Like a flash of lightning (or flashes, if you have seen the latest film War of the Worlds), the Red Sox have had a lot of things go down. From Curt Schilling taking over the closer role, to making a trade and on the verge of another, the last week or so has been a crazy one in Red Sox Nation. In no specific order, let's talk Sox.
Jay Payton, Designated for Assignment
His whining became a problem, and it came to the point where Terry Francona didn't want to deal with him any longer. I give a lot of credit to Francona for doing what he did, and now Payton is off the roster, and on the verge of being traded. Sources are saying that a deal for Oakland's reliever Chad Bradford is all set, but since Bradford is on the disabled list a deal can't be final until he is off the disabled list. I'm excited if we do get Bradford, because if he's healthy, then he's like a Mike Myers, except pitches well against right-handed batters. That will give us a nice option if we need to get a righty out late in the game. Combine him with Myers, then we've got a nice setup. Of course, Bradford has to be healthy and pitching at his norm.
With Payton gone, that makes room for Rule-V draft pick Adam Stern to make a name for himself. Last night he debuted in center field for the Sox, going 0-2, but he did steal second base in bad base-running conditions. Personally, I'd rather have Stern in there than Payton because I'm positive Stern won't complain about any playing time.
Ramon Vazquez traded to CLE for Alex Cora
I think this is a pretty good trade for both us and Cleveland - and the players. Vazquez will play more often, and we get Cora who is better defensively and better with the bat than Vazquez. Cora also gives us more speed than Vazquez, so he'll be pretty valuable as a pinch-runner. He's no Dave Roberts, but no one is.
The trade is a positive one for the Sox. The only thing we really lose out on is money, as Cora costs a little more than Vazquez. The defense is a plus though, as the last time I checked, we were 9th in the American League in fielding percentage.
Curt Schilling to be closer
The day before this was announced, I was thinking that Bronson Arroyo would be a good closer. But now that this Schilling thing came out and that he's actually willing to do it, I think it's a great idea. Schilling does have that big-game mentality and that will be great for him as a closer. He may not throw 95 every pitch, but he will if we need him to. If he only needs to face three batters, then he may let it fly every time. It's a big move for Red Sox Nation, but it's a move in the right direction, I believe.