reynolds who I think could fit at third base for the Sox. Reynolds is young, relatively cheap, and a good power guy. At his best he is an on-base percentage kind of guy who likes hitting home runs as much as he likes striking out. He is a bit like an Adam Dunn Lite (R). I feel as though the Sox can buy low on him and use him as a number 5 hitter. Just my two cents.