GM For a Day

So I saw an article similar to this online and figured I'd give it a go.

The objective: take over the role of Ben Cherington, and realistically manage the team's offseason. So here's what I have:

Step 1: Taking stock of what I'm looking for. If I'm the Red Sox, I'm looking to continue with what gave me success. Patient hitters and clubhouse guys. With that in mind, we take a look at some options.

So I know I have three spots that need to be filled, and others that could use a boost. The spots are center field, first base, and catcher. So let's break it down.

Center Field: In a perfect world, Jacoby Ellsbury would be on the Red Sox happily ever after. But this isn't a perfect world, and his chances of signing are minimal. If nothing comes to fruition with him, then I think it's time to move on to Jackie Bradley Jr. Look, I'm the first guy to criticize JBJ's lack of hitting prowess this past year. But his defense is excellent, and his offense will presumably improve with more time in the majors. Something I do not do: consider moving Shane Victorino to center. His body can no longer handle center, he is an excellent right fielder, and his offensive numbers this past year were considerably lower while player center, small sample size regardless. JBJ is under team control, so no money is invested, and while he lost a bit of patience towards to end of the year, he has the right idea and will continue to develop his ABs.

First Base: The most imperative of signings, bringing back Mike Napoli is a priority. Despite being the best defensive first baseman in the American League, Napoli's defensive game is still widely underrated. However, defense at first isn't nearly as important as defense at any other position, so we must be careful not to overpay him. That said, the dude can straight mash, so he is still worth a good amount. I don't even think about letting him walk, as I sign him for 3/42 with a 10MM team option for a fourth year. His production likely will not be worth 10MM at that point, but it has that much more attraction to a guy looking to stay put for a decent while. Account for the fact that he sees more pitches than just about anybody on the planet and is a huge clubhouse favorite.

Catcher: Here's where things get a little cloudy. We've spent 14 of the approximate 32 million available to spend. We'd really like to have Salty back. However, I don't know if he'll be interested in a 2-year deal, and if he would it'd likely require some extra money. I offer him 2/20, and if he doesn't accept, I look around. If he does move on, I shake things up. Ryan Lavarnway hasn't really panned out for you; I trade him for an outfield prospect. His consistent .300 batting average is a big sell to prospective trade partners. David Ross is a great backup, but cannot catch every day. You have two catchers waiting in the wings, so trading for one would be silly. I don't touch Brian McCann, as the Boston Red Sox don't need to become the Atlanta Party Police. I'll give Dioner Navarro a call, but be wary. If nothing can happen with that, I go back to Salty. 2/25. He's your catcher.

Now we come to the less pressing issues. You've spent about 27 million, and with 5 million left you can look for a good pen arm to give you some help. I look to Jose Veras, who would likely sign for 1/4 at the age of 33. 4 million for an elite curveball and some pen help is a good catch.

No more signings are required. However...

The third base situation. I am getting tired of Will Middlebrooks. I am no longer accepting defensive ineptitude and offensive inconsistency. Yeah, the dude hits 3 homers a night when he's on. But how often is he on? His OBP was Pedey's weight and he does not at all fit the offensive profile of this team. So I wave goodbye to WMB, package him with Allen Webster AKA the lost puppy (who for some reason is still a big favorite of GMs everywhere), and try to get yourself a 3B or SS that fits your grinding approach, whether or not he can crush. Worst case, you bring up one of your prospects to the 25-man and work him in while platooning, and have Bogaerts wherever your acquisition is not. The guy that fits this profile to me is Chase Headley. I might be wary about including Webster in this one, but if it's what it takes, I do it. His defense is great, and while he didn't walk a lot this past year, he has shown the raw ability to take pitches.

Finally, our lineup. In parentheses are platoon partners.

Shane Victorino, RF

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

Xander Bogaerts, SS

David Ortiz, DH

Mike Napoli, 1B

Daniel Nava, LF (Jonny Gomes)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (David Ross, whose role I would increase somewhat)

Chase Headley, 3B (Garin Cecchini, not quite a platoon but decent time)

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Alright guys, tell me what you think.

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