Follow Us ON

© 2017 After Further Review...

Advertise Here Flag

Red Sox Future Looks Bright If Cards Played Right

Sox could find themselves right back in contention next season Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Sox could find themselves right back in contention next season
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

While the Boston Red Sox season had been nothing short of an absolute disaster, there is some intriguing optimism for the 2015 Boston Red Sox.

First of all, come spring training, everyone will be a healthy go and that’s first and foremost as health has been a serious issue all season long. David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino, all key cogs in the Red Sox championship run from a year ago, missed significant time this season.

The apparent willingness to spend money again as evidenced by the signing of unknown Cuban player Rusney Castillo. Signing Castillo to a 7 year, $72.5 million dollar contract has to give Red Sox Nation a little bit of hope that they will be willing to spend some money thus offseason to help bulk up on struggling parts this year, such as pitching and some offense. It’s very apparent that the Red Sox will and should spend what they have to on a couple of front line starters. Oh and there happens to be a free agent at the end of the year, a starting pitcher yiu may know. He’s been in a Sox uniform before.

You don’t know?

Yeah, Jon Lester.

He’s free to sign with whomever he wants. And while Red Sox Nation shouldn’t keep their hopes up for a return to the Fenway faithful as I just don’t see it happening, I’m also hoping that I’ll eat my words and they will throw the money that Lester has fully deserved, to him. The Sox need a front line starter and he fits the bill. Of you’re able to corral him, they should take a look at another starter, such as James Shields. He has pitched very well in the AL East and he would be a big part of the solution next season. Then the sox can fill out the rest of the rotation with the like’s of Clay Buchholz, promising young arm Joe Kelly, and one of Rubby De La Rosa, Anthony Renaudo, Allen Webster, Matt Barnes, and even Stevan Wright. All have showed flashes of brilliance this season as well as flashes of inexperience. Most of them still have enough potential that potential suitor’s could potentially dangle a major league piece the Red Sox covet.

The Red Sox youth movement this year has proved successful in a lot of ways. Namely Mookie Betts. He has shown that he is here to stay, willing play any position to help his team, while hitting the ball very well and I believe there will be a place for him on the roster next season. Brock Holt has shown that he is a very capable leadoff hitter as well as a super utility playrr, playing all positions outside of pitching and catching and that is something that the Red Sox should be happy about. Holt will be a major asset to this team moving forward. While Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks clearly struggled this season, I still believe that they will produce for the Red Sox on the major league roster. Middlebrooks power potential at the hot corner is too tough to give up on and he is still only 25 year’s old. Bogaerts is still in his early 20’s and has shown serious offensive promise and shown a little bit better defensively towards the end of the season. I believe they are still a part of the sox future.

The veterans that they can mix in with next year’s roster, serves as a solid foundation for what they want to do next spring, summer, and fall. David Ortiz is still a perennial 30 homerun and 100 RBI threat. Mike Napoli will be healthy next season and serves as protection for Ortiz. Yoenis Cespedes will be returning next season as well and all he’s done since being acquired in a mid season trade is hit almost .300 and driving in a ton of runs for a struggling offensive team. His power will play well at Fenway for a full calender season. Dustin Pedroia comes back healthy and will hit .300 upon his return.

The potential for offseason trade’s is still there. As I have mentioned, the Red Sox still have plenty of talent on the farm if they want to go grab a power bat and a power arm this offseason. But of they want to sit put, there is plenty on the free agent market to help. Trade option’s could include Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, Chicago While Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale, just to name a few. But I believe their best option is to dip into the free agent pool to grab the like’s of Jon Lester and James Shields, as I mentioned before.

A starting lineup could look like this:

Castillo, Betts, Pedroia, Ortiz, Cespedes, Napoli, Bogaerts, Middlebrooks, Vasquez

That, to me, does not look too shabby. Lost in the fold will more then likely be Allen Craig, whom I actually really like as a player. He can hit you 20 homerun’s and drive in 80 RBI. There is probably a good chance he’s traded sometime this winter.

A starting rotation could look like this:

Lester, Shields, Kelly, Buchholz, De La Rosa

Another good rotation. The bullpen struggled this season, but in all honesty, I don’t see them struggling this time next year. Former closer Koji Uehara will return to form should they resign him and Edward Mujica will be very valuable pieces to the back end of the bullpen.

The potential is there, Red Sox Nation. Be patient. If what they did with Rusney Castillo is any indication of what they may do this offseason, this winter could be very pretty for a team desperate to head back to the World Series.