What if? What if we miss out on hometown hero, Jon Lester, and World Series hero, Pablo Sandoval? God forbid. But as a Red Sox fan, I have to embrace the possibility we will miss out on not only one, but both. Let’s face it; the ownership has been rather stingy since the Crawford fiasco. We have a ton of money to spend, I hope they’ll do that. But what if we don’t get either of these guys? What are the backup plans?
If we don’t get Lester:
Plan B – Undoubtedly Cole Hamels. There’s already been trade talks between the Red Sox and Phillies. The asking price has been humorous at best. Is Hamels an ace? Not in my book. Is he efficient? Yes, at least against the NL. Would he be a good number one? Tough one, but I’m gonna say yes. Obviously, he’s not Jon Lester. If we trade for him, we’re gonna have to lower the expectations a little bit. Hamels is still a good pitcher. If the price tag drops a bit more, I make a deal for him. We would all be disappointed if Jon leaves, but as for a viable backup plan, I’ll take Hamels. Besides, we could still afford to sign Shields to pitch behind him, and maybe haul in a deal for Jeff Samardzija as well. Perfect rotation? Far from it, but a solid one by all means. I don’t really have a plan C. Let’s face it, how many “aces” are available? Sale isn’t one of them.
What if we miss on Pablo?
Plan B – Chase Headley. Good? Debatable. Decent? For sure. A good fit? I say so. He’s an average hitter. He’s not going to produce the numbers he did a few seasons ago. He’s a switch hitter, though, and that’s a plus. He’s got a pretty good defensive skill set as well. I’m not big on Headley, but I’m not opposed to signing him either. The Yankees have reportedly been in talks about bringing him back. Things could change, especially if the Red Sox jump in the mix.
Plan C – Hanley Ramirez. Personally, I’d take Hanley over Headley. Hanley has proven to be a great hitter, but he can’t stay healthy. There’s also a few maturity issues as well. But, I’d take the gamble. He’s another right handed bat, but he’s a pretty good one. Defensively, not so great, but I’d still take the chance.
Plan D – Josh Donaldson/Adrian Beltre. Donaldson has been rumored to be available, then those rumors are shot down. I don’t see the A’s trading their star third baseman, at least not just yet. They expect to contend next year, and they’ll need Donaldson to help them do so. It would be a huge surprise if he plays somewhere besides Oakland for the foreseeable future. Beltre is intriguing. He’s been here before, and had some success in a Sox jersey. He’s older, and his defense isn’t what it used to be. But the Rangers may not have a choice. Trading him for a good prospect or two might be in their best interest. Again, right handed bat, but the power is still there. If we miss out on everyone else I’ve listed, I’d be content bringing Beltre back.
Let’s be honest, we sure as hell don’t want Will Middlebrooks anywhere near third, and the Red Sox obviously feel the same. If I HAD to predict right now, I think we land Sandoval and miss out on Lester. Hurts me to even think that. But that’s baseball. Thanks for reading, I’m sure we’re all anxiously awaiting to hear the decisions.