Conor Frederick (@C_Frederick1016)
Rest easy, Red Sox Nation. The front office has a plan. Ben Cherington laid out some of the key points of the plan in an interview with the media today.
Here are some of the the highlights, according to ESPN:
• Adding top-of-the-rotation starting pitching is a priority. [The Jon Lester watch begins the day after the World Series ends, as that’s when he becomes a free agent].
• The Sox want free agent Koji Uehara back as closer.
• Christian Vazquez is ready to become the team’s everyday catcher.
• Some of the kid pitchers could end up in the bullpen.
• Who plays center field for 2015 and beyond? Having both Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts is a good problem to have, and these things have a way of sorting themselves out. Castillo will take a couple of days off, then report to the Arizona Fall League where he will play through October, then on to the Puerto Rican winter league for about a month.
No one is writing off Jackie Bradley Jr.
• No decisions have been made yet on the coaching staff, although it appears changes may be forthcoming, either by voluntary departure [hitting coach Greg Colbrunn may leave to spend more time with his family, Torey Lovullo and possibly Brian Butterfield could be hired as managers] or dismissal.
See the full list here.
Those are some of the highlights, but those are hardly surprising. The only one that took me by surprise was wanting Koji Uehara back. Yes, he had a great 2013 and he was solid for most of this year. But he did collapse towards the end of the season with a few blown saves at the end of the season.
The Red Sox front office and coaching staff has a lot of work to do this off-season, and I'm glad that they recognize it as well. But, where should they start? At least in my mind, pitching and the outfield are the 2 most important issues. The Red Sox have to add a top-notch starter and they have to figure out the logjam in the outfield. There are a few solutions that the front office could pursue, and they'll have to examine all the possibilities, and that may involve spending some serious cash on bringing in new talent. Will it work? The only way to know for sure is whether the Sox are still playing at this time next year - that's when we'll know they made the right choices.
Thoughts? Let me know on Twitter (@C_Frederick1016) or leave a comment.