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Weekly State of The Sox Report June 16,2009

Weekly State of The Sox Report

By Nicholas Sannicandro

June 15, 2009

Well it is getting to that point of the season I like to call the “crazy season” Sox Fans. Fans across the country are beginning to daydream with visions of Matt Holliday and Adam Dunn dancing through their heads. Many of you will go so far as to project where in the lineup each will fit and how they will fare bouncing balls off the Monster. With all of the rumors tossed out by fans, and the media, it can be a time where Sox fans drool over, or cringe at. So what can we look forward to in the coming weeks where we are sure to see a number of trades throughout the MLB, and what bargains should we be eyeing as we approach the trade deadline?

Lets start with what the team needs coming into the trade deadline as they make their run for the 2009 World Series.

The first glaring hole in the roster is a defensive Shortstop. The Red Sox have been getting fairly good offensive production out of their two shortstops, Julio Lugo and Nick Green, but both have been, well, horrid on the defensive side. Failed double plays, balls thrown into the stands, and dropped balls have lead to routs from the opposing team, and in a few cases, even cost the Sox the game. This cannot be happening in September if there is any hope of making a run this Postseason.

Another big bat should be high on the Red Sox wish list this trade season to compliment David Ortiz, as I foresee him running into yet another slump, much like one we saw earlier this season, possibly worse. The Sox were wearing their lucky underwear this first half of the season by managing to stay in first place for much of the season while having a number three hitter have zero Home Runs until Late May, while batting well below his weight. A big, consistent bat is a huge need for the Sox in the coming months.

A final position to watch for coming into this trade deadline could be a relief pitcher, while many may argue that Catcher is a much higher need, the Red Sox seem content to live with Jason Varitek for the time being. Relief pitching is a major worry right now, despite coming into the season with one of the best bullpens in the Majors. Over the past few weeks the Sox have relied heavily on their bullpen, only to see Ramon Ramirez have some trouble, hot prospect Daniel Bard has been a bit of a disappointment, Papelbon having only 6 1-2-3 Innings out of 27 appearances, and the idea that Saito will likely not be back next season. The Red Sox could use one more arm in the bullpen, but this is likely last priority on their list this season.

So who should they be looking at, well taking a look at the 2010 Free Agent class does not excite many, there are many diamonds in the rough the Red Sox could obtain that fit nicely into their system and could provide for a long time. The following is a list of potential trades the Red Sox could make in the coming weeks.

Jack Wilson-SS-Pittsburgh Pirates

.259 1HR 20RBI 15 Runs 1SB as of June 15, 2009

Jack Wilson has an $8.4 Million club option for 2010, and the Pirates seem to be looking to build a younger team, Wilson will be 32 in 2010. Wilson could be a good fit for the Sox as he will not give up many Errors, and has the capability of going on Hot Streaks at times with his bat. The Sox aren’t looking for a heavy hitting Shortstop, rather a good, defensive minded guy at Short, and Wilson can provide that for the Sox.

Jason Donald-SS-Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Philadelphia Phillies-AAA)

.230 1HR 16RBI 25 Runs 6SB as of June 15, 2009

Donald could be an interesting option for the Sox to entertain. With the Phillies content keeping Jimmy Rollins at Short for the time being, a hot prospect like Donald is going to be looking to play, and soon. The Red Sox could use a combination of Donald and Jed Lowrie once off the DL and give both ample amount of time to learn and grow as players. This is a trade where the Red Sox will have to give up a fairly good amount, but is also a great way to have a productive Shortstop for years to come, while getting younger in the process.

Nick Johnson-1B-Washington Nationals

.315 5HR 30RBI 31Runs 1SB as of June 15, 2009

Many of us have heard the deal by this time, Nick Johnson for Manny Delcarmen. A definite No-No, especially after the Bronson Arroyo for Willy-Mo Pena deal. It is obvious that Johnson would fit in well with the Sox, with the Monster in left, he would be pounding balls off that wall left and right. The Red Sox could get Johnson for a steal from the pitiful Nationals, without having to give up young talent by the likes of Delcarmen. I am looking at Hunter Jones as a possible piece of the trade. While Jones has pitched well in Pawtucket while he was down there, he is still a relitive unproven talent at the Major League level and I don’t see a place for him on the Red Sox roster any time soon.

Kevin Gregg-CL-Chicago Cubs

0-1 4.15 ERA 30K 13 Walks 10 Saves

Gregg has not had much success in the Closer role for the Cubbies this season, and they are on the verge of a firesale, especially knowing they have Carlos Marmol who can fill the role of closer. Gregg was a tremendous relief pitcher for the Florida Marlins in 2008 and would fit in nicely while the Sox give Daniel Bard more time to get his act together down in Pawtucket.

1 comment:

  1. Although I think Nick's defense has vastly improved over the past few weeks I am not sure it is much of a priority except maybe late inning insurance and that is not enough reason to trade some of the names I hear bandied around