Before the trade deadline, the Red Sox completed one of the biggest fire sales in their history, which was only rivaled by the 2012 purge which saw Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Adrian Gonzalez all shipped off to the Los Angeles Dodgers. John Lackey, Felix Doubrount, Andrew Miller, Stephen Drew, and Jon Lester were all among those dealt before the July 31st trade deadline But will they end up getting the last laugh? I believe so, and I'll give you my 3 reasons why.
Power: The additions of Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig will bring some serious pop to the Red Sox outfield, where before there wasn't any. Prior to the trade, the Red Sox outfield had a total of 14 home runs while Cespedes alone had 17 (now 19). Pretty sad. As for Craig, he was a major factor at the dish in the Cardinals run to the Fall Classic last year, with a line of .315/.373/.457, primarily out of the cleanup spot. While he's struggling through a down year this year, think about what our lineup may look like next year. Brock Holt at lead off, Pedroia at the #2 spot, then Ortiz, Cespedes, Craig, and Napoli in the 3-7 spot (not necessarily in that order). It's a scary thought...for every other team.
Pitching:One of the other key additions was pitcher Joe Kelly from St. Louis, who has been solid since coming over. He's made 2 starts so far, giving up 3 runs in 13 innings in a Sox uniform. He's not ace material, but it's entirely possible that Jon Lester comes back to take his place as our ace (please, Jon? PLEASE!). Our rotation could be pretty formidable if Lester does come back and you put him and Kelly with the young guys like Rubby de la Rosa and Anthony Ranuado. Of course, there are a lot of big ifs in this, like Lester coming back and the young guns making good progress, but the rotation could be formidable in 2015.
Getting Bogaerts at short: Xander Bogaerts is a shortstop at heart and getting rid of Stephen Drew (aside from getting rid of Drew's terrible bat) will allow the Sox the flexibility to move the X-man back to his best position. True, his defense needs some work, but remember that he's still young. He's still got a lot of room to grow before he fulfills his vast potential. But moving Drew and letting Bogaerts move back to short will hopefully settle him down and let him play with more freedom.
Granted, 2014 is probably a lost cause (I still think there's a slim chance they go on a tear), but 2015 could be interested. They have Cespedes under contract through next year, Craig through 2017 and Kelly through 2018, and if they get Lester back things could get real interesting next year. Cherington could end up looking like a genius again if the Sox do well next year.