This is the ideas of two of the writers at RedSoxLife.com on what this team needs to do in order to have any shot at being good in the future. First is Ryan's take.
Let me start this by saying that there is no quick patch that can be thrown on this team to fix them. There is no band-aid that is waiting to be ripped off and re-open a wound that is not fully healed. For this Red Sox team the only fix is in the future. There are parts of the team that can be moved around or traded, but with the way this team has been all year it's long past the point of turning this team around.
There are less than 8
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
hours until the 2015 MLB Trade Deadline, and there are still lots of moves to be made. One of the most important moves may come in the form of our GM, Ben Cherington. Cherington has proven that he knows how to assemble a championship winning team, i.e. 2013. But he has also proven that he knows how to assemble a team that finishes in last place in the American League East i.e. 2012, 2014, and potentially 2015. There has to be a little bit of leeway when it comes to the GM, but three last place finishes in four years is more than enough and this team needs a person in charge of their players. If there are not significant moves made before 4p.m. on Friday, July 31st than Cherington needs to pack up his office and find a new job.
There are two players on this roster that could immediately be traded that could offer a return that would be beneficial for the Red Sox. The first of these may be the one that fans would like to see traded the least, Brock Holt. Holt has proven that he can play every position on the diamond minus pitching and catching. The Chicago Cubs could use a utility player like Holt to sure up the defense of the Cubs on an everyday basis or provide occasional defensive boosts all over the diamond. The return to trading Holt would be similar to the Ben Zobrist to the Royals trade I would assume, which was two prospects, one of them high on the teams list that could provide a future impact. Pitchers Carl Edwards Jr. or Duane Underwood, the Cubs 4th and 5th highest rated prospects could be one player that the Cubs could use to make a deal for Holt.
The next player that could have an impact on a team making a push for the playoffs would be Mike Napoli. He has shown flashes of brilliance in the past at first base, but this season he has been lackluster. The St. Louis Cardinals will likely make the playoffs, but they will want someone more trustworthy than Mark Reynolds playing first base for them. Napoli could be traded for prospects such as Stephen Piscotty or Luke Weaver.
The most important thing to do to turn this team around is to trade Mike Napoli. With him leaving, first base would open up allowing defensively struggling Pablo Sandoval to make the switch from third base to first base. Maybe if your last name is Ramirez you are naturally an awful left fielder in Fenway Park. First it was Manny, whose performances at the plate made us turn a blind eye to his antics in left field, but now it is Hanley, whose offensive performance has made us look at his left field ineptness even more prevolent. Move Hanley Ramirez from left field into third base, and then we will be able to watch balls that should be caught around the monster actually be caught before bouncing off of the bottom 5 feet of the scoreboard.
While these moves may seem minimal, and likely will never happen, they are what I think will help this team actually win a baseball game. Now for Ian's thoughts on what this team needs to do in order to win.
In a perfect world, the Sox are in contention right now. In reality, the Sox are the worst team in the American League. It's now time to look forward to the 2016 season and that preparation begins at the trade deadline.
Boston needs to make some trades today before the non-waiver trade deadline passes at 4 p.m. this afternoon. One key fan favorite needs to be traded. Koji Uehara can't be on this roster come August 1st. A good closer is a luxury a last place team can't afford to have.
AP Photo/Richard Carson
Last year, Boston made out well in the Andrew Miller deal. Eduardo Rodriguez looks like a keeper going forward. Miller was just a half season rental for Baltimore and the Sox still received a top 5 prospect in the Orioles' system. On the other hand, Uehara is not a rental and has one year left on his deal. That being said, Cherington could potentially bring back an even greater return for Koji.
Beyond Uehara, the Sox don't have many assets to deal. Mike Napoli should be gone (via the trade or DFA) within the next week. However, after this terrible season, the Sox would be lucky to get a bag of balls for Napoli. One thing that has crossed my mind would be to trade Mike Napoli for Pedro Alvarez. The Pirates have been shopping Alvarez and want to upgrade at first base. While Napoli may not be an upgrade, why not trade on team's trash for another's? It's worth a shot.
Jackie Bradley Jr. could potentially net a decent return if the Sox were to trade him. This team clearly doesn't believe in Bradley as an everyday player here (big mistake, give him a chance). However, some other team may still believe he can be, especially in the NL. I think he gets dealt.
In theory, Brock Holt could be traded as well, but I just can't see a team giving up a top prospect for a utility guy. If someone is willing to overpay, pounce on a deal. Holt is not easily replaceable, but again, a good bench player is a luxury this team can't afford to have. I think he sticks around.
Going forward, there is no easy fix as Ryan stated. Personally, I'd leave Hanley in left and Pablo at third for the rest of this year. Stay the course. The more reps they get out there, the better they should be. I wouldn't change things up just for the sake of change. As for the pitching, it is what it is. Put young guys (Rodriguez, Johnson and Owens) in the rotation and ride it out from there.
I'd would also fire John Farrell and Ben Cherington. This team, with the highest payroll in team history, has been one of the worst teams in recent memory which says a lot. That's on the players mostly, but you can't fire all the players (unfortunately). You can fire the man who built the team and the man who routinely puts out bad lineups.
On the whole, the front office is to blame for this debacle of a season. You can't build a baseball team on the computer. Firing the people responsible for putting this team together is the first step to recovery.