In back to back years, the Boston Red Sox have watched their nemesis the New York Yankees make it further in October than they have. In 2009, the Boston Red Sox made the playoffs but were eliminated in the divisional round and watched the Yankees become World Series Champions. 2010 was a much more disappointing season for the Red Sox, as they failed to make the playoffs and watched their division rivals in the Yankees, and Rays make the postseason. The off-season has not gotten off to the best of starts for the Red Sox either.
Coming into the off-season, the Red Sox had two major players in Catcher Victor Martinez and Third Baseman Adrian Beltre become free agents. Martinez, who signed with the Detroit Tigers this past week, had a line of .302/.351/.493 with 20 home runs and 79 runs batted in. Meanwhile Adrian Beltre remains the Red Sox highest priority, Beltre led the team with a line of .321/.365/.553 with 28 home runs and 102 RBI’s. However, the Los Angeles Angles are making a big push towards signing Beltre, meaning the Red Sox could potentially lose two of their top offensive contributors from the 2010 season.
The Red Sox, however, appear to be in a prime position to make a couple major additions to their team for next season. No, they are not going to be a late entry for Cliff Lee, but they are more than likely going to eventually sign Jayson Werth. Werth would bring stability to the Red Sox offense like he did to the Phillies offense last season when he hit .296/.388/.532 with 27 home runs and 85 runs batted in. But, the Red Sox are poised to make much bigger moves than just signing Werth.
This winter could be filled with blockbuster trades, as a couple of superstar players are on the trading block for their respective teams this off-seasons. As the case for the past three winters, the San Diego Padre’s are willing to trade Adrian Gonzalez at the right price. What is different this time? Gonzalez is entering his final season of his contract, and it is apparent that he is not going to sign a long term extension with the Padres. Meaning instead of letting him walk, the Padres are going to trade him eventually in order to get a high amount of value for him. Gonzalez, to no one’s surprise, had a solid year as he hit .298/.393/.511 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI’s for the Padres this past season. The Red Sox along with the Chicago Cubs are said to be the biggest players for Gonzalez.
The Red Sox are also heavily involved in trade discussions involving Justin Upton. The Arizona Diamondbacks have told teams that they are willing to trade to Upton, and will do so at the right price. For a team that is entering a rebuilding phase, it makes little to no sense for them to be willing to trade a 23 year old up and coming outfielder. While Upton regressed this year from his 2009 numbers, where he hit .300/.366/.532 with 26 home runs and 86 RBI’s, he still has plenty of good years in him as he is only 23. Like I said before, there has to be some reason why the Diamondbacks are willing to trade Upton that the public does not know. Because from the outside look of it, it is one of the foolish things the Diamondbacks front office could do.
The Red Sox have the farm system to be able to trade for either superstar. However, to be honest, they should not waste their time with Gonzalez and go for Upton. Instead of signing a 31 year old Jayson Werth for $14MM or $15MM over the next 4 years, they should trade for Upton. Upton, is under team control until 2016, and is making a combined $49.5MM during that time. Plus with Upton only being 23, he gives the Red Sox more value as they look towards their long term plan.