A quick message for Theo: BRING BACK TEK!
You knew it was coming. The Prince of Darkness AKA Scott Boras wants a four year deal for Tek. He’s too old for four, but he won’t take two. Here’s what you do, Sox. You offer him two years with two additional option years. I realize that he’s like an automatic out at the plate. I realize that he’s expensive (mostly due to greed on Boras’s behalf) but I’m worried about the team without him. If he retired, they’d be fine, but if he was playing somewhere else, like Detroit, it would end badly. I realize the Boston mantra is generally “out with the old” but this is not Nomar or Manny or anyone, this is Tek. This is the CAPTAIN. He is the leader, and I’d rather have us bite the bullet on a two year deal with options or a three year deal and keep the soul of this team.
Intangibles are important. Look at the change in the locker room pre- and post-Manny. They were a totally different team after the trade. But that wasn’t just Manny being gone. They played for each other, not just with each other. Even if we brought back healthy vets like Lowell, you’d still be losing the rock of the team in Varitek.
Besides, its not like there is a stellar crop of catchers out there.
On to more free-agents-to-be.
Casey and Kotsay are both free-agents. I feel like we should keep one of them as backups, they both have decent bats (Casey more than Kotsay) and play good defense (Kotsay more than Casey). I’d rather keep Kotsay, as much as I love Casey, because he can play infield and outfield. Of course, with a healthy JD Drew, Jason Bay, Ellsbury, and possibility of Crisp returning, will we need it? (answer: yes. You never know who is going to get hurt. it’s always better to be prepared).
Alex Cora is up for free-agency, and I don’t think we’ll keep him if we can’t dump Lugo off on someone. That’s a shame because he’s a decent back-up we can groom to become a really great manager. Have you ever heard this guy talk about baseball? He is so smart! And Tito loves him. Personally, I’d rather have a Lowrie-Cora infield than a Lowrie-Lugo one. Yipes! I’d like to keep Cora (if we can) and shift the infield around. Have Pedroia play short, Youk play second, and Lowell at third, picking up Texiera to play 1st. Then we can have great back-ups in Cora and Lowrie so the guys can have a day off on occasion.
Timlin and Schill are both up, but guys, you need to retire. Do it now when you can go out with people still loving you. Don’t do a Brett Farve. You’re done. Go play golf and look at your shiny World Series rings.
Byrd and Lopez I have mixed feelings about. If we can keep them for a bargain, good, if not…eh.
Up for arbitration:
Paps. We need to get him a raise and an option deal. I wouldn’t tie him up for years because of shoulder injuries/etc. but he’s a great closer. Maybe give him the same option Wake has? Or something similar.
Cash. Wake is back and he will likely be too. Tek can catch Wake, but if we get a new catcher (shudder) we’ll need Cash and his experience with the knuckle-ball.
Pedroia. Give him a long-term deal (with a raise). This kid is for real, and he’s young. Lock him up.
Lester. Same as Pedroia. In about three years, Lester could be the best pitcher in baseball. Period.
Youk. This one is a no-brainer. Give the man a raise and lock him up for a few more years.
So that’s my picks for the off-season. We need a pitcher. Maybe another bat. And bid on CC to raise the price for the Yankees. (he he)