Without Pax around to make up sicknesses and steroid abuse rumors about the Rays, it’s been a boring day. But I found new Yahoo! columnist (and old Boston friend) Gordon Edes’ thoughts on the offseason.
Namely, he says that the Sox will keep this nucleus, unlike in ’03, ’04, and ’06 when they blew things up left and right. He says extensions are in the air for Papelbon, Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Youkilis. I wouldn’t be surprised to see two of them done, maybe, but not Papelbon — he’s already stated he wants to go year to year and cash in in free agency.
Anyway, he talked with Lester about the only real decision the Sox have to make: Jason Varitek. Here are the ace’s thoughts.
“Sign him,” he said. “Obviously having an offensive catcher is a bonus, but I think what he does behind home plate, especially for the young guys and all the other pitchers, and what he does in the clubhouse is priceless.
“It’s priceless. It really is. I hope he comes back. I really do, not only for myself but for this organization. He’s Mr. Red Sox. He is what exemplifies the Red Sox: work ethic, fighting till the end, never giving up. That’s priceless for me.”
If he’s good enough for Lester, he’s good enough for me, even though he hasn’t finished his swing from last night’s strikeout yet.
At least the Yankees suck
I agree with the general feel of the article though — this is a good core. Coco has established value again, so we can move him for a catcher to take over for Tek. I’d try to bring back Tek cheaply — a year and an option — but if Boras finds some team who wants to guarantee him money and years he can walk. I know he’s valuable, but we can’t keep throwing 10 million dollars his way.
Sure, it’d be nice to move Lugo, but it’s not going to happen without us paying his entire deal. Everyone else pretty much will stick around. We can use one more starter, but I wouldn’t get in the CC extravaganza, nor would I part for much for Jake Peavy (Lowrie and Masterson? Sure. Masterson, Buchholz, and Ellsbury? No gracias.).
UPDATE: The inevitable MLBTradeRumors Offseason Outlook for the Sox is up. Tim and I think alike — he mentions that they’ll drive up the price on Tex and CC but not really go after them. His only problem is his assumption that Coco is the CF and Jacoby is the 4th OF; this is wrong. Coco will be shopped. He goes into more detail about the catching prospects, specifically mentioning Gerald Laird of Texas (Salty would be fine too), and even Russell Martin as an outside shot (though I don’t see why the Dodgers would move him).