The Red Sox Are Solving Their Roster Problems Internally

I’m not sure how this team does it. They’re one part 2013, one part 2018, and probably some baking powder. Mix in some Matt Barnes curveballs, an Alex Verdugo homer, and sprinkle vigorously with Rafael Devers for added spice. Then bake at Fenway Park ok this is dumb but you get the idea.

Also, aside from being dumb, that metaphor (?) is not correct because this team isn’t 2018 or 2013 or whatever. They’re their own thing. Those championship teams each had their own ethos, their own strengths, and this team isn’t that, for better and worse. This team isn’t even a playoff team yet. There’s time for that, but still, it’s not a fair comparison. That said though, night’s like yesterday… and Sunday night… and Thursday, they show over and over what an impressive group this is. There is time for all manner of things to happen, good and bad, but right now, the view from the couch is pretty spectacular. It’s hard to ask for more, which is kinda the subject of this piece.

I wasn’t going to write about the game, but two straight eighth inning comebacks against division opponents is worthy of a mention at least, right? So before we get to tonight’s topic, let’s take an ever so brief detour to gander at…

The View From Here

What do you say about that but…

Enough of that (for now). On to the real reason I’m writing this.

I started writing a piece about how the Red Sox should trade for Eric Hosmer. It was kinda crazy, and I sort of meant it, but I thought (and continue to think) it could be a fun idea for a few reasons. It’s not that Hosmer is good. He isn’t, or at least he’s not the star he’s paid to be. He’s a perfectly cromulent first baseman which is exactly what the Red Sox need at the position given Bobby Dalbec’s struggles this season. Yes, Hosmer’s contract is bananapantscrazynuts but…

A) Most of the big money seasons have already come and gone, so he’s “only” getting $60 million over the next four seasons. That works out to be $15 million per season, so not as bananapantscrazynuts as you might initially think.

B) The Padres would certainly pay some large portion of the remaining salary, and

C) not only would Boston get Hosmer, but the Padres would also send along some serious prospects to get rid of the dude. It would be a lot like the Adam Ottavino deal which netted the Red Sox prospect Frank German and Ottavino in return for [crickets]. I don’t know about you, but I’ve enjoyed that deal.

So I was writing about that and it occurred to me that Franchy Cordero was playing first base last night. So I looked at his stats. He’s 3-for-8 since his call up with two walks and three strike outs. You can’t extrapolate much from 10 plate appearances except it’s worth noting that before he went down to Triple-A, Cordero had six walks in 102 plate appearances. Since coming back up, he has two walks in 10 PAs.

We know Bobby Dalbec has been fine against left handed pitchers. Not good, but fine, acceptable. He’s got a .781 OPS and a 105 wRC+ (five percent above league average) against lefties. I don’t want you to become ill so I won’t tell you what he’s done against righties. But in all the caterwauling about replacing Dalbec, it occurs to me that between Dalbec and Cordero, the Red Sox might have a decent - not great, probably not even good, but decent - first base platoon. That’s pretty impressive. Really making something out of nothing there, right? And then it really hit me:

  • The Red Sox need a reliever: they called up Tanner Houck

  • The Red Sox need a starting outfielder: they called up Jarren Duran

  • The Red Sox need a starting pitcher: Chris Sale is on the way!

The trade deadline is almost here and I’m not out here saying the Red Sox won’t do anything. I believe they will do something. But they don’t have to do anything specifically. They don’t have to give up prospects for a veteran mediocrity because they badly need a starting pitcher and they don’t have one like the Mets did for Rich Hill or they badly need a reliever and they don’t have one, like the A’s just did for Andrew Chafin. They have problems, but they fixed them internally, or at least they can fix them internally if they want to. That allows them to cast a wide net on the trade market. They can find the best player or the best deal. They can find the best players or the best deals! They can do this because they’re not desperate. They can walk away if they want to.

They can trade for Eric Hosmer if it nets them good prospects and a cromulent first baseman. They can trade for Anthony Rizzo or Carlos Santana. Or Max Scherzer. OK, they won’t do that* but they can go out and play the market and find the best fit among all the guys who are available. Or they can not trade for those guys! They can do what they think is right and not be pigeonholed by roster logistics because they have the flexibility and the roster depth (and, let’s not kid ourselves, the health and the luck with health) to do that.

*This is absolutely reverse psychology

So rather than worry about which generic reliever currently pitching over his head for the first time in six seasons they might get, let’s have some fun with this.

And now, I have to get up in three hours to take people to the airport. So while I’m passed out on the floor from lack of sleep, kindly subscribe to this newsletter if you don’t already? Thanks! And if you already subscribe, thank you, and please pass it on to a friend for me. I’d do it myself but I don’t know your friends and also while you read this I’m very likely passed out face down on my carpet. Godspeed.