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.
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
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.
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?