I will do a write up on the Sox three game series with the Rays over the weekend a bit later and possibly an entry on what happened at the Boston Marathon (after all I am a baseball fan and a long distance runner; I’ve run Boston twice). Marc, my lifelong friend, left just this morning after spending the last four days in Boston, catching the Sox-Rays series with me. I would not have been a good host if I spent a couple of hours each day blogging, thus no entries the last couple of days. I do, though, have a lot to say about the series so something will be forthcoming. In the meantime, here are some thoughts on what the Sox need going forward this year.
While I love Daniel Nava and JBJ, if I were the Sox GM, I would trade for Giancarlo Stanton tomorrow. Nava, while a great story, is not the future left fielder for the Sox. JBJ might well be the future Sox center fielder, but it is clear he is not ready to play in the majors and that he needs some AAA at bats and seasoning. He is not hitting, but the one thing that really stuck in my craw this long holiday weekend was a throw JBJ made on Monday. In the ninth, the Sox were up by one. Desmond Jennings led of the inning with a single and then stole second. Zobrist lined a fading shot to left that JBJ could not catch but managed to keep in front of him. He recovered the ball, got up swiftly but then threw wildly to home, missing the cutoff man. Jennings scored easily and Zobrist ended up on second because of JBJ’s decision to throw home. A good major league outfielder would not have made that mistake. The odds of JBJ getting the speedy Jennings at home were about zero and by not hitting the cutoff of man, the Rays had the go ahead run on second. Fortunately, Bailey escaped the rest of the inning with two strikeouts and a pop out. JBJ needs to play at the AAA level.
This leads me to Giancarlo (formerly known as Mike) Stanton. The Sox have a ton of prospects available to package in a deal to acquire the twenty-three year old Stanton (yes, he is only 23). In Stanton’s first three years in the majors, in just under 1500 ABs, he hit 93 home runs with a slash line of 268/350/546. He is the ONLY player in major league history under the age of 23 with fewer then 1500 ABs to hit more then 90 HRs. If you expand this criteria to 1750 ABs with an age limit of 25 the list grows to 13:
The only guy close to Stanton in ABs and HRs is the Crime Dog – Fred McGriff – and he was two years older then Stanton when he hit 90 HRs in 1387 ABs. Stanton is a once in a lifetime talent. The Sox should do whatever they can to acquire him. The Marlins call Ben and mention the following: Rubby De La Rosa? Ben should say, “I can move him.” Allen Webster? “Him too.” Matt Barnes? “Sure.” Xander Bogaerts? “If I must, okay.” Ryan Lavarnway? “You got it.” Ben’s answer should be yes to whomever the Marlins mention.
These pretend trades you usually here are most often ridiculous. I will, however, suggest an offer that I think the Marlins would have a hard time refusing.
Bradley, Bogaerts and either Barnes or Webster for Stanton. You have to go big to get a stick like Stanton and this would be big. If Sox could avoid including Bogaerts they should but if the Marlins are stuck on Bogaerts then the Sox should include him. Heck, if the Marlins want all four, the Sox should do it.
The Sox would then have to live with Iglesias as their once and future SS. I’m good with that. He could be our Mark Belanger and Stanton’s offense would more then make up for the difference between Iglesias and whatever SS bat they could come up with. After watching Iglesias play so far this season, he is ready defensively. For 2013 the Sox would be set, but then for 2014 they would need to spend money and sign Ellsbury to a long term deal. They might balk at that, but having Stanton on your team would make that possible. Heck, they rid themselves of Crawford, Gonzalez and Beckett, they are playing with house money. Additionally, Stanton is cost controlled through 2017 so the money the Sox save there is shifted to Ellsbury. This gives you a lineup like this for the rest of the year:
Not bad. In 2014 you just put Iglesias in for Drew and keep on mashing with Stanton.