The Sox head into the offseason in need of some changes. They desperately need a bat, and they could use another starting pitcher. After losing out to Johan Santana and Mark Teixeira in subsequent offseasons, they need to make a splash.
Here is my Red Sox dream offseason.
Re-sign LF Jason Bay to a 4 year deal worth 65 million dollars with a 2015 team option worth 10 million with a 1 million dollar buyout. Jason Bay has shown the Red Sox two things, 1) he can produce in the American League, and 2) he can play for the Red Sox under a tough market. There does not seem to be too many suitors for him, and unless the Yankees or Angles will commit to a 5th guaranteed year, it seems like he should return. Everyone knows Matt Holliday is plan 1b, but he scares me because he did not hit well in the AL with Oakland, and seems to be more suited as a Nation League player. Also, his agent Scott Boras will likely demand at least a 100m dollars.
Sign P John Lackey to a 5 year, 75 million dollar deal. The Sox could use another starter, and they have the chips to land a Roy Halladay, but it would be better to use those chips to acquire an elite bat rather than a pitcher which just costs money. Lackey is a front of the end guy, with a 3.81 career ERA. He is 31, so 5 years is stretching it, but considering they are going up against the Yankees, Mets and Angels for him, a guaranteed 5th year could be the difference.
Re-sign SS Alex Gonzalez to a 1 year, 3.5 million dollar deal. Gonzalez is still a good defender, and while he hit well after rejoining the Sox, don’t expect too much offense. With Victor Martinez behind the plate full time, they only have one hole in their offense and that is at the SS position. The Sox could also make a run at Marco Scutaro. There aren’t many elite SS in the majors, aside from Jeter, Rollins, Ramirez, Reyes and Tulowitzki. A deal for either Ramirez or or Stephan Drew isn’t out of the question, but it would take a lot to get one of them. Don’t count out Miguel Tejada.
Sign P Aroldis Chapman to a 4 year deal worth 22 million dollars and a 2015 team option worth 7.5 million dollars. Chapman has the arm and stuff to be a top of the line guy, but these Cuban prospects are always risky, see Jose Contreras. Then again, lefties with his arm don’t go on trees and to have the potential of Jon Lester and Chapman in their rotation is tough to pass up. It isn’t like Chapman is costing the Sox Daisuke money.
Sign P Rich Harden to a 1 year, 7 million dollar deal with 3 million in potential incentives. The Sox have seemed to sign one or two of these injury projects for a while, whether it be Wade Miller, John Smoltz, Brad Penny, or Bartolo Colon. Harden has the potential ace stuff, but just can’t stay healthy. Unlike the other injury projects, Harden is only 27, and has a career 3.39 ERA. The Sox have also had prior interest to Harden when he was with Athletics.
Sign free agent P JJ Putz to a 1 year, 5 million dollar deal. Putz was once a dominant closer for two years in Seattle, but struggled after joining the Mets last year. He would be the perfect setup guy for the Sox along with Daniel Bard if Billy Wagner is signed elsewhere.
Trade P Michael Bowden, OF Josh Reddick, 1B Lars Anderson and P Alex Wilson to the Detroit Tigers for 1B Miguel Cabrera. This is the type of deal the Sox need. Cabrera is only 26, a career .311 hitter, and averages 33 HR and 117 RBI. I know Adrian Gonzalez is the main target, but he is 27, and is only a career .281 hitter. He also has never played in the AL which is always a risk. Kevin Youkilis would be switched to 3rd base, while Mike Lowell would either have to be traded or come off the bench.