Trading for Tulowitzki not the answer for the Red Sox

Bill Foley ( @Foles74)
Contributing Writer

When looking at the problems plaguing the Red Sox offense, the Globe’s Nick Cafardo mentioned the possibility of trading for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

A Red Sox official answered “probably not” when asked if the Sox were willing to make such a trade, according to Cafardo.
(Getty Images)

That is a good thing. What the Red Sox don’t need now is to make a panic move at shortstop. Again.

Clearly, Tulowitzki would be a better move than last year’s panic signing of Stephen Drew. Much better. Tulo is a career .298 hitter who hit 89 home runs over the three-season span from 2009-2011.

If we could get that Tulowitzki, of course, we’d sign up for that in a second. However, Tulo turns 31 in October, and he is still due $113 million over six years.

It’s not our money, show who cares, right? Well, it’s not the cash that is the biggest cost of obtaining Tulowitzki, who has been substantially limited by injuries two of the last three seasons. The biggest price would be prospects. We’re talking about the names of players the Red Sox so far have been unwilling to deal for a top-end pitcher.

Last season Tulowitzki batted .340 with 21 home runs, but he played just 91 games. He’s batting .284 this season with just two home runs and a sore left quad.

Red Sox current shortstop — and hopefully the shortstop of the future — Xander Bogaerts will turn 23 in October. He has been far from great this season, but he is much better than last season when Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington panicked and overpaid for Drew.

That move, which forced Bogaerts over to third base, will be hard for Cherington to ever live down. It looked bad when he pulled it off. It looked worse a month later.
Drew was a complete flop, and what was left of Bogaerts’ confidence was completely shattered.
This season, Bogaerts is only hitting .260. His defense, though, has been very good, and he is only 22. That’s a year younger than Nomar Garciaparra was when he made his Major League debut with the Sox in 1996.

The Red Sox’ offense has struggled mightily, but you have to expect that to change. If history is any guide, David Ortiz will come on. Mike Napoli won’t be as bad has he’s been. He can’t be.
Shane Victorino had a big road trip and showed signs of being his old self again.

That is a very good thing, even though most of us are ready for the Rusney Castillo era to begin in right field — or maybe center if the Sox decide Mookie Betts needs some more cooking in Pawtucket.

The Sox should also expect solid production from Hanley Ramirez in left, Pablo Sandoval at third and, of course, Dustin Pedroia at second.

Pedroia has been on-base streak of 22 consecutive games, and he carries a .357 on-base percentage. That he is 6 of 37 (.162) with runners in scoring position will change.

Pedroia is a proven clutch hitter, and that stat can be attributed, at least in part it, to luck, or a lack there of.

The Red Sox have seen their starting pitching improve drastically since Carl Willis took over as pitching coach. Still, as bad as the hitting has been, who still doesn’t have more faith in Hanley, Papi and the Panda than Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson?

Trading for Tulowitzki would cost some series prospects. If the Sox are going to trade any of those prized minor leaguers, wouldn’t you rather them do it for a pitcher you know will never give up seven runs in the first inning?