Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hot Stove Check-in

A lot has happened so far this offseason - and because I'm such a terribly inconsistant blogger, I'm going to take this opportunity to talk about EVERYTHING I've neglected thus far.

Let's start with the Red Sox. So far, we've replaced the manager and general manager, lost our closer (thankfully to the National League), and a starter (to Tommy John). We have a right fielder who is presumably retiring, and a few other players who might do well to consider that option.  So what's the good news? Hopefully Ben Cherington and Bobby Valentine can take the asylum back from the lunatics, and build us a winning team.  David Ortiz has accepted arbitration, and we can expect a typically good season from him, barring injury or unforeseen circumstances.

The biggest news of the offseason is the unexpected aggressiveness from both the Marlins and the Angels.  The Marlins will be moving into a new stadium soon, and it looks like they want to put the real deal out on the field, as well.  After signing Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle, the Marlins went hard after Albert Pujols, but were beat out by the Angels.

So Pujols will stay in red, but on the west coast and (sadly for the Red Sox) in the American League.  As fun as it will be to see Pujols play more often, I don't relish watching him face off against our pitchers at Fenway.  The Angels also committed big money to former Rangers ace CJ Wilson.

I don't really expect the Sox to make any big splashes in this year's market: for one, most of the big names are already spoken for.  In addition, holes in right field and the bullpen can ostensibly be filled from inside the organization, without losing too much in translation.  The big questions won't get answered until players start reporting: will Daniel Bard start, as he's requested? If so, who will close?  Will we be seeing Josh Reddick, or maybe Ryan Kalish, in right field?

Hopefully I'll be blogging more in the next few weeks - school is winding down, and I still have my 2012 Bill James Handbook to look through... All this studying for finals is making me wait to pay attention to what really matters: baseball.

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