The Nation: If I Were Ben This Offseason

If I were Ben Cherington, which I’m not, what would my ideal, realistic plan be for this offseason? You all know how much I love Jon Lester and Pablo Sandoval, but who else do I think we need to be a legit threat next year?

1) Jon Lester – Duh. You knew I’d say it. Why not bring our ace back? Why not bring a guy back who knows the system, knows Boston, and THRIVES here? A low ball offer in the Spring should be replaced with a 6 year, 130 million dollar “we’re sorry” deal. The Sox can do it. It’s time to make amends.

2) Pablo Sandoval – again, duh. I love this guy. From what I’ve seen, most Red Sox fans are either 100% in favor of signing him, or 100% against it. Totally okay. Is he worth a 6 year deal of at least 100 million? Debatable, in years 5 and 6, certainly not. To be honest, I don’t think he’s worth 100 million. But we have enough money to take the risk this offseason. And let’s be honest, do you REALLY want Will Middlebrooks playing third? Hell no. Holt? No. He’s a utility player, please don’t try to tell me otherwise. I’d go ahead and overpay for Sandoval. Plenty of risks, but the rewards outweigh those (no pun intended. Seriously.)

3) James Shields – IF we sign Lester and Sandoval, probably gonna be pushing it on money to spend, but why not just go ahead and spend it anyway? Put Shields behind Lester and there you have it, a good one-two punch.

4) I trade for Jeff Samardzija or Cole Hamels. Cheaper (in terms of prospects) is obviously Samardzija. He would be a good number 3, and I think he would fit in well here. Hamels has an astronomical price tag. I sure as hell am not giving two or three top ten prospects for him. I say give up one, and throw in a Daniel Nava and another lower level prospect. I don’t know if the Phillies would take that, but I wouldn’t give them what they’re asking for now.

5) Trade for Alex Avila – Solid battery mate to go with Vazquez. Also left-handed.

6) Bring back Badenhop – the ground ball machine. He’s a reliever, so the money to bring him back wouldn’t be atrocious (unlike Andrew Miller)

7) Trade Cespedes and 2 pitching protects to Atlanta for Jason Heyward – Great defense, anther left-handed bat to balance the lineup. It would suck to part with Cespy, but he’s probably gone sooner or later anyway.

8) Trade Allen Craig – Where? No clue. Whoever would take him. Not that I’m giving up on him, it’s just we have no room for him. Trading him would open a permanent spot for Mookie.

We still need another reliever, but I’m sure we’ll get one. Anyway, that would be my offseason plan. Not many details this time; just straight how I’d do it. How much of this will Ben do? I say at least 1-3 of them. Like the plan? Cool. Don’t? Cool. Regardless, I’m not the GM. But hey, there ya have it if I was.

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