Baseball’s Hot Stove Heatin’ Up
Free agency began at midnight, opening the most intriguing part of off-season in all of sports for the big money goers of Major League Baseball.
With the most obvious news coming last night that Jason Bay will not accept Boston’s intial offer, is in fact no news at all. You may want to check back in on Spring Training Red Sox news or even July news for that story. But plenty of news and names are sure to spatter on the wall like the spaghetti sauce after a middle school cafeteria food fight, and the Boston Red Sox will find themselves right in the thick of things, elbow high in spaghetti and meatballs.
Take your pick, Halladay, Holliday or Bay, Harden, Lackey, or Sheets. The names go on and on and the rumors fly. The obvious needs for the Boston Red Sox in 2010 is that of a power bat, with that most likely coming in a form of a left-fielder and a restocking of arms in the starting rotation and bullpen. The Sox could use one more premier starter to go along with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Dice-K, Clay Buchholz, and Tim Wakefield. Buchholz may be a major trading chip if the Sox elect to go after Roy Halladay or Adrian Gonzalez.
Theo Epstein can go in many directions this offseason and he may select the safe route in hopes of loading up for the 2010 offseason. But we Red Sox fans are very demanding nowadays and an offseason spent as time off will not fly with the Bostonians.
From what I can gather thus far I will throw three things that you can expect and three things you can ignore this offseason.
1) The Red Sox will look to add another big bat, whether it be Bay, Holliday, or Gonzalez.
2) Don’t be fooled by the rumors. The Cincinnatti Reds and Detroit Tigers will be looking to unload some of their high salaries which in result forces them to give up some pretty good talent. Look for the Sox to stick their nose in this money situation.
3) Mike Lowell could very well be leaving Boston if the Sox get a good enough deal to unload him and his ailing hip on some other team. If the Philadelphia Phillies do not land Mark DeRosa, they may be a perfect fit for Lowell. Boston could then move Kevin Youkilis across the diamond and look to find another first basemen or could go after the likes of Mark DeRosa, Adrian Beltre, or Chone Figgins.
Do Not Expect…
1) The Yankees too be quiet. Sure they won’t have a spending spree like they did last year but they will look to add a quality outfielder to replace Hideki Matsui/Johnny Damon. They will also be looking to add a front-off-the-line starter in the form of John Lackey.
2) The Red Sox to get Hanley Ramirez. Sorry folks, as nice as it would be, the Florida Marlins are building their franchise around the kid and when they open their new ballpark in 2011, he will be the key attraction.
3) Roy Halladay to stay with Toronto past Spring Training. The Blue Jays would be smart to move Halladay in the offseason before the midseason trading deadline to assure that they aren’t lowballed by teams knowing that the Jays want to receive some compensation for Halladay. He will not be with the Blue Jays past 2010, so why wouldn’t they look to get something for him while they can?
It’s a hectic time for the bright minds of the MLB, so don’t believe everything you hear but do keep your ears open because the possibilities are endless and the rumors are magnificent. Oh, what could be.